A Quick Attempt at a Familiar Place

January 31, 2014

A Season of Rest
I remember this scene from several years ago.  It is right off of a main road close to my house.  I have been itching to try to photograph it for about a month now.  The only problem has been that the lens that I have needed has been in the shop.  In order to get both the tree and the barn in the image, I needed a narrow focal length in the area of 100mm so that the barn didn't fade into the background.  With my 70-200mm f/2.8L back in my bag, it was time to try it out.  After many days of very blah empty skies, there was the chance of some passing clouds this afternoon.  I was hoping for a nice blue sky with some golden toned clouds passing over the scene.  I was even thinking about doing some long exposure work with this scene.

As the day progressed the clouds came in, but they were very thin, and didn't have the texture that I really wanted.  However, as sunset approached, there were some breaks in the clouds that I thought I might be able to work with.  At the last minute I grabbed my bag and ran out the door heading about 7 miles down the road.  I wasn't sure if I was going to get anything or not, but if not, at least I wasn't out too much time or energy.

I arrived at the location and was greeted by the warm sun bathing the landscape with its warm hues while the sky remained unchanged.  I quickly got my camera set up on the tripod with the telephoto lens on.  I also added the Singh Ray warming polarizer to help accentuate the warm tones I was seeing.  I framed one shot and snapped a quick shot as the lighting was ever changing.  I then moved to a little different location and tried to frame a different composition that flowed a bit better.  I was able to do so with the last bit of light still on the tree and the barn.  I was also getting some interesting shadows stretching across the frame which added to the sense of depth.

In about 20 minutes I had cranked off 18 frames with slightly different compositions and widely different lighting conditions.  Sensing that the sky wasn't going to do much more changing, and having lost the warm glow on the ground, I packed things up and got back in the truck.  Much to my dismay, the actual sunset was a very pretty one, that would have worked very well with a body of water in the foreground.  Alas, I was in no position to try and find a suitable location from where I could photograph this sunset.  I will just have to be happy that I was able to see it, and experience it.

I would like to try this location again with some different lighting though.  I still have a few more months before the tree loses that certain something in its bare state.  There is just not as much visual interest in a large singled out tree when the leaves cloak its skeleton.

Edit (Feb 1, 2014)

After doing some thinking about this picture, I wanted to go back in and reprocess it.  My main goal was to process it as a monochrome image to see if my vision would still remain.  Ironically, the steps that I took to convert it to a B&W image also made it a better color image.  Who'd-a-thunk-it?  Well, I have added in the new image, and replaced the original one with what I think better represents what I saw in the field.

A Season of Rest in B&W

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