Kilian Schoenberger’s Photos of Europe’s Crooked Forest

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All photographs taken by Kilian Schoenberger. Used with permission.

Photographer Kilian Schoenberger is a creative that manages to capture some of the most amazing locations on earth that trigger feelings of a fantasy and fairy tales. We’ve profiled this special trait of his on the site before, but most recently he took to the wilds to capture what’s known as the Crooked Forest.

The Crooked Forest is a place in Poland with very oddly shaped pine trees. There are many speculations for why the trees grow this way–some say that humans did it for various reasons. These reasons include making furniture or boats. Another theory says that the snowstorms caused the trees to bow in order to adapt to the environment. Yet another theory cites that tanks from World War II caused it in some way.

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“I’ve seen many wild and strange forests throughout Europe, but this grove in Poland is unique.” says Kilian. The Crooked Forest was scouted before by Kilian, and he decided to come back to capture the scene for his new coffee table book: Sagenhaftes Deutschland–his first own photo book, featuring photos of places that are linked to fairytales, and legends. However, what makes this series even better are the conditions.

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To get these images, Kilian started a 450 miles night ride from Cologne to Poland. “Several cups of coffee, energy drinks, no time for sleeping. Then taking my shots in the early morning hours, afterwards trying to sleep some hours during the day.” says Kilian. “Some more shots in the evening and when staying at one place some more sleep during the night. Otherwise another night behind the steering wheel.”

Kilian says that he worked with wide angle lenses to evoke a feeling of standing in the middle of the grove.

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“I had Salvador Dali in mind when taking these pictures. And the series should be a reminder that almost every landscape element in Central Europe was deformed by mankind. There is hardly any real primeval naturescape left.” says Kilian.

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Crooked Forest - Kilian Schînberger (1)

Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.