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The root of all evil?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Wonderful challenge. But first, what's the story behind this and shot details! Could it actually be film? Somehow not. In any case I'd like to know its provenance.

Straight off I'm delighted to see this B&W composition. It's a great task one sets oneself as there are no happy horizons nor beautiful clouds to reference and make the picture balanced.

I'm going to write substantially more later, but for now, thanks for sharing this daring picture.

Asher
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Wonderful challenge. But first, what's the story behind this and shot details! Could it actually be film? Somehow not. In any case I'd like to know its provenance.

Straight off I'm delighted to see this B&W composition. It's a great task one sets oneself as there are no happy horizons nor beautiful clouds to reference and make the picture balanced.

I'm going to write substantially more later, but for now, thanks for sharing this daring picture.

Asher
Hi Asher,

I just shot this one this afternoon in the woods using my newly repaired 40D, which I was missing for some 10 weeks now. I was out for my first shoot in such a long time and I was looking forward to shooting some autumn colors. I did not spend too much time in the woods, which are rather compact and some 3 km from my home. While strolling around, I have come accross this tree. So I took a couple of shots, naturally. I knew that I wanted to make something dramatic out of it and B&W was my intention from the beginning. I have flipped it horizontally to place the hole in the tree up right rather than up left where it actually was.

PP was done using the C1 Pro 4.5. ISO 100, f11, 1/2s, 40D, 70-200mm f2.8
 

Jim Galli

Member
I think it's terrific. It creeps me out. But hey, at least I came back for a second, third and fourth look. That can't be bad.
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
I think it's terrific. It creeps me out. But hey, at least I came back for a second, third and fourth look. That can't be bad.
Hi Jim,

Coming from you, I take this as a great compliment, thanks! :)))

I'll print this from my Epson 3800 on Baryte paper to see how it looks and whether it works well enough to keep. On screen it is difficult to judge, many small details such as leaves on the ground get lost when I downsize to the web format.

Asher has recommended that I go back and do some other compositions showing more sky so I'll work on that too. I'll possibly switch to wider lens such as the 17-40 f4 rather than the 70-200 f2.8 I have used on this one. Otherwise it will be difficult to get nearer to the ground to frame up towards the sky from nearby the roots.


Cheers,
 

janet Smith

pro member
I just shot this one this afternoon in the woods using my newly repaired 40D, which I was missing for some 10 weeks now. I was out for my first shoot in such a long time
Well it looks like the break (sorry pun intended!!) did you good! What a fantastic shot, but I have a thing about tree stumps and roots, I can never pass by without photographing, but I've never managed one as striking as this. Love everything about it, you must be so glad to have your camera back......
 

Daniel Buck

New member
I like it! I enjoy the good amount of shadow detail! My only critique would be the white/clipped areas on some of the background trees that have no detail. (as best as can be determined by the web-image)

Trees are probably my favorite subject to shoot (black and white only!) Thanks for sharing this, I wish I would have come upon this tree myself :D
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
....Asher has recommended that I go back and do some other compositions showing more sky so I'll work on that too. I'll possibly switch to wider lens such as the 17-40 f4 rather than the 70-200 f2.8 I have used on this one. Otherwise it will be difficult to get nearer to the ground to frame up towards the sky from nearby the roots.
Hi,

I have gone back today to reshoot the roots wider. I have used the 17-40 f4 L lens on the 40D. The results are quite OK, but I still prefer the original, what do you think?






Cheers,
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Bonsoir Cem
I do prefer the later(s).

However I would have tried to avoid the trees in the BG. Maybe the roots only seen from above?

Will remind you as a young boy climbing in the trees ! lol !
 
Hi,

I have gone back today to reshoot the roots wider. I have used the 17-40 f4 L lens on the 40D. The results are quite OK, but I still prefer the original, what do you think?
Hi Cem,

I still like the very first version better, more dramatic. Glad you got your camera back!
Perhaps a double conversion will allow to blend in a bit more of the detail in the lighter areas.

Bart
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Bonsoir Cem
I do prefer the later(s).

However I would have tried to avoid the trees in the BG. Maybe the roots only seen from above?

Will remind you as a young boy climbing in the trees ! lol !
Hi Nicolas,

Thanks for stopping by :). I have done these on a request from Asher to show more trees and sky, LOL. I prefer the first one also because it focuses more on the roots.
Maybe I'll go back one more time to try your suggestion, but I'll have to carry a ladder to do that ;-).

Cheers,
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Hi Cem,

I still like the very first version better, more dramatic. Glad you got your camera back!
Perhaps a double conversion will allow to blend in a bit more of the detail in the lighter areas.

Bart
Hi Bart,

As a matter of fact, I have taken these using a tripod and exposure bracketing. I have then created a couple of HDR versions but I did not like the results since it has created certain softness due to the longish exposures and therefore moving branches/leaves in the wind. So I went back to the single RAW in the end. Maybe we can give it another go later ;-)

Cheers,
 

Rene F Granaada

New member
Cem,

I prefer the composition of the original, it is a bit starker, and with the lighter aspen trees, it gives a suggestion that there might have been an elf or fairy just visiting, which you just missed but just that slight suggestion is enough for me...to keep me pondering over the photo and imagine all the other goblets that might have been out there...

