At 179 cm and 204 kg, I am a reasonably imposing figure, but standing in a rainforest I am totally insignificant.

Here I stand, while trees tower over me, vines climb, the sun filters through, the birds sing, I am indeed in one of God’s great natural cathedrals.

Man’s efforts at building gigantic houses of worship through the ages are a source of inspiration and wonder. I am humbled when near or inside some of our great cathedrals, but I can be moved to tears when in a mighty forest. Why is this so? What is it about Nature  that affects people (not just me) in that way?

I have had the privilege of walking in forests from the Daintree in Far North Queensland to southern Tasmania: all quite different in many ways, but all with their own uniqueness.

Tasmania has some of the tallest hardwood trees in the world and standing next to some of these giants is a humbling experience.

Many of the forests I have visited on the mainland have dry floors, but a rich canopy. Most of them have been rather warm, some even hot and steamy.

Mangrove forests are my favourite on the Australian mainland. We don’t have any in Tasmania because of our cool, temperate climate. These forests are not dry, in fact rather wet! The change in the tide makes for fascinating photography and I have a treasure chest full of wonderful experiences to take back to Tasmania next month.

Last week we visited an area of rainforest at Port Macquarie and I have included some of the images in today’s post.

As you can see, there is an array of different shapes, many in lush green. A soft, white light pierces the canopy, often highlighting an object or two near or on the forest floor.

There are examples of lovely, soft greys in the background of several photos.

The top image features a strangler fig and there is a lot of ‘majesty’ about the composition.

This part of Port Macquarie is indeed a forest of mystery and light.

How does one view a forest?

Without getting too technical, I like to ‘look’ at forests in 3 ways.

  1. What’s above: The canopy, the sky, light.
  2. What’s out in front: Trees of different shapes, textures and sizes. The vertical nature of what stands before you, broken here and there by protruding limbs. Leaves and branches jostle for attention.
  3. What’s below: The forest floor, my favourite area, full of mystery, detail and abstraction.
  4. Atmosphere: How does one, ‘paint’ the ‘silence’ that exists in so many forests? How do you capture the ‘mood’ of a forest? Both can be done, and I will explain that in a future post.

If you are in need of inspiration or in need of some meditation, spend some time in a forest.



About artkleko

artist, art curator, art teacher, art judge, art critic
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4 Responses to CATHEDRALS

  1. mye1212 says:

    Richard, this blog is by a wonderful photographer who is working where you are…maybe you are already familiar with their work? Maybe not.
    Loved the cathedralsI get that same feeling as you described when I am in nature, particularly at the sea.

  2. Kate says:

    I look forward to seeing more of your trees. You are so fortunate to experience the rainforest. I can only imagine the awesomeness….

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