A day not in nature is a day wasted
3 October 2023 Forests in photos
This October, our photo of the month is “In the Cold Dark Forest”, taken by Els De Backer in Wuustwezel, Belgium.
The photo was one of the runner-ups in our 2022 PEFC Photo Contest. In our interview, the photographer told us how her photo came about, and what she loves most about the forest and nature.
How do you feel about forests, both professionally and personally?
A day not in nature is a day wasted, I think. I like walking in nature, on the heath or in the woods, always with my camera. I prefer to go out early in the morning. In the summer months, when the days are long, I enjoy getting up an hour earlier to go for a walk in the woods before going to work.
If you are in the forest at the crack of dawn, you see nature awaken. Everything is still quiet, you feel one with nature, the sun rises, and you have a good chance of encountering deer. I try to photograph all of this. I am lucky enough to live within walking distance of a forest, we can even see the forest from our backyard.
How did the forest inspire you to take your winning photo?
I took my photo on a cold and windy day. In the morning I had already gone for a walk in the woods, the robins and blackbirds willingly allowed themselves to be photographed on the white snow-covered twigs. I was enchanted.
I decided to take another walk in the afternoon in another forest. I saw a roebuck on the forest path, it was foraging, and it didn't notice me. I quietly hid behind a tree, and as he left the trail and moved into the woods, I was able to snap this shot.
The cold tight wind makes you see that the roebuck stepped into the wind, as if fighting the elements. I held my breath, and pressed at the right moment, just as the roebuck appeared beautifully through the trees.
What do you think about the work that an organization such as PEFC does to care for forests?
Sustainable forest management is very important. Thanks to organizations such as PEFC, future generations can also enjoy the beautiful forests. Nature is so important, we must cherish it. Everyone can contribute by choosing PEFC-certified products, so that we can combat illegal logging and deforestation.
About the contest
In 2022, we held our ‘Experience Forests, Experience PEFC’ photo contest for the sixth time. Taking place in 13 countries, we received 7500 stunning photos, taking us to the wonderful world of forests. Have a look at the top 12 images here. To learn more about the photos, watch the winner announcement on Facebook Live.