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Walk to Work: Tree Texture

January 14th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

On my walk to work this morning I snapped a few photos.  By and large they were awful. :-)  But I did manage to get one decent one:

Tree Bark Texture

Tree Bark Texture

The original was a bit boring, so I darkened the shadows a bit to add contrast and added a warming effect.  Lastly I pushed up the saturation just a little bit to bring out the colors.  The original was also overexposed in the bottom part of the frame and didn’t have much going on, so I did a quick crop which added a lot to the composition.

As far as what I was thinking when I took the photo, I was looking for:

  • Interesting texture
  • Good lighting
  • Some lines that suggested an interesting composition
  • No clutter

I actually walked all the way around the tree looking for these elements.  As I walked I pictured a rectangular frame of varying sizes to try to previsualize what the shot would look like.  Some other elements that I had to take into account:

  • The light was good strong mid-morning (not too high or low)
  • I had on the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens.  I wasn’t going to be doing any extreme close-ups, but I could get reasonably close.
  • I was shooting hand held, so my aperture was fairly wide (I think this ended up at f/4 or so)

So how did I fare?  Well, let’s see:

  • Texture: Great.  I love how the cracks in the bark pull you in and make you want to touch the bark.
  • Lighting: Nice.  The medium-low light gives good contrast and interesting shadows.  I really liked the shadowed upper half fading into the more contrasty bottom.  Adding some warming added very nice colors (if a bit better than in real life) that really pop without being over the top.  (The original colors were very gray.)
  • Lines: Good, once I cropped the bottom off of the photo.  The composition has some nice leading lines that draw you through.  Having the focus of the picture in the center works well with the square crop.  Nothing feels cut off, nor are any areas “dead” without any relation to the subject.
  • Clutter: Nice.  There is nothing extra in the frame, and no distracting out-of-focus areas that pull the viewer’s attention off of the overall picture.

So overall I’m pretty pleased.  I think I accomplished what I set out to do in this shot, even if it needed a bit of TLC in post.

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  1. Schmu
    January 18th, 2009 at 13:46 | #1

    Mat it and frame it and you’ve got a sale !

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