Larry Treadwell  

The Badger, Bulldog and Wolf by Larry Treadwell

March 2020 - The Badger, Bulldog and Wolf

About the Image(s)

Recent years have brought violent hurricanes and major beach erosion to south Florida. One area where this is quite visible is Lover’s Key in south western Florida. Several years ago the area had a large number pine trees were first broken and then overturned by the winds and finally completely up rooted and left upon the shore as more than 30 feet of what had once been beach vanished. All that remains are a few scattered stumps and skags that litter what remains of the beach. Recently I stopped by Lover’s Key looking for sunset photos since the beach faces to the southwest. While I waited for sundown this solitary tree stump attracted my attention. Although stripped of its bark, the naked wood had a great deal of character and texture. When I first saw this stump I knew the image would end up as a B&W. Without color the sky, sea and beach could be rendered in near even tones of grey that would bring complete attention to the textures and character of the stump. I used a 6 stop ND filter to completely flatten the waters of the gulf so that waves and ripples would not distract the viewer’s eye from the stump.

It was not until I had this image on my computer screen that I noted the three visitors that made the stump their home. Can you find the heads of a badger, bulldog and wolf within the textures and shapes of the stump?

Nikon D810, Nikkor 24-70mm f2.8 lens, ISO 64, f20, 8 seconds

This round’s discussion is now closed!
16 comments posted

Le Tho Giao   Le Tho Giao
Yes, I can see all three. The badger is on the left of the trunk, the bulldog is in the middle trunk and the wolf is in a position to dart away in the lower right side of the trunk.

The B&W conversion adds to the mood and a feeling of nothingness to the place. I wonder what sofftware you used in the conversion besides Photoshop: Topaz or Nik Analog Effect?converter?   Posted: 03/03/2020 21:52:56

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
To me this is a really strong composition with the placement of the driftwood and the choice to use a long exposure to take the waves out of the water which would have competed for attention. Good sky and vignetting too. For me, the trunk looks a little over sharpened, and it appears that led to some artifacts at the edge. Overall, a wonderful fine art image though   Posted: 03/07/2020 12:42:46
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
OK Michael, thanks for the wake up call.

I've been making changes
I'm now posting below a revised BW stump on which I backed off a bit and made sure there is no visible artifacts around the edge. They didn't show on my computer but I noticed they were visible when I posted the image. Do you think this one is any better???   Posted: 03/07/2020 17:31:41
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Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I am also posting here the original color image just in case anyone wants to see how all this started.

Thanks for the suggestions. It keeps me on my toes. :-)   Posted: 03/07/2020 17:34:18
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Michael Jack   Michael Jack
The revised one looks better to me. You have great color in the color image, but that would have detracted from the tree so I think your B/W conversion made sense.   Posted: 03/08/2020 13:46:45
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
I agree. That's why I went with the B/W image. The sunset is nice, but it is not THAT fantastic that it could not be sacrificed to the gods of Black and White. Thanks for your help with this shot.

Thankfully you can't see the sand fleas that were trying to eat me ankles while taking this shot.   Posted: 03/08/2020 20:07:19

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
Your vision when taking this picture was very good. I also liked the colour version. If you darken the sky, the stump will pop more.

Back to the B&W version: I hope you will take the following as a piece of friendly advice for improvement. If you had used a wide aperture and focused on the stub, the horizon line would be blurred. Now it takes the focus from the stub. The stub is far too contrasty, I don`t know how you have converted it into B&W, but if you use Topaz or Nik, you have the possibility to see the light zones. As a rule, only a small portion shall be pure black and white. The rest should be grey tones. When using long exposure times, noise will appear. It can easily be removed in Lightroom or other programs. A good try, Larry, and keep going with B&W.   Posted: 03/10/2020 05:03:13
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
First, I do not do much black and white (just a personal choice) but recently I've decided I should work harder at it. The idea of trying to teach an old dog a new trick comes to mind.

I posted this image because I was inspired by your work in recent months and decided to try more B/W. My hope was that you, being the master, would offer some advice. After reviewing your pier shot (and I have spent a good deal of time going over it) your wide aperture suggestions makes even more sense. I'll look for opportunities to try this. I used Lightroom to make the conversion but I will note that I liked the old Lightroom much better than the new Lightroom because in that version I could convert to BW simply by desaturating. I will look into Nik but would ask your opinion of Silver FX

In the future please feel free to critique anything you wish regarding my images. It is the only way I will learn and I have a great deal to learn. I am no expert. Comments like your are why I joined these DD groups.

Thanks again.
  Posted: 03/10/2020 08:08:16

Richard White   Richard White
Larry, I liked the BW of the stump. Revised is much better without the artifacts. The color one would not have brought out the detail of the stump. The three creatures are a nice touch. The wolf, I believe, is in the center top of the stump. I also, would have had the horizon either above or below the middle.   Posted: 03/13/2020 16:10:28
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
You are quite right, I should have cropped some off the top. The dark sky could easily go.

You are right about the wolf---top center!
I'm still working on Le's darting wolf---I think it show a bit more in the revised B/W shot.   Posted: 03/14/2020 09:01:02

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
I like the revised image of the stump a lot better than the original, the stump in the original seemed a little over processed to me. The color one would have made a good image too. I love the sky! I agree since the subject is the stump, b&w makes more sense.   Posted: 03/13/2020 21:35:25
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Bill. I've processed this image both ways, B/W and color. The wife likes the color, but since I have lots of color sunsets, I sorta like the B/W for this one.
  Posted: 03/14/2020 09:03:00

John Roach   John Roach
(Groups 52 & 64)
I like the composition in both color and monochrome and overall tonal choice. I see, though, what might be sensor dust and some structural artifacts with tonal blotches, light and dark, in some locations around the center of the image in monochrome as well as between elements of the drift wood. Additionally, the edges of the wood seems to have some radial artifacts.   Posted: 03/16/2020 11:31:43
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks for taking a look. I work on it some more.   Posted: 03/16/2020 11:44:48

Witta Priester   Witta Priester
(Group 77)
Hi Larry, thought I'd chirp in... Here's yet another version. I used Shadow and highlight in PS to bring back some tonal range in the darks. If you had taken this as a HDR, then there would be detail in the blacks rather than so many areas without detail. The black horizon can be fixed in many ways, and would be a plus, especially as it is at the halfway point. So I cropped it. Finally I see several visible dust spots...   Posted: 03/19/2020 14:31:25
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Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks for your input. I don't do much B/W and wanted to try one. I should have been more careful and cleaned up the dust. I did on the color print but got lazy on the B/W. good thing there are folks like you to keep me on my toes. I promise to do much better next month.

I do like your version of my photo. Thanks for putting the time in on it.   Posted: 03/19/2020 16:08:47