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Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Story of the TREE

I don't know if anything like this has every happened to any of you before but it's happen to me many times in the past year.

I started working in a new office and someone gave me directions for a shortcut home that I decided to try...well I went the wrong way. I kept driving until I realized that I better turn around and decide where I went wrong.

As I made a u-turn on this twisty, turny, curvy toad with woods on both sides my eyes glanced to the left and fell up what I felt was a beautiful site. It was a huge tree in the middle of a field all by itself. It was massive in size but looked so alone in the middle of the field. I just saw it's beauty for a fleeting moment as I quickly drove away because I was in the middle of the road. I knew immediately that I must get back to this tree in the daylight and photograph it. I imagined it in B&W.

All the way home I wished I had my camera but since I get out when it's almost dark I don't bother bringing it everday anymore.

I brought about photographing the tree alot the next day (Thursday) and since I brought the camera with me I thought I would stop to snap a photo on my way home....well I forgot which road I took on this new short cut that would take me past the tree and I missed my opportunity because I was too far away to turn around and go back to find it.

I figured I would try again today but woke up to rain but I brough the camera anyway. It poured all day but by some great luck when I drove home it wasn't raining and I headed off to find that tree.

I got there and realize the muddy road right off the main road where I made the quick u-turn the other day said "private property" and I was instantly disappointed. I had no idea how I would get a good view of the tree without tunrning onto the dirt road. I was faced with the dilema of a road with no real shoulder or parking at the end of this mud filled road with a chain blocking the path. I decided what the heck...I'd only be a minute or two and I figured no one would bother me. In my nice work outfit and boots I carefully walked down the path of this muddy road and saw what I was hoping to see.

I find it really hard to explain how or why I felt this way in words about a tree...but ever since I really got back into photography I found myself more and more awestruck by nature sometimes. I will look at the sky and gasp, or a sunset, or even a simple tree. Even though it may seem simple and be ignored by others I could see a photograph opportunity even with a fleeting glance.

When I made it back today I had a minute or two to spare before the sun completely set. I snapped away as many as I could....for one I was standing in mud trying to hold my pants legs from touching the mud and trying not to let my boots sink to deep in the mud, I was also on private property, and my car was running at the end of the road about 50 feet away.

It turns out the rain and mud helped to make for a much more interesting photo. The reflections in the puddles added to the interest. I think it turned out just how I imagined the composition of the photo to be. The only issue is picking the best post processing for the picture to really show what I was imagining.

VERSION 1 with 2 post processing techniques:

I like the darkness for this photo so I went dark on the B&W with a hint of a brown tint to it. I also burned and dodged it a ton (click to view larger)

For this one I used a photoshop action to keep it in color and then burned and dodged the heck out of it (click to view larger)

VERSION 2 with multiple post processing techniques

I cannot decide between them...I need time to think on it.
(click to view larger)

I like the comp of Version #1 much better but #2 afforded me with seeing various post processing techniques to decide from.

Don't ask me why I was crazy about a tree...but I was. After 2 days I finally got to photograph it. If it snows I will be right back there again to get it in the snow...I think that would be even better than it was today!

Ok...now that you think I'm a complete nut it's time for me to say goodnight!


lg said...

what a great story... i understand exactly what you are talking about and the end result is all worth it! I like the color one the best. For me it strikes a certain edgy tone. Amazing work, as always.

Fawzan Barrage said...

This is a nice shot and an excellent story to g with it. I now understand why you didn't use a tripod. Trees are something else aren't they? Especially when they stand alone like this. They just have their own story about survival and persistance. Nice work.

Anonymous said...

I think, as photographers, we certainly understand your "obsession" with this particular tree; one well deserving of your attention. It is a beautiful tree and I can't WAIT to see it in the snow! Sue

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