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Ryerson GreenmanHere are three different views of the same Greenman. This is a fun project to undertake for yourself, and it is also an exercise in developing your capacity for nature spirit portraiture.

Usually, when a tree develops the capacity to manifest a recognizable, well-developed nature spirit image in his/her trunk, or a nature spirit works with the tree energy to manifest such an image, you will find other images in the tree as well.

A general rule for nature spirit photographers is the same as that for any photographic study – examine the subject from different angles and points of view.

I will often walk around the entire tree, looking up and down. I’ll try shifting consciousness due to the fact that a tree or a nature spirit will frequently manifest different types of beings whose home world exists in different frequencies from each other. Even so, very often when someone else looks at my photograph, they will see and point out another nature spirit I myself had not seen, although it manifested in the photo.

What you see depends upon the frequency into which you are looking. That’s a good lesson about life itself. Changing your perspective will often change your understanding of what is occurring in your world!












In this situation, I have been studying this tree on repeated trips to this nature preserve. I originally stopped  to look at the tree because the nature spirits asked me to do so – they often request this of me on my outings. At first I did not see anything. Then, suddenly, I saw the two dark faces. It was only when I processed the image back home that I saw the greenman, quietly facing to the right, and after that his bear familiar below him.

I went back several times after that, to photograph the tree in different lights and different camera settings. I love the exquisite detail the tree and the tree spirits developed on the greenman’s face, and on his facial armor. The greenmen and greenwomen are so precise and neat in their features!

Also, when you are out on a photographic shoot, it is beneficial to request the assistance of the resident nature beings. I always pause to respectfully acknowledge their work and their care of their area, and request their assistance, should there be anything they would like photographed. On an entire afternoon’s outing, I consider myself fortunate if I come back with even one really good photo of a mature spirit being.

Nature Spirits in American Trees by Atala ToyIf you enjoy these types of photographs, you’ll enjoy my book Nature Spirits in American Trees – it is a collection of 62 photo studies of trees, from Central Park to the Redwood Forests.






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