Wonderfully suggestive!
 

charlotte thompson

Well-known member
Cem

wonderful tree
there is an opening in the tree that looks like a hideaway I would have more than loved to near this old and great tree-it has such strength and honor
you are so lucky to be inside such a forest-
amazing capture! I like the original best-beautiful work!

Charlotte-
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Cem,

I prefer the composition of the original, it is a bit starker, and with the lighter aspen trees, it gives a suggestion that there might have been an elf or fairy just visiting, which you just missed but just that slight suggestion is enough for me...to keep me pondering over the photo and imagine all the other goblets that might have been out there...

Wonderfully suggestive!
Hi Rene,

Thanks a lot for your kind C&C. Your angle allows me to keep the lighter patches in the picture and not worry too much about them :). I guess I have been succesful in creating an image of a menacing and enchanted forest considering the reactions I have received so far.

Cem

wonderful tree
there is an opening in the tree that looks like a hideaway I would have more than loved to near this old and great tree-it has such strength and honor
you are so lucky to be inside such a forest-
amazing capture! I like the original best-beautiful work!

Charlotte-
Hi Charlotte,

Thanks for stopping by. The hole in the tree is very inviting, isn't it? ;-)
One wonders when a big white rabbit with a watch will go in there.

@All: The consensus is that the first image is the most powerful one, which I also thought was the case. I have created a print of it an it looks great on paper.

@Nicolas: I will go back for a higher angle as you've suggested earlier, but it may take a while.


Cheers,
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
ROAE revisited

I went to the same spot this afternoon to have a yet another go at this personal challenge of mine. Here is one of the pictures I took. What do you think?

 
I have to say that I actually prefer your original version, the composition works better for me with the lighter background and the diagonal formed be the slope, any more?
I agree with Jan, the original composition is stronger. Maybe if you attacked the subject with an ultra wide angle... ?

Bart
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Hi Cem

I have to say that I actually prefer your original version, the composition works better for me with the lighter background and the diagonal formed be the slope, any more?

Was the same lens used in both these shots?
I agree with Jan, the original composition is stronger. Maybe if you attacked the subject with an ultra wide angle... ?

Bart
Thanks folks, I fully agree. These roots are really evil, they torture me ;-).
@Jan: it was the same lens, EF 70-200L 2.8 IS
@Bart: I also have the UWA ones but as I said above, finding the right one is pure torture.

Cheers,
 

janet Smith

pro member
These roots are really evil, they torture me ;-)
Hi Cem

I know exactly what you mean, years ago I got a fantastic shot of a tree with very dramatic exposed roots, I've revisited several times over the years, but have never been able to get another similar shot, this tree is on the very edge of a loch, the first time I got it, the weather had been dry for a long time and the water level was unusually low, every time I've gone back they've been submerged or it's been raining heavily! I understand your frustration completely.

Yes I agree with Bart about the very wide angle, really low down, you're going to have to get muddy I think, looking forward to seeing attempt 3 maybe.....I hope....
 
@Bart: I also have the UWA ones but as I said above, finding the right one is pure torture.
I know, the problem with an UWA is that you easily get too much background detail (although it's small). It should also not look too much like a typical exaggerated perspective. Viewpoint is crucial, and one cannot always get a good one because the subject sometimes doesn't offer one.

It's a haunted tree, no doubt.

Bart
 

nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Hi Cem
sorry, like others I do prefer the 1st serie!
It is always a challenge to reshoot…
My initial suggestion was to try to shoot from above… not necessarly very high, I still think it's an option to try, but I would add Bart's idea to use an UWA lens…
 
Hi Cem
sorry, like others I do prefer the 1st serie!
It is always a challenge to reshoot…
My initial suggestion was to try to shoot from above… not necessarly very high, I still think it's an option to try, but I would add Bart's idea to use an UWA lens…
Or maybe a combination of high and wide. You could use the camera timer and a monopod to get height with little horizon, or even high-ish and angled forward AND shooting straight down. There must be some way to grab the essence of the tree, but it's struggling before it concedes to its master...

Whatever you do, don't break the monopod or drop the camera (twist the strap around the monopod before mounting the camera, as an extra precaution) !

Bart
 

Cem_Usakligil

Well-known member
Thanks Nicolas and Bart for the suggestions. What I can't show here of course are the zillion pictures I took of these roots using UWA to tele range lenses; from above, below, to the side,....; you name it. So honestly, I may have run out of options going forward. But sometimes we have to be content with what we have and the original picture seems to fit that bill :)
 

Mike Shimwell

New member
Hi Cem

I prefer your second picture - but then I like the eopen space that is created by the lighter trees in the background. It does turn away from your title, being the least 'evil' of all your shots, but for me wors best as a picture. The first remains impressive in composition, and the last doesn't hol together at the right side of the frame in my view. Somehow the path dilutes the impact of the root structure - the starkness of the roots isn't complemented in this case by the openness.

Just my 2 pennies worth.

cheers

Mike
 
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