Larry Treadwell  

A Reflective Mood by Larry Treadwell

July 2021 - A Reflective Mood

About the Image(s)

Abundant Life

Nikon D850 24-70mm lens, ISO 160, f9, 13 seconds

This is a photo I’ve wanted to take for years. It church stands about 7 miles from my home one a route I seldom travel. This spring I decided that I was going to finally get my shot. However getting the right conditions for the shot was more difficult than I expected. There are a number of spotlights that light the building but it seemed that at least one was always burned out or not aimed correctly. I wanted a clear so there would be no clouds to clutter the sky and move the eye away from the church. Cloudless nights in Florida during the rainy season are hard to come by. I also needed a night with no wind. Any breeze would ripple the pond and make the reflection too soft or even just plain blurry. Finally, I needed the fountain to be turned off. With the fountain on, as with the wind, the water would be disturbed. It seemed that whatever night I chose to make the trip, at least one of the conditions was not right. I gave up on just getting lucky after 8 attempts and so I went to the church to talk to the clergyman. When I finally got an audience and explained my quests he granted me the use of the grounds at night, agreed to not run the fountain at night and agreed to left me adjust the lights direction to my liking. In return he asked if I would donate a copy of the image to the church for its use. Naturally I agreed (I was actually going to make the offer, but he asked before I could make the offer. It took fifteen additional nights before the conditions were right and I was able to get the shot. One night I had about a dozen Canadian Geese that were swimming around the water and ruining the reflection. I finally got the shot and the image now hangs in the lobby of the church and is, as of June 1, gracing the cover of the Sunday church bulletin.

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

Richard White   Richard White
Larry you never cease to amaze me on the efforts you take to get a great photo. This photo needs to hang in the church, it's a winner. I really like that the clergyman allow you to reset the lights to the way you wanted them. How long did it take you to rearrange them? Where would the fountain be in your photo?   Posted: 07/03/2021 15:29:25
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Richard
The image is now hanging in the church lobby and on the cover of their regular bulletin. There were 6 rectangular lights mounted on concrete scattered around the lake and in the trees. I can of WD40, a wrench and about a 40 minutes walking around the lake was all it took. I walked around twice. Once to spray the oil and let it soak in and then once to do the adjustments. It was really easy. The fountain head is just out of sight on the left. But it shoots water about 30 plus feet into the air. When in falls back onto the water surface it creates ripples and ruin the reflection.   Posted: 07/03/2021 15:58:50

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
Always not sure which is better - your story or the image... To me, it is well composed with the balance of the church and reflection and a little more room in the image in front of the church than the back; the exposure (nothing blown out and star bursts from the lights); the sharpness with the slow shutter speed. My only suggestion is the reflection of the light on the left in the water seems brighter than the light itself and attracts my eye so would consider reducing the highlights of the reflection. I am sure the church is proud to display this image.   Posted: 07/05/2021 08:11:29
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Michael. Upon reviewing the image after reading your comment, you are exactly correct. I did a bunch of burning to bring downs some bright areas and just plain missed that light. Good catch on your part.

The image was custom printed on metal at 24x30. It is a eye catcher for sure.   Posted: 07/05/2021 10:53:53

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
I love your story and effort it took to getting the right shot. I like everything about this image, the water was perfectly smooth, nice lighting on the church, and good reflection. I'm sure it looks great on the church wall and bulletin.   Posted: 07/06/2021 14:01:13
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks. I'm pleased with the results (except for the light that Michael noticed). Patience has its own rewards.   Posted: 07/09/2021 11:09:15

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
As always a beautiful image, Larry. The lengths you go to to get these is really reflected in your work. I'm sure the church is pleased to display it!   Posted: 07/08/2021 23:34:49
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell

Thank you Bill. I never thought it was going to become such a project. But one thing seemed to lead to another..   Posted: 07/09/2021 11:13:20

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
I love the image and love the story. Your efforts to make the perfect picture is something to learn from.

The reflections gave me some thoughts about religious symbolism in going up or going down, but may be that was not intended.

I have no comments for improvement.

  Posted: 07/10/2021 01:21:44
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Arne.
One of the things that struck me while there was the vertical feel of the scene. At first I was looking at a horizontal composition but that either looked to centered (phony) or I picked up too many distant street lights on the left. When I switched to a vertical format I was hit by the strong lines moving upward (to heaven). That symbolism was not lost to me. Glad to see you noticed.   Posted: 07/10/2021 09:38:37

Miriam Dragosz   Miriam Dragosz
This is an incredible photograph. And the effort you put in to get the perfect shot is something I want to start doing. Thank you for the detailed story on how you got this image. Just an incredible shot, Larry!!!   Posted: 07/16/2021 07:51:06
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thank you for your very kind comment. I teach a PSA course in preparing Images for competition. One of the things that is stressed is planning the image rather than just stumbling upon something and grabbing a snap. Planning for landscapes may include such things are the right season, time of day, angle of light,proper lens, proper camera position and a host of other things. Landscapes are easy to plan because the land is always there. It is up to the photographer to figure out how create the image so the land looks its very best.   Posted: 07/16/2021 14:07:16