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Thread: One Tree : Two Studies

  1. #1
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    One Tree : Two Studies

    Was beginning to forget what my camera looked like, as it hasn't been out of the bag for a few weeks. Saw a shot yesterday as I was coming home in the car, but it wasn't there today, as the light was not right. So, I went back to another location close by where I've been before.

    I love this tree, particularly in the northern winter when all the leaves are off it. So, I just wandered around a bit despite the fact that the windchill was painful on the skin.

    What I was really wanting to do was convey, what I think is, the beautiful structure of the tree.

    Any thoughts (good, bad or indifferent) are always welcome.

    I find that sharpening and avoiding halos with this level of detail (the branches and twigs) is a big challenge.

    A Pastoral Scene

    One Tree : Two Studies
    40D, 24-70mm f2.8 L @ 30mm. ISO100. 1/20s@f11


    Branching Across the Earth

    One Tree : Two Studies
    40D, Sigma 120-400 F4.5-5.6 APO DG OS @ 120mm. ISO 100. 1/180@f11.
    Last edited by Donald; 10th December 2012 at 10:07 AM.

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    MilT0s's Avatar
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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    I like them both Donald by the first one although a bit cliche is so well executed and powerful. It's a wonderful tree indeed.

    For this kind of composition usually the tree don't "touch" the background elements at all (the bushes in this case) so it can stand to the sky. In your image however the composition works remarkably well.

    The second one is a very interesting study on fractal theory .

    As for sharpening, selective sharpening using layers to isolate the different areas is probably the best way.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    I really like the first one, partly because the presence of the cattle displays the connection between the tree and its environment.

    For me, the second one needs a completely plain sky so as not to intrude with the interplay of all those branches. Returning to the scene would be well worth it.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    For me you have conveyed your intentions. Your second image shows very well the beauty and intricate weaving of the tree and it's branches as it reaches up to the sky. It's your first image, however, positioned as it is within the frame, that I really like. The way the tree towers over the landscape and grazing livestock really shows it's majesty, grace, and beauty.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Donald; Technically and from processing point of view I find both images well done. I quite like the high contrast treatment in number two. Nice, simple and stark. I cannot see the haloes and the sharpening looks very good at the level I can expand it to on the small screen I have.

    I like the both images as compositions. The only suggestions I have are a tighter crop on number two so it becomes even more abstract as a study in the fractal nature of the tree branching. An in number one I would like to see an image where you have the curving path, the tree with more room to the right and the underlying bushes. More simplistic basically as I think the tree is a strong enough subject to sustain a very simple image.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    For me, the first one may be 'traditional' but there isn't anything wrong with that.

    The second one has good fine detail, including the rook's nests, but seems just a little 'squashed' with no space around the frame. Maybe it would have worked better for me with a little more sky.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Donald, although the first on may be "cliche" of "traditional" it works very well for me. Great detail and range. The only thing I would like to see is a slightly lower angle so the lower branches clear the bushes in the background.

    The second image has really nice detail but I find myself wanting more of the tree.

    Glad you picked your camera up. I always enjoy your photos.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    I think you accomplished your goal very well. I can see why you love this tree. I love the first image very much. So nice of the cattle to walk in as I think they really add something. Beautifully done, Donald.

    I looked at the linked picture of the sheep grazing and I really like it best of all. What a great subject to continue to study! Off subject but I wonder - has ownership changed or do they rotate pastures between the sheep and the cattle?

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    I have to cast my vote in for the first one as well... I have such a hard time photographing trees in a pleasant way, that I am always in awe of those who can. Beautiful work, Donald!

    - Bill

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Stunning work, Donald. First one is my favorite. Where there appears to be another 'path' going sharply to the left, and the cattle on the left of the main path...at first, both of those elements seemed distracting to me and I was thinking I'd crop that off just to the left of the primary tire tracks. However, after looking at it for a while longer and letting my eyes adjust, I now see how all of that balances out the photo nicely and it feels good to me now. As a matter of fact this is the kind of photo I can visualize hanging in a nice frame in a gallery

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Being familiar with some of your previous photos I'd have to say the first one captures something along the lines of what you usually try to get across to us.(as do we all) A feeling of home rather than a technically specific photo. The mood, the setting, the time of year, the special place this has for you comes across in the first one. It contains more of the environment which is also a contributing factor in the overall attachment for you. I'm sure when you look at it the sight is accompanied by the smell, the sounds the feelings of being there. The second one is still an OK image to you but to the rest of us it could be a tree down the street and one which we probably all have. Nice but not special. Number one helps us be there with you. That's the whole point of photography isn't it?
    Last edited by Andrew1; 10th December 2012 at 02:42 AM.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    The first, is an aboslute beauty, donald!!

