Adam Burton Photography

A Tribute to Fallen Heroes

29 Feb
A Tribute to Fallen Heroes A Tribute to Fallen Heroes A Tribute to Fallen Heroes

Trees have always been one of my favourite photographic subjects.  For a landscape photographer who started out avoiding all human made subjects, trees were always going to play a starring role in my pictures.  And what fantastic subjects they make, whether alive or decaying trees make compelling objects to photograph within a landscape setting.  A mature tree feels like a permanent feature of the countryside, constantly going through a never ending cycle of change through endless seasons.  Whenever I come across a fallen mature tree I feel an incredible sense of loss, not just from a photographic loss but also a loss for the countryside itself.  

Unfortunately the past twelve months or so have taken their toll on some of my favourite trees to photograph. First to fall was the iconic little rowan tree on Rannoch Moor, positioned impeccably on a tiny island on Lochan na h-Achlaise.  The photogenic little tree, which fell victim to last years winter gales, was for many as much a Scottish icon as thistles or shortbread, and will be remembered through countless thousands of photographs.  Its equally famous counterpart on Rannoch Moor was another little tree, this one long since dead but still standing and still very much appreciated by landscape photographers.  Outliving (or rather out-standing) its island friend for almost a year, it tragically has also now fallen in this years winter storms.  A trip to Rannoch Moor will never be the same :-(

Closer to home in Devon, I noticed at the beginning of the year that a lovely grand old Beech tree a few miles from my home has fallen.  I only photographed it once or twice, but have driven past the tree on countless occasions over the years and will miss it every day from now on.   Just a couple of days ago I visited my local lake to photograph a parade of five trees at the lakeside - I was gutted to see that FOUR of these lovely trees had been chopped down, leaving just one remaining.  I think they had probably died a long time ago, but to me that didnt matter, they were a part of the landscape and will be missed.

As a tribute to these fallen heroes, I have included some photographs of these trees in somewhat happier times.  I'm just very glad that I have had a chance to preserve their memories in some small way.


Hi Adam

Greetings from cold and very windy Andalucia. Great blog post as trees are also a big feature of my own photography. About 8-years there was an iconic Caledonian Pine remnant in Rothiemurchus Forest that was cut down by chain saw…... the tree featured in an image that is still used by the John Muir Trust today on the letterhead, stationary etc. I could not believe this could happen to such a stunning tree and feel saddened that the trees you described in your copy are also no more. I feel sure like me you feel it’s like losing a friend.

Best regards


by Geoff Simpson on 06th April 2012

Leave your comments

* denotes required fields

Basic XHTML is allowed (a href, strong, em, code). Off-topic or inappropriate comments will be edited or deleted. Email addresses will never be published.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.