I got lost a few days ago and ended up on a dead end road that overlooks a hilly pasture. Glancing up the hill were a few ancient oak trees, the remains of a stone wall, and this dead, yet still standing, oak tree. I made a note to come back for a bit of photography exploration.
As this location is towards the back of a large planned residential development and is adjacent to ranch land, the dead oak tree may not been seen as a safety hazard that would lead to it being cut down – at least not in the immediate future.
I spent about an hour here. Shooting different compositions of this tree, watching a bird puff himself up while singing away (probably to impress a female) , watching the cows watching me, wondering what or how some of these old rock walls slowly fall apart. Even though the location was only 5-10 minutes away, it is a great to be able to take a walk, enjoy nature, and feel like I am far from usual hustle and bustle.
Processing Notes: Of course the conversion to monochrome is through Nik Silver EFex Pro 2 with initial and final adjustments in Adobe Lightroom, but the photograph you see here is the third attempt at processing this image. I actually exported the first two photographs up to the blog and then decided to reprocess the image each time, with this being the third version. And like I have said before, I always seem to find something to improve. It is no different here. For some reason there is a halo effect around the tree even though I do not remember adjusting the contrast slider. Maybe the halo is natural, but I see it now and it bothers me. A likely fourth processing effort if I intend to enter this photograph into any competitions.
EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center-weighted metering mode, ISO100, 42mm, f/8, 1/160 sec
El Dorado Hills (CA), Standing Dead Tree, Single Bird, Monochrome. El Dorado Hills, CA. January 28, 2017. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.