4 thoughts on “Ghost tree

  1. I like this photo very much for the reasons Dawn mentions. But the topic of shooting trees confounds me. On campus here, I have favorite trees. I’d like to take “portraits” of trees, much as Stuart does of people. But trees are big; I am small. I often feel like a Lilliputian taking a photo of someone’s feet. I’ll take any hints and tips I can find. As such, I propose a “shoot a tree” week sometime to see what we come up with.

  2. I am actually obsessed with trees. I go back to one of my favorite families of cottonwoods not far from the foothills to shoot them in different seasons and different light. I have a giant cottonwood in my backyard that is in the twilight years of its life. If it dies before I do, I will be heartbroken.

    As for shooting trees, they are indeed difficult subjects. For this shot, I actually used my Sony Nex-7 on panorama mode to shoot upwards from the grassy meadow in front of it all the way up to the crown and beyond. This enabled me to be fairly close yet get the entire tree in the picture without resorting to an ultra-wide lens. Later, I cropped the image, so that the tree dominates. I was worried that quality would suffer, but the detail is not bad. I then worked the hell out of it in post-processing. I drained the saturation of all of the colors except yellow and a bit of red, and increased the saturation and luminance of those hues. I darkened the highlights in the sky, increased both the overall and local contrast (the latter having the effect of enhancing definition), and sharpened the details of the tree quite a bit. I also knocked back the “vibrancy” (the amount of saturation applied to under-saturated parts of the image), which got rid of some weird stuff that was happening as a result of sharpening and other effects. Lastly, I did something I probably over-use: I added vignetting. My goal was to focus all the attention on the tree, and to enhance its scraggly appearance. In my mind’s eye, what I saw was something close to this image. But this is not what my camera originally captured.

  3. i like the “shooting trees” assignment. i’ve been shooting trees in people’s yards for the last couple days for the autumn color, and finally creeped myself out enough i’m not ever doing that again.

    but a tree … . i share Denny’s issues. it would be good to consider how to approach a tree and get permission for the photo.

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