WIRED | 2/19/2019 | Michael Hardy
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With its gnarled trees, moss-covered boulders, and misty ambience, Wistman's Wood—a remnant of an ancient forest near Devon, England—has captured the imaginations of visitors for thousands of years, inspiring legends about druids and supernatural hellhounds. When Neil Burnell visited on a family holiday as a child, he was reminded of Dagobah, the swamp planet where Yoda lives in Star Wars: Episode V—The Empire Strikes Back.

Now a graphic designer with a sideline in photography, Burnell recently returned to Wistman's Wood to attempt to capture the forest's cinematic quality. Over the course of 2018 he made some 20 pilgrimages to the forest to photograph it under different light and weather conditions. "The forecast always calls for fog, but unless the wind is blowing a certain way the fog never actually gets into the woodlands," Burnell says. "So there were a lot of wasted trips going back and forth."

Burnell - Light - Conditions - Sunrise - Hour

Burnell discovered that the most atmospheric light conditions occurred just before sunrise, during the so-called "blue hour." Arriving early in the morning in total darkness, he would use a flashlight to scramble across the wet boulders to the position he had staked out for his shot. "It's quite treacherous—when you get a foggy day, the boulders can be very slippery. It's a challenge getting through even without...
(Excerpt) Read more at: WIRED
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