There’s this one old birch that’s become something of an un-realised obsession for me. Obsession, because I think about photographing it almost every day – the birch is visible from the road so I see it on my way to work, and I see it on my way back home. And un-realised, because I’ve only over tried to shoot it once, many years ago.
So why I am not trying again, and again? Because I can’t decide what to do with it. Do I need sunlight or overcast weather? Sunrise or sunset? Noon? Summer with green leaves, or autumn with yellow leaves, or no leaves at all?
I was going to go somewhere else today, but things happened and I thought I might as well drive there and take a closer look at the tree to scout for the best angle. It’s not easy, because this is young pine forest and although the birch does stand out well from the distance, it’s really hard to find an unobstructed angle somewhere closer. There are some big rocks in the area and climbing on top of them solves part of the problem, but you’ll always have some pines sticking in the frame.
But there’s more to this place than the one birch. All the mosses, lichens, rocks, fallen and burned trees… I don’t know why I don’t visit the place more often. I guess I’m bothered by El tenedor del diablo.
El tenedor del diablo, The Devil’s Fork, is from the film Romancing the Stone. It’s one of my favourite films and although there’s nothing fork-like about this birch, it was the first thing I thought of when I saw the tree and the name stuck. A devilish subject, for sure – and maybe that’s the clue to how I should shoot it: dark ominous clouds, no leaves. I think I have a November date with the Devil’s Fork.