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Let me jump on the train! The first one is quite nice Donald. More contrast than I am used to seeing from you but eaqually as well done.

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Thank you all for your comments. You've made me look at that first one again and think that it's maybe better than I first thought it was.

    I was conscious that it was looking like a bit of a pastiche - I half expected Gene Kelly to come walking down the track in his Brigadoon outfit (aahh, they don't make movies like that any more!!)

    For me, the second one needs a completely plain sky so as not to intrude with the interplay of all those branches. Returning to the scene would be well worth it.
    That's an interesting comment from Mike. I went the other way. I did a lot of work with 'structure', 'amplify whites' and 'amplify blacks' in Silver Efex Pro 2 to get detail into the sky. The detail didn't show up at all in the out-of-camera file. Need to go back and have a look at that.

    I looked at the linked picture of the sheep grazing and I really like it best of all. What a great subject to continue to study! Off subject but I wonder - has ownership changed or do they rotate pastures between the sheep and the cattle?
    Terri - Same owner. There can be cattle and/or sheep in there (sometimes both at the same time). This one was also taken at the same location.

    Where there appears to be another 'path' going sharply to the left, and the cattle on the left of the main path...at first, both of those elements seemed distracting to me and I was thinking I'd crop that off just to the left of the primary tire tracks. However, after looking at it for a while longer and letting my eyes adjust, I now see how all of that balances out the photo nicely and it feels good to me now.
    Those were my thoughts as well, Matt. But as I looked at I began to really like the tones and textures of the tracks and what's to the left of them.

    Number one helps us be there with you. That's the whole point of photography isn't it?
    Andrew - I'm with you 100% on that one.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Number 1 is amazing! The tree might be the subject but the whole scene is perfect. How in the world did you get the cattle to pose in just the right spots.

    The second one doesn't work for me at all. I think you need to have the whole tree in the shot OR have it cropped at the top too for a more abstract look as has already been suggested.
    Wendy

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    How in the world did you get the cattle to post in just the right spots.
    Well, truth be told, I thought I'd lost the shot I first saw.

    That animal at the left with its backside towards us was standing on the right hand side of those tracks, facing to the left, just about in line with the other one that's to the right of the tree. That was the shot I saw.

    Just as I got myself ready to shoot, it started to move. It put its front feet down into the first track and looked up at me, as much to say 'Think you're going to get a photo?'. It then took its time about getting to where you see it in the picture. In the meantime the one on the right was looking around and was about to start moving as well. I shot two frames. In the other one that animal on the right was looking straight ahead and you couldn't really see the head. Thankfully it turned the right way for this one.

    Thanks for commenting, Wendy. Great to see you posting. I know what you mean about the other one. It was a bit too different for me.

    The next one of this tree is up and to the left of where that animal on the left is standing looking out to the right of this shot. I'll have word with Ewan the landowner and get his okay to go in there.

    If anyone wants to see the location on Google Earth/Street View, it's at: 5617'07.42" N 322'23.38" W
    Last edited by Donald; 10th December 2012 at 03:30 PM.

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    Re: One Tree : Two Studies

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Well, truth be told, I thought I'd lost the shot I first saw.

    That animal at the left with its backside towards us was standing on the right hand side of those tracks, facing to the left, just about in line with the other one that's to the right of the tree. That was the shot I saw.

    Just as I got myself ready to shoot, it started to move. It put its front feet down into the first track and looked up at me, as much to say 'Think you're going to get a photo?'. It then took its time about getting to where you see it in the picture. In the meantime the one on the right was looking around and was about to start moving as well. I shot two frames. In the other one that animal on the right was looking straight ahead and you couldn't really see the head. Thankfully it turned the right way for this one.

    Thanks for commenting, Wendy. Great to see you posting. I know what you mean about the other one. It was a bit too different for me.

    The next one of this tree is up and to the left of where that animal on the left is standing looking out to the right of this shot. I'll have word with Ewan the landowner and get his okay to go in there.

    If anyone wants to see the location on Google Earth/Street View, it's at: 5617'07.42" N 322'23.38" W



    Donald, next time you're not ready, just go out and move the animals back to the spot you want them. I do it all the time with deer, a domestic cow should be a breeze.

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