1/4s f/3.2 at 11.4mm iso400
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I like your reading of this photo - and the idea that you express! I was fascinated by the contrast between the stems and the branches, but didn't "lift the meaning further". I added extra to this effect with "radial blur" (and now half of me cannot help feeling that I cheated...). Thank you also for pointing out so many examples of the effect of negative space - it helps a lot!
A magical landscape, Lisbeth. The light is almost surreal -- the trees appear to float in space. The negative spaces between the trees create upward thrusts of air that let the image breath, and create that floating illusion. The textures and colors of nature are rendered so delicately that these huge trees appear very fragile. Perhaps that was the idea you were trying to instinctively express here.