Thursday, May 16, 2013


Last Saturday morning on my way to West Bend, Wisconsin, to check out the newly reopened Museum of Wisconsin Art, I passed a small woods northwest of Saukville.  The evergreen woods were dark but were bordered by a row of smaller deciduous trees that were just starting to leaf out and that were being highlighted by the morning sun against the dark background of the evergreen woods.  I drove on about a mile before deciding that I should turn around and get a few shots while I had favorable light.  When I got back to the woods I realized that I could not shoot the line of deciduous trees straight on because of an intervening chain link fence.  I wound up taking only a few shots.

Not too bad, actually.  The first shot had some symmetry, but I decided that a tree with multiple dead branches shown on the right in the second shot could be important to an interesting overall composition.  However, it bothered me that the second shot had cut off a small deciduous tree on the far right.

I decided to return on the next sunny morning to see if I could improve on these.  Not so easy.  Here is the only shot that seemed to work, sort of.

This time I caught the dead tree as well as all of the small deciduous sapling that was cut off in the prior shot.  Looks pretty cluttered, though.

What struck me, however, was that the background was quite dark, and I decided to turn this shot into a high-contrast B&W.

Better, I think.  Now the focus is on the contrast between the the trees that were lit by the morning sun and the dark of the woods behind.  So I decided to go back to the prior two shots and see how they worked as B&Ws.

All in all, I thought these shots worked quite well as B&Ws and better than their color counterparts, particularly this last shot because the background appears very dark, giving them the feel of film negatives.


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