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A melancholy black and white portrait of a dying forest


“The Harz Nationwide Park in Germany faces an unprecedented disaster. After two years of drought, a number of extreme storms and the fast unfold of the bark beetle, its forests are extraordinarily burdened and weakened,” Berlin-based graphic designer and photographer Philipp Apler started his introduction to his black and white sequence.

“Particularly the massive areas of spruce monocultures are affected by the beetle. One single tree can spawn greater than 25,000 beetles and infect as much as 600 different timber.”

From this assertion alone, it’s straightforward to see that it’s going to be a bleak physique of labor. The clincher, nonetheless, is within the title: “The Dying Forest.”

Philipp’s black and white pictures brings a special perspective to panorama pictures that showcases sprawling forests and plush greenery. On this sequence, we’re drawn to the plight of a forest on the verge of giving in to the pure cycle of demise and rebirth.

Somber scenes of wispy woodlands

The choice to ship this visible story in black and white proves to be a good selection for Philipp, because it successfully conveys the dismal state that the park forest is in. Wispy tree trunks and sparse foliage are emphasised by the clear and minimalist type, with simply sufficient distinction to attract the eyes to the shapes and textures.

Whereas this sequence may also have a darker and extra ominous look, I feel that wasn’t the intention right here, however to create a way of fragility in every scene and as a physique of labor.

With the absence of colours, the framing and angles take middle stage. Philipp used them to convey the story to mild within the naked stretches of the forest the place timber was once, the chopped up stays of fallen timber and the ghostly types of timber that trace on the grisly future awaiting them.

Of demise and rebirth

Regardless of the grim destiny of the forest, Philipp additionally notes that it’s not completely unhappy information for the Harz Nationwide Park. It’s all a part of the pure cycle of destruction and creation.

“Park authorities think about the forest’s dieback a pure technique of regeneration and determined to not intrude. They hope that the monocultures will likely be changed in the long run by extra resistant blended forests. Nonetheless, the non-public forest house owners of the encircling areas had no different selection than to chop down enormous areas of forest attempting to stop the unfold of the bark beetle. By now they misplaced about two thirds of their tree inhabitants. Their losses since 2018 are estimated at over 300 million euros.”

There’s one photograph from the black and white assortment that I feel is without doubt one of the most thought-provoking: The wholesome and ghostly timber mixing collectively. We are able to select to have a look at it because the an infection spreading, or maintain on to the hope that the forest will ultimately heal itself.

Be certain to go to Philipp Apler’s website and Behance portfolio to see extra of his work.

All pictures by Philipp Apler. Used with Creative Commons permission.


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