Friday, 5 February 2016

The Petrified Oaks of Mundon

For our first jolly of 2016, the Wivenhoe Photography Group jumped in a jalopy and pootled over to Mundon, near Maldon on the Essex coast. I've visited Maldon a number of times over the years, but was unaware of the treasures awaiting down the road at Mundon.

First stop was the beautifully humble Mundon St Mary church, which has been restored by a group called Friends of Friendless Churches.

Mundon St Mary interior
Mundon St Mary

On farmland beyond the church we came upon a field of petrified oak trees - the main reason for our trip.

petrified oaks
On farmland behind the church

Lunchtime on a blustery, overcast day isn't ideal for landscape photography, so rather than getting in close I went for a bit of wide-angled drama.

mundon oaks
Petrified oaks of Mundon
I underexposed most of my shots to ensure there was some detail in the sky that I knew could be brought out during editing.

field of oaks
Field of oaks
In fact I decided at an ealy stage that I wanted to derive some drama from the interaction of bare oak branch and sky, so shot from low angles, filling the frame with plenty of sky for the most part.

Two old oaks
Two old oaks
This is a place deserving of more than one visit; I'd love to see it covered in deep snow, or during a misty sunrise.

A jagged stump
A jagged stump
If nothing else, the pretrified oaks of Mundon are a reminder of the hidden treasures that can lie just beyond our doorstep.

Line of oaks in silhouette
Oaks in silhouette