Selection of March 2023: Dark Rectangles of Fir Trees by Jean Discours

De sombres rectangles de sapins by Jean Discours

It took me 4 years to create this image. The Chambons Forest is an ancient forest located in the Ardèche mountains in France. It has not been cleared for nearly 1000 years, which makes it spectacular. The forest is composed of several species of trees, particularly fir trees that come from the Pyrenees.

I was interested in a very specific area of this forest: the beginning of the valley at an altitude of 1000 meters. The tree-lined side of the valley faces north. I wanted to see the sun's rays perpendicular to the vertical lines of the fir trees. Only a few days in March and October see the rays penetrate this place, just after sunrise. And the mist that highlights the rays is rarely present.

On October 15, 2016, all the conditions were met to create this image. Post-processing was essential to capture the emotion of the shot. Underexposure at the time of shooting preserved the details of the light. The bright tones were reduced and the shadows increased to reduce the contrast of the image. The eye corrects the vision of bright and dark areas in real-time, but the camera's sensor does not.

Working on the details' structure made certain parts of the image more free. The choice of a square frame and a slight addition of vignetting drew a circular zone in the square to highlight the beauty of this ancient forest. 

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