05 December 2013

Depressing Spruce Trees: Day One

I chose to keep working in the spruce bog for my final assignment. It's a challenging landscape because it's so dark, cluttered and closed-in. Parked at the Peat Ponds pullout and followed a ski trail I'd never been on. I took some unsatisfactory shots in the forest itself before coming out onto a little frozen pond:

Three exposures combined in HDR Pro. Various apertures and exposure times. The ISO is at 80, and I shot this with my excellent 31mm lens. I would like this if not for the tall trees on the left. Sadly this is not an island, so there was no vantage point that would clear up the left side of the picture. Walked past this and got a nice detail of it, looking back the other way:

Same method as the last one. I took five exposures, but only used three. 

I'm very happy with this image. The leaning trees are cool, but what makes it work is the little white tree the larger trees appear to be threatening. And it's weird that one tree is white! It's a black spruce like the others, but the side of the trunk facing the camera is completely plastered with snow. Why aren't the other trunks like that? I have no idea.

I tried editing one of the lone images using Kaji's trick of toning down an overexposed image, but I could never get as much detail as I did using the HDR technique. I owe the detail in the sky and the contrast in the trees to using three images. This was taken maybe an hour before sunset.

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