Guy Davies, EPSA  

Tree Canopy by Guy Davies, EPSA

January 2022 - Tree Canopy

About the Image(s)

First let me wish you all a very Happy New Year with plenty of super images.
My offering this month is very up-to-date. Paula and I took advantage of nice sunny weather on 16th December and took a 45 minute drive north to the once prosperous coal mining town of Houghton-le-Spring (pronounced Hoe-ton le Spring, the “le” comes from the Norman French of medieval times to distinguish it from Houghton-le-Side, a few miles away). We had seen pictures of a group of trees on an ancient burial mound near the town and thought it was time to get our own shots. The trees are just outside the town and are known as “The Seven Sisters,” although there are now only five living trees plus one dead one. The burial mound has been dated by archaeologists at approximately 7,000 years old. I took several shots and then decided to lie down underneath to take this one. Camera was my Lumix G9 with the Lumix 7-14 wde angle lens at 7 mm (equivalent to 14 mm full frame). ISO was 200 and exposure was 1/250 at f/8. The camera was hand-held. Back home, I opened it in ON1 RAW 2022.1 and decided it would be more dramatic in mono. I then did a fair bit of work to darken the sky and to enhance the fine detail of the canopy. The light was strong side lighting (although it was just after midday, the sun in these parts doesn’t get very high in mid-winter), so I could not avoid one tree trunk being in total shadow. I placed this tree in the top right of the frame, but I still can’t make up my mind if that is the best place. Any ideas?

15 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
Guy, indeed the way these trees are set up gives some kind of creepy look, more so in B&W. You elected the right vantage point to recreate the intention. They resemble arms pointing up into the sky (heaven ??) One is completely dry on the left. There is texture and interest on them, and you created a good composition as well. A friend of mine senior to me and from the Camera Club always said "walk the image" and if you need to, lay on the ground. Not many people will have this image.   Posted: 01/02/2022 11:20:13
Guy Davies   Guy Davies
Thanks for that, Isaac. The 'dry' tree on the upper left is the dead one referred to in my notes.   Posted: 01/02/2022 11:28:59

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
Happy New Year, Guy!

Very provocative perspective, nicely visualized and captured. I speak a lot about the beauty (the Art) found within Shadows: your featured work drools with aesthetic appeal because of the shadows, and of course the wide-angle view. Along with the dark sky (a common choice for a lot of Blue Sky BW conversions) you have created a wonderfully engaging scene.

Question, when you say you placed the shaded tree in the upper right, I must assume you meant framing from behind the viewfinder? Thank you.

Lance A. Lewin
PSA Black & white Photography Mentor
PSA South Atlantic Area Membership Director   Posted: 01/03/2022 09:30:30
Guy Davies   Guy Davies
Happy New Year to you Lance. Thank you for your very kind words. When I was framing this up in the viewfinder, I put the dark shaded tree in the bottom left, feeling that dark is usually better at the bottom. However, in post processing I was not happy with that and rotated the image 180 deg to put it top right. Somehow that seemed to be slightly better. As the image is looking vertically up, there is no right or wrong way, just what you feel is best. Anyway, thanks again for you input - I really do appreciate it.   Posted: 01/03/2022 10:35:04
Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
...oh, yes, of course. Well placed, indeed. Lovely work, Guy.   Posted: 01/04/2022 15:53:31

Gary Butler   Gary Butler
Guy, this is to me a very interesting Image. I spent quite a few moments studying the image and reading the comments made thus far. I believe that you have done a good job in capture of creating a focus point that draws and holds the viewer's eye near, but not at the center of the image. I also feel that you have made a good choice in post work to turn the image 180 and get the darkest, and brightest tree trunks at the top. To my eye the treatment that yielded the smaller branches "tinged" with white is a nice effect. I am curious if you tried any options with a slightly lighter background sky to get a bit more contrast and further accent the trees?
  Posted: 01/05/2022 09:08:10
Guy Davies   Guy Davies
Gary, I tried a lighter sky but it seemed to lack the drama of the dark sky. This is, of course, just personal preference. One of the nice things about making and showing pictures is that everyone has his or her personal take on how a picture might be interpreted. I confess I love strong dramatic b/w images and I suppose that is what I see subconsciously when I frame the image in the viewfinder. I enjoy looking at much more gentle b/w images but I seem to be incapable of producing that style!   Posted: 01/05/2022 09:28:12

Gary Butler   Gary Butler
I understand completely. The first person the artist has to please is their self! Have you entered this in an PSA Monochrome exhibitions? If you do let me know how it does. I am working on my Monchrome Stars.   Posted: 01/05/2022 10:11:07
Guy Davies   Guy Davies
Gary, I have not entered any international exhibitions in the last nine years. I was playing the exhibitions for about ten years before that and achieved about 1300 acceptances plus a few medals, but then I had a couple of short stays in hospital in quick succesion and just got out of the exhibition habit. Now I make pictures for camera club talks and for this PSA forum, which I really enjoy. Good luck with your monochrome stars.   Posted: 01/05/2022 11:00:48

Erik Rosengren   Erik Rosengren
A dramatic and well thought out capture Guy, my only suggestion would be to add a 2px stroke to contain the image on your canvas. Isaac, Lance and Gary have added the balance of the strong points of your image.   Posted: 01/07/2022 10:30:48

Ian Chantler   Ian Chantler
Hi Guy
Firstly may I congratulate you on your ability to lay down flat on the ground and get up again,at a Comicon about 3 years ago I was asked by half a dozen Judge Dredds if I would lay on the floor while they formed a circle around me with batons raised I agreed fitted my 8mm Fisheye and I was rather pleased with the shot it took 3 of them to haul me back to my feet.
As for the your image could be nothing else but mono and the softer mono you crave would not work for me as well on this one the tonal range from light to dark adds depth and atmosphere perfect sky its eerie,its spooky,its atmospheric and bleak love it well done.   Posted: 01/15/2022 14:31:32

Vella Kendall   Vella Kendall
To me it can very philosophical. The light defending against the dark. I like the orientation as the dark tree in shadows looks like it could either trying to attack or retreat. The dark sky with the touch of light at the bottom adds to the story.   Posted: 01/16/2022 14:02:51

Bill Buchanan   Bill Buchanan
Quite a striking and dramatic image. The one dead tree being the brightest serves as a center of interest. I like the harsh contrast. Well done with enough detail in the tree on the right side.   Posted: 01/18/2022 14:02:21

Bill Buchanan   Bill Buchanan
Quite a striking and dramatic image. The one dead tree being the brightest serves as a center of interest. I like the harsh contrast. Well done with enough detail in the tree on the right side.   Posted: 01/18/2022 14:02:22

Bill Buchanan   Bill Buchanan
Quite a striking and dramatic image. The one dead tree being the brightest serves as a center of interest. I like the harsh contrast. Well done with enough detail in the tree on the right side.   Posted: 01/18/2022 14:02:24


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