Adam Burton Photography

Bratley View, New Forest

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As you might imagine the New Forest is a location literally bursting with a wide variety of wonderful trees.  If there were to be an award offered for the most photogenic, the little pine tree at Bratley View would surely be a serious contender.

Bearing more than a passing resemblance to a carefully pruned bonsai, this little (or maybe giant in bonsai terms!) tree almost seems proud of its good looks.  It confidently presents itself on the open New Forest heathland for all to see, just out of reach of a small parking area. 

While living close to the New Forest, I would regularly visit the pine tree, and photograph it throughout the seasons.  Winter always appealed the most, and this particular December morning was to prove my most special yet.  On a frosty early morning I headed up to Bratley View, hoping for a thick layer of frost on the heather and bracken surrounding the tree.  Upon arrival I was delighted to see not only lots of frost coating the landscape in pastel tones, but a misty background also.  An unexpected but most welcome bonus!

I loaded a roll of Velvia into my Nikon F80 and took a couple of initial images of the sugar coated landscape in the pre-dawn light.  Soon after the sun had risen high enough a magical transformation began to spread over the heathland.  The sun’s low rays began to thaw the frosty landscape, gradually saturating the heather and browned bracken in early morning sunlight.  The rich colour this provided contrasted beautifully with the remaining areas of frosted ground, offering colours which I knew my Velvia film would eagerly record.

After taking several images, I packed up and drove home, absolutely overjoyed with myself.  Although it would be a week before my processed slides were returned, I knew I had captured something special that morning.  Four years on, and I’m pleased to say this remains a firm favourite image of mine.


. . there have been many occasions when I’ve seen other images [and made my own] from this place . . mere pale facsimiles of this fine original . . an iconic and much imitated image . .

by Mike on 02nd June 2010

Handsome especially that immense sky. I was there this morning just after dawn - the gorse is considerably taller.

by milou on 17th November 2010

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