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Thread: Tree in March

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Tree in March

    If I only make one colour image this year, it will be of this tree in late spring. It's about a mile from my house, stands alone in a field and in late spring is the most amazing, vivid lime green. I have no idea what kind of tree it is, because it is certainly not common to the area. In fact, this is the only one of its kind that I've seen. I have no idea how it got there.

    But, of course, in its bare winter state, waiting to burst into life yet again, it is equally magnificent.

    I wanted it with those low hills behind the tree, but I wanted all of the branches against the sky. So, the hardest part of this was getting the right position (left a bit; right a bit, down a bit) so that no twigs were 'touching' the hills behind.

    Tree in March 40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @ 400mm. ISO 400. 1/750@f5.6.
    Last edited by Donald; 3rd March 2012 at 03:41 PM.

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    Marie Hass's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Lovely as usual. Love the fact that the low hills in the background are misty and not defined. The tree is the well defined focal point.

    Marie

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    Re: Tree in March

    This so much reminds me of a solitary tree (looked identical!) that was in a field about a mile from my house in Ireland about 10 years ago. I decided as a little project, I'd photograph it from exactly the same position each month of the year and then make a montage at the end of 12 months. I got as far as July and, when I went to my usual spot to put the tripod on its marks... the tree was gone! Apparently the farmer cut it down because he didn't like it. !!

    So Donald... photograph yours often while it's still there...

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    Re: Tree in March

    Excellent Donald, what a beautiful subject. The shape is so perfect. I look forward to seeing the spring edition, but somehow I don't think it will compare to this one... we'll see

    Also thanks for mentioning the thought you put into getting just the right angle and the reasoning. It's this kind of detail and attention that makes such a difference and when you take the time to include your reasoning it really helps myself (and others, I hope) understand how to improve.

    Wendy

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    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Donald, well done, as usual. I love your photos and your commentary. As I continue to learn, I continue to shoot. I have started the same project, picture the tree every month for the year.
    Tree in March

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Thank you all for your comments

    Quote Originally Posted by Marie Hass View Post
    Love the fact that the low hills in the background are misty and not defined.
    Silver Efex Pro 2 is a wonderful tool for helping that. The hills were in mist and not well defined, but I helped that along a bit by lowering the 'structure' in SEP2 and brightening them up a bit with the use of 'Control Points' so that they blended into the background a bit more

    Quote Originally Posted by Marty View Post
    I got as far as July and, when I went to my usual spot to put the tripod on its marks... the tree was gone! Apparently the farmer cut it down because he didn't like it. !!
    I think there would be an outcry if that happened. It's taken on quite a place in the affections on everyone around. The main road from the M90 motorway to St Andrews runs just past it. So, it's seen by thousands of people when it's in its full glory.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    Also thanks for mentioning the thought you put into getting just the right angle and the reasoning. It's this kind of detail and attention that makes such a difference and when you take the time to include your reasoning it really helps myself (and others, I hope) understand how to improve.
    Thank you, Wendy. The other interesting thing was in trying to find the composition I wanted. When it's in full colour, it's photographed a lot. But everyone does it from the same location, which is about 200 yards nearer than I was and down to the right. Now, I've no doubt it's an okay location (and I might try it myself). But it is looking up at the tree and it will be fully against the sky, but with more of the bottom of the trunk hidden behind the field in front of it. Those hills in the distance will be lost behind the top of the field.

    I wanted to do it with the Sigma right out at 400mm to squeeze the perspective between the tree and the hills behind.

    This is, in fact, the first image I've put up onto the forum taken with the Sigma right out at 400mm. It was this sort of shot that I bought the lens for.

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak View Post
    I have started the same project, picture the tree every month for the year.
    Jon - Snap. That is a gorgeous tree. I look forward to seeing your series develop throughout the year. We're taking a very similar approach in style. Brilliant.

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    Re: Tree in March

    Very nice as usual donald. Something about a solitary tree, or a group of solitary trees, that makes for a beautiful photo. I can't wait to see the full color version. Well done!

    On a side note, 400mm isn't the usual landscape lens. By using 400mm, you were able to bring the background hills closer. Adding more weight to the background, giving the tree balance.. A little lesson to all about using the right tool for the job.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve S View Post
    On a side note, 400mm isn't the usual landscape lens. By using 400mm, you were able to bring the background hills closer. Adding more weight to the background, giving the tree balance.. A little lesson to all about using the right tool for the job.
    Thank you Steve.

    Our posts crossed over and as you can see above, I addressed the very point you make re the 400mm.

    I think a lens of this length opens up really exciting landscape options. It's a pity so many folk are locked into the idea that landscape has got to mean wide angle.

