Wednesday, October 24, 2012

GHOST TREE ON A FOGGY DAY

Almost everyone who shoots landscapes likes a foggy day.  I think the main reason is that the fog simplifies the photographic process, effectively eliminating what might otherwise be major background distractions.

Tuesday, October 23rd, began with a dense fog, and as soon as it was light enough, I grabbed my camera to see if I could take advantage of it.  After cruising around looking for opportunities (and worrying that the fog would lift before I found something), I finally ended up in front of a modest stand of evergreens in Virmond Park.  I took quite a few shots, not being sure of what I would wind up with.  Here is an example.


Two things had caught my eye.  First was a tree with a curved trunk that I thought might be a point of interest.  Second was that while most of the trees were roughly the same distance from the camera, one of the trees was set further back, creating a "ghost" feel.  What I didn't like in this shot was the relatively large weed in the lower right of the image that I felt was a significant distraction.  I also didn't like that there was no separation between the base of the tree with the curved trunk and the tree to its right.

Here is another shot that excludes the distracting weed but fails to separate the curved tree from its neighbor.


Here is another shot, which I cropped as a square, in which the curved-trunk tree is nicely separated from its neighbor.


Now, however, there is no separation between a slender tree in the center of the image and a larger one to its right.

The following is probably the best shot of the bunch.

 
The curved-trunk tree is nicely featured, the slender-trunk tree at least has some separation from the tree to its right, and there are no major weeds to serve as distractions.  Plus the ghost tree is still featured on the left.  My one disappointment is that the there is some foliage from the tree in front of the ghost tree that detract from the latter.

A few more points:

First, I probably should scout out some locations that I know would include attractive subjects in a fog situation.

Second, it pays to move around a little and look for fresh perspectives.  What works and what doesn't isn't always clear until you are reviewing the shots in post processing.  What had attracted me to this general scene was not the ghost tree but the curved-trunk tree.  But once I realized that the ghost tree provided some depth, I felt that only those shots that featured it were worth retaining.

Third, in cropping these shots in post processing, I had to decide how much of the grass/ground to incorporate in the image.  I had shot all of these photos from a very low angle, assuring that the field behind the trees would not interfere with the general pattern of trunks against the fog.  However, I finally decided that including at least the base of the tree trunks provided more depth and context than cutting off the trunks above ground level.

Finally, I thought these shots would work best as B&Ws.  After all, the fog had muted nearly all of the colors from the shots.  However, I wound up feeling that the color that was there added significantly.

Taken with my Nikon D7000 with Nikkor 24-120mm f/4 lens and Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 lens.

1 comment:

  1. You've been busy! I've enjoyed reading the posts of your travels. Your pictures are tack-sharp and foggy when appropriate.

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