The Afterlife – a picture story on abandoned Xmas trees

As so many people bought a tree to look at during xmas time and then in the new year throw them outside to be picked up by the garbage men or let nature take over. I thought it would be interesting to take a closer look at this strange habit.

I made a reportage of some of the abandoned trees I found lying  around (so many) in the area where I live. Most of the time I used double exposure.

With in my mind a question saying:

Why do people want to have a tree in their home and slowly watch it dying? What is the purpose behind such a thing. Do they not realize the time and beauty it takes for a tree to grow? Why would you let it be chopped down, look at it for a month, and then throw it away? It just does not make any sense to me.

Here are some of the images I made


belindaclaushuisXMAS-01belindaclaushuisXMAS03sign says: Also here dogs should be on a leash

belindaclaushuisXMAS04sign says: Temporarily offering garbage location

belindaclaushuisXMAS05Notice:The red paper is leftover firework lying around in the streets

belindaclaushuisXMAS06belindaclaushuisXMAS07Sign: Please no parking backwards associated with exhaust

belindaclaushuisXMAS-08Notice: A garbage man drives by on the main road. In the street around the corner, 2 min.later, I find a sign saying: Don’t leave your tree lying around. And mind you,it also says: if you return a ‘used’ tree, you can even win a prize.

belindaclaushuisXMAS09Notice: first exposure: two Moorhens swimming in the canal, second exposure: firework leftovers on the pavement




Notice: woman catching a tree, hanging on a wire coming from a third floor window and  putting it with the trash outside

belindaclaushuisxmas13The life of a Xmas tree – Belinda Claushuis 2013

27 Replies to “The Afterlife – a picture story on abandoned Xmas trees”

  1. I agree. I use mine for firewood. some people plant or pot a pohutukawa, (local tree) and decorate it every year. A good idea that I will do this year.


    1. That’s nice to say, thx. I am just following the instinct. thx for dropping by.p.s. really loved your video( I can imagine the excitement while filming)


    1. Thank you! They are double exposures. It’s the first time I am trying this. The next day I started taking new ones by having the camera on a trypot and moving the tree itself(2 shots) in the same frame, in stead of shooting 2 different frames. I wanted to make clear that the tree is alive by its moovement in the image. I think your images are beautifull. Thanks for your response


      1. Thank you, Belinda. Double exposures are interesting, aren’t they? I like the movement also. And the idea of afterlife for the trees…


      2. Hi, yes the movement is so interesting! I am thinking about taking this technique with me during my upcoming travel in april. to use it with portraits… It’s so nice to find a technique with witch you can tell a story that can better be told in an image. Have a very nice evening Karen. greetings to you


  2. Good set — I especially like the ducks “swimming” on the sidewalk, and the tree in blue. Is that a double or is the tree wrapped in something?


    1. Thanks, they are all double exposures. the tree was lying nearby the bags,now it looks like it’s in the bag..Yes, the ducks swimming in fireworks leftovers…


    1. Hi Martin, Happy you liked it and happy you also agree on the written words. Thanks for the link!
      Have a nice day,
      greetings from Amsterdam


  3. Wonderful photos.

    Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.


  4. that is brilliant post in sentiment and pics…my ‘tree’ is always branches cut from my son’s evergreen hedge, looks just as lovely with angels and baubles!


  5. Welcome! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and enjoy the photos I take of life’s events as seen through the lens of my camera.


  6. this is absolutely wonderful!!! We have a similar situation in Calcutta, after the Durga Puja festival…all the clay idols are immersed in the hooghly river post worship…but the advantage there is that the clay goes back to the river bed…but the ornaments pollute the river…how did you get double exposures? is it possible with any dslr?


    1. Thanks, I ‘m quite happy with it myself swell.
      I have never been to india. . . it sounds very interesting this Durga Puja festival!
      The great thing about the internet is that you can find almost everything. Check youtube for double exposure. And, yes, it is possible with some dslr camera’s check the manual. Analogue off course is the best way ! Good luck


  7. I love how you compose the pictures to tell the story.
    do you create all images using analogue camera? they’re beautiful 🙂


    1. Yes, I try. Sometimes it’s not possible, I mean, If I want things to moove in the same space I need a digital camera. Because With an analoge camera ,the camera will moove(and therefor also the image) when I take of the film house.
      Thanks for you kind words


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