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    Re: Tree in March

    The major drawback of my photo is the fact that there are power lines directly over my head, and a fairly busy roadway 5 feet behind me. Constantly have people honking at me as they zoom past.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Quote Originally Posted by plumcrak View Post
    Constantly have people honking at me as they zoom past.
    They're just jealous!

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    Re: Tree in March

    400mm lens!
    You do great work and this is no exception. Good lesson for the rest of us lesser mortals, keep pushing the boudaries.
    Graham

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    Re: Tree in March

    I am curious, but was the tree sitting on a slight hill crest? Wonder how it would look with a lot of foreground, virtually (if possible) as much sky as there is now ground, shot at a very low angle, thus still keeping the limbs from touching the backside hills.

    It is not that I don't like this format..au contraire, but more so that since I don't have such a scene available to me, it would be fun to see how that perspective looked. I guess I am going to have to break down and upgrade to SEP2.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Quote Originally Posted by MiniChris View Post
    I am curious, but was the tree sitting on a slight hill crest? Wonder how it would look with a lot of foreground, virtually (if possible) as much sky as there is now ground, shot at a very low angle, thus still keeping the limbs from touching the backside hills.
    Given my location relative to the tree, yes it is on something of a crest. The high point of the field is as you see it here, with it falling away down past the tree.

    Not sure I understand what's meant by "virtually (if possible) as much sky as there is now ground". As said above in reply to Wendy, if a low angle shooting angle was to be adopted, the hills at the back would be out of view below the crest of the rise. I think it's probably a good shooting angle and the one that most people shooting this tree when it's in full colour, go for. But that's a as much because that location is on the roadside and all they have to do is step out of their car.

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    Re: Tree in March

    I was thinking more along the lines of not much sky and a lot more foreground, but as you have noted, you would lose the foothills in the background and in that, likely kill the same emotional response as you have here. I was thinking aloud as to going against the normal grain. It is a wonderful image just as it is...very well accomplished.

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    Loose Canon's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Well Donald.

    It looks like its another beautiful capture by my favorite B&W Landscape Artist. I, for one, will be looking forward to your color version this Spring.

    Would you hazard a guess as to this tree's age? Its hard to tell how big around the trunk is at this distance. A centenarian for sure, but how much more than that I wonder?

  16. #16
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Thank you, Terry. You flatter me with your kind comment.

    I'm not sure how old it will be. It's actually not that very big. I must look again and estimate how big the trunk is. I think it will less than 3 feet (1 metre) across.

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    Re: Tree in March

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    If I only make one colour image this year, it will be of this tree in late spring. It's about a mile from my house, stands alone in a field and in late spring is the most amazing, vivid lime green. I have no idea what kind of tree it is, because it is certainly not common to the area. In fact, this is the only one of its kind that I've seen. I have no idea how it got there.

    But, of course, in its bare winter state, waiting to burst into life yet again, it is equally magnificent.

    I wanted it with those low hills behind the tree, but I wanted all of the branches against the sky. So, the hardest part of this was getting the right position (left a bit; right a bit, down a bit) so that no twigs were 'touching' the hills behind.

    Tree in March 40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @ 400mm. ISO 400. 1/750@f5.6.
    Donald, does it look like the tree in this photo when it is leafed out? I ask, because your winter version looks very much like the winter version of this one. When I saw your photo, I did a double take It makes sense that it could be the same variety as there were many Scottish settlers coming to Nova Scotia in the 1700s and thereafter. The one in my photo often has one or two eagles perched on its branches.

    BTW, I should have said this first, you've done a terrific job of showcasing this it of nature. The off white frame is just the ticket.



    Tree in March
    Shubenacadie River by M.J. Hencher, on Flickr

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    Quote Originally Posted by Maritimer1 View Post
    Donald, does it look like the tree in this photo when it is leafed out?
    I can see what you mean. When the sun hits the leaves of the one I've shot, they are a much, much more vivid bright green that the leaves on your one look. But it's so difficult to tell with the different lighting conditions.

    The fascinating thing about shooting a colour image of this is that, of course as I've mentioned on here a number of times, I have a red/green colour vision shift (i.e. I'm colour blind). So, even though I see the wonderful colour of it in full leaf, the wonderful colour I see is not the same as the wonderful colour that you see. But if I colour balance it properly, then my image should show what I see and what you would see if you were here .... if you see what I mean!

  19. #19
    Plumcrak's Avatar
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    Re: Tree in March

    "I see", said the blind man to his deaf daughter, as he picked up the hammer and saw.

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    Re: Tree in March

    I can't imagine trying to do colour photography with the vision issue! You're a clever one to figure out how to manage the colour balance program properly

    Just for the record, my ancestors are from your piece of the world. I came in as a McNutt. An Alexander McNutt settled this area back in the mid 1700s.

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