Larry Treadwell  

Storm Ravished by Larry Treadwell

October 2021 - Storm Ravished

About the Image(s)

Storm Ravished

Everything isn't always a "pretty picture"

Nikon D850 24-70mm lens. ISO 160, 1/50, f18 polarizer filter by Breakthrough Technologies.

Hurricanes and their storm surges play havoc all over the state of Florida. And now we have rising sea levels due to global warming to contend with as well. My goal was to graphically show the damage caused by the above names types of weather.

Show here is a beach in northern Florida along the panhandle. The two featured trees are Florida pines and were once similar to the tallest trees shown in the background on the far right. First the storm winds snapped off the upper parts of the trees. Then the surging tidal flow actually removed about 5 feet of beach and exposed the tree roots. You can clearly see the horizontal roots that were once on the surface of the beach and below the other roots, especially the large tap root. The goal was to show the erosion caused by rising seas. These three stood in place more nearly 100 years. But now the seas have reached inland and washed out the sand.

I had spent the night shooting the Milky Way and as I walked out I passed these former giants. I placed the camera at beach level to maximize the view of the root system, The early morning direction light helped to shape the directional light on the roots. I really felt the camera angle showing the tree roots and the proximity of the sea would tell the story. Even standing there it was hard to grasp that the entire visible beach area was nearly 5 feet higher less than 2 years ago. Just imagine how faraway the shore line once had to be for these trees to have grown to their once majestic height.

There was minimal processing done here. I reduced highlights because the sand was bright, did a bit of cropping and straightened the image. I fully expect to be down graded for the visible hand of man. However I thought the image was worth showing. It is hard to find images that this clearly document the rising seas.

