I have been on the lookout for interesting lone tree subjects since the beginning of my photo journey. Trees with a nice shape, trees that standout against the sky or have an interesting background, catch my attention. In my previous post I featured an image of a lone tree in a small B&W collection. The image, ‘Little Tree In Pasture’ was the most popular in that post and it got a lot of likes on my Facebook page too. I wondered if it was that we feel empathy for the little tree, out there all alone, surviving in the cold snow. Thinking about lone trees as subjects a little further, I decided the stories can vary. A mighty cottonwood in a farm field might tell a story of strength and independence. Another serves as a sturdy sentinel to a distant scene while a small tree perched on a cliff tells the story of bravery against the elements. In conclusion I suppose what makes lone trees so appealing is that they are fun to personify in the stories they tell. Giving them human qualities exercises our imaginations! What stories do you see? I’d love to hear them!

A small tree clings to the side of a cliff as it enjoys a mountain view.

‘The High Life’ © Denise Bush

A big beautiful cottonwood tree stands out, all alone in a winter field.

‘Lone Tree In Field’© Denise Bush

A small gambel oak creates a silhouette to contrast with the sunset sky.

‘Little Silhouette At Sunset’ © Denise Bush

A lone pine tree hangs on tho the side of a slope with remarkable resilience.

‘Slopeside Survivor’ © Denise Bush

A cottonwood silhouette up on a ridge has a good view of the distant San Juan Mountains of Colorado.

‘Tree With San Juans View’ © Denise Bush

Two gambel oaks intertwine to form an charming arch in winter.

‘Together We Are One’ © Denise Bush
click here to view larger or order a print

I also like to find interesting groupings of trees but that is a work in progress and for a future post. If you like trees like I do, check out my ‘Tremendous Trees’ collection HERE.

52 Responses to “Alone”

  1. I think we often look for something to rest our eyes on. Most people can relate to a tree. Personally, I see lonely trees as survivors or fearless settlers.

    • I think that in most cases we need a subject of interest and a lone tree in a landscape does that. I like that you think of trees as settlers! Thanks for the visit and comment!

  2. I agree that there’s something about a lone tree in a larger landscape that pulls us in and stirs an emotional response.

  3. I think you’re right about our personal interpretations of loneliness and strength in the images we see, particularly identifying with trees. I like the gnarled trees best… wonder what that says about me? 😉

  4. Each image tells the story of its long struggle. The same time, it show amazing strength. Beautiful photos and stories.

  5. Together We Are One: what a beautiful image, and they truly are unified. What a powerful statement.

    • So nice to hear from you Terry! Glad you like ‘Together We Are One’ … I was pleased with that one and the title too. Hope all is well in CA and you are staying safe!

  6. Oh, yes, Denise- beautiful collection and a favorite theme, especially winter trees. Terrific post.

    • I agree … winter trees are especially fun to find and photograph. I suppose it is because we can see their structure and silhouette so clearly. Thank you!

  7. Delightful Images! Happy New Year, Lady

  8. The last one is my favourite. There’s something very magical about their combined shape and the path between them.

  9. I love trees! Your collection is wonderful! I like how you attribute human qualities to them – I agree. To me they often mean strength and resilence through all the trials of weather-life. There’s also the seasons of life reflected in deciduous trees. I have a poster of a huge Sequoia tree pinned on the wall of my study – published as a National Geographic foldout.
    It is 247 ft high and supposedly 3200 yrs old – called the President. To get the effect of its size there are 3 tiny rockclimbers in the photo – one at the base, one at the top and one about 60 ft off the ground. The photography had to take several images to make up the shot.

  10. From what you’ve said, it does seem that at least part of the appeal these trees have for you is that they lend themselves to personification. Are you drawn to personify other things as well?

  11. I think we do like trees for some reasons. It is sort of built-in into our brain. I think that could be the basis that your pictures stand out. They bring trees out in, alone without clustering of others around. To me, I like the shapes of bare branches against the bare background in the back. I can explain it but I think I like such pattern.

    • I too love the patterns of bare branches. When they are set off by the sky or a simple background we can enjoy them all the more. Thanks for visiting! 🙂

  12. Love every one of these captures, Denise! I also see lone trees as a symbol of survival and strength. Over the holidays, I saw a small 2 foot ‘tree’ growing up through a concrete median strip crack on a highway. Someone had decorated it for Christmas. Made me smile and feel good for the tree. 😊

    • So that tree spoke of determination to grow in that unlikely spot. It probably made a lot of other people smile too! Thanks for stopping in Donna!

  13. A great subject and your collection is outstanding.

  14. Just as we do, trees develop character with age…or maybe we are like the trees. This is a nice collection of isolated trees. My favorite is the last. I like that a few of the branches are touching and we can see the lovely dawn glow warming the snow in the distance. As always a very nice post with images that are so pleasing to view.

  15. On a photographic level, I think trees provide a focus for the eye. They create fascinating compositions with their vertical form and profile. On a spiritual level, we can relate to their vulnerabilities, exposure and beauty. But because we understand the difference in the time scale we exist in, this imbues them with such grace and majesty. I love trees, and your photographs capture them so beautifully. 🙂

  16. My favorite is Little Tree at Sunset. I think of him as being cold and uncomfortable during the wintertime, especially as you showed with snow on the ground. And yet I know that he will survive and regrow his leaves in spring to take in the warm sunshine and smell the fresh air. He will even help the planet by converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. Another thing about trees is, unlike some people, they are non-threatening and peaceful.Trees are always there for us and we hate to see them damaged by unthoughtful humans.

  17. What a fun idea, Denise. The first image has a very “Welcome the dawn” look to me – that tree seems strong and positive. Another that strikes me is the Slopeside Survivor, and I get the same reaction – what a survivor! My favorite here is the last, for that framing – wow, that was a gift! I’m glad you saw it. Beautiful! If I were going to tell a story about those trees it would be about working together towards a new day – how corny is that?? 😉

  18. To click through your blog was amazing. 🙂

  19. Little Silhouette is gorgeous! It reminds of the lone tree I used to photograph a lot when I lived in Calif. I also really like the first one on the rock face. Lovely!

  20. I have always been drawn to this type of photo for a variety of reasons. I hadn’t thought about the human element aspect, but seems to have some warrant! Having said all that….love all of these captures! Love your work!

  21. Trees are amazing as are your photos. Great blog thanks

  22. Those lone trees do give associations to qualities of human lives. And I think visually any lone tree stands out, particularly for an excellent photographer like you. These images are beautifully captured.

  23. Beautiful photos.
    There is something about trees standing by themselves with a lot of space around them.

  24. “The High Life” drew me in with its diagonals broken by the little tree.

  25. That is so atmospheric. Brilliant.

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