The essay, printed as the forward to Paul Hart's book "Truncated", discusses our relationship with these sentinels of nature and recognises how the tree, when photographed by Hart and others is full of character and should be, "treated as an individual, as an old friend we know and cherish"
Badger puts forward an interesting distinction between those artists who respond to the forest and others who respond to the tree itself. "There are trees and there are woods and forest, as there are people, and societies" and photographers and artists fall into one of these two camps. Hart, Badger argues, is a photographer of the forest rather than trees. His "rich, dark prints capture the Stygian gloom of the dense pine forests perfectly….conjuring up the forest's materiality – the texture, smell and feel of the timber…"
The forest for Hart, is a spiritual place, changing with the seasons yet self-contained. The density of the planting calms the wind and filters out the noise of its surroundings, creating a sanctuary from the bustle of the 21st century and with a floor of pine needles deadening the footsteps, its hushed tones make it almost "cathedral-like".