The motto for the Bavarian Forest National Park in southeastern Germany translates to “let nature be nature.” This sentiment grounds conservation efforts within the preserve, which boasts near-primeval areas, or regions that have had very little human intervention. It also means that dead or dying trees aren’t removed and are instead left for the earth to subsume as they decay.
As part of his ongoing Aerial Views collection that highlights how people have profoundly impacted environments, Bernhard Lang (previously) photographed the mountainous forest from above. Many of the images juxtapose evergreens’ verdant needles with the autumnal hues of deciduous trees, while others glimpse dozens of fallen specimens as they rot. “In the last years, the forest has recovered by itself from the bar beetles and wind-caused damages. Mushrooms, other plants, and young trees are growing again, having the dead wood as a basic fertile soil,” Lang shares.
Prints from the Bavarian Forest series are available on the photographer’s site, and he’s donating 20 percent of the proceeds to conservation efforts. Follow his latest aerial adventures on Instagram.
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