Ancient steps overgrown with trees leading up to what was a residence. Canon EOS 7D EF-S 17-85 at 24mm f/9 1/160 ISO 100 −1ev
The stillness that settles over you as you walk into an old growth forest is almost tangible. Not the tourist forests, the museum forests but a real portion of a real forest; one that you have walked for three days to get to. That kind of forest has a very real sense of presence. You can almost feel it breathing, and you are made stronger by pulling its oxygen into your own lungs.
It is so very difficult to get a sense of the size of one of these large old growth cedars, these 300 year old trees. I stood with my back to this one and twisted backwards with my camera over my head to look up towards the top. The site is dizzying and I wanted an image that reflected that fact. I had on a wide angle lens and I put the base of the camera against the tree so that the trunk would fill the bottom of the frame. The wide angle perspective pulls all of the other trees towards the same vanishing point. Recently as I was preparing this image for this blog post I played around with rotating the image to have the big cedar emerge from the bottom of the frame instead of the top but I really like the slight sense of disorientation that comes from having the big tree emerge from the top of the frame.
The broken texture of a tree branch Fuji X10 at 7mm f/2.5 1/125 ISO 1000
Sometimes the most beautiful things in our lives are right there in front of us, brilliant and flashy and colourful; sometimes they are hidden in the shadows, or under a pile of rotting leaves. Seeing those things requires both our eyes and mind that is willing to search.
I was standing around waiting for the sun to move from behind a cloud so that it would give me some wonderful light for a row of brilliant red maples that I wanted to photograph. It seems as though when I go out to take pictures I am either rushing to catch the light or waiting for it, or wishing it would be better. On this day I though to myself, ‘you are a photographer don’t just stand there, make an image.’ I started to look around and I saw a tree branch that had made some very interesting textures and shapes as it emerged from the trunk. I started to imagine it in black and white and I wanted to get in really close so that the texture would be very apparent. The Fuji X10 has a pretty decent macro mode so I turned it on and got in nice and close. I was quite happy with how this turned out and the brilliant red maples… the sun came out but I didn’t get anything worth keeping. I’m glad I turned around. (All of photographs from the last three posts were taken within an hour of each other.)
A bright piece of moss caught my eye as we were walking down Giant’s Head Mt. Canon EOS 7D EF 70-300mm at 300mm f/5.6 1/400 ISO 250
There is a wonderful world outside your front door.
The sun was setting through the trees as we walked down Giant’s Head Mt. and it was lighting all kinds of interesting little moments on the path. I glanced to my left and glint of golden green against a dark background caught my eye. It was off in the distance and I wasn’t sure that I had any kind of decent image until I brought my camera up to me eye. Normally my 17-85mm zoom is my carry around lens, the lens I take when I want to carry only one. Today it was in the shop to be repaired an I had my 70-300mm with me. This branch was probably 500m away but having a lens this long pulled it in to me and allowed me to make it appear at eye level. The branch was probably 3m up in the air and if I had had to walk up to it to get the image I would have been looking up at it. I am sure that I missed other shots because I did not have my wide angle zoom but focusing on maximizing the equipment that you do have can yield interesting results.
A row of poplar trees on the prairies. Canon EOS XSi EF-S 17-85 f/4-5.6 at 30mm f/5.6 1/125 ISO 200
I was wandering around some fields in northern Alberta when I came across this grove of poplar trees. The strong vertical lines of the trees against the dark background was striking. I took the photo and decided to frame it with a strong horizontal crop. The fact that the photo is horizontal makes your eye pull across the strong vertical lines of the image like a boy running a stick across the slats of a wooden picket fence. There is more energy in the image than if I had framed it with a vertical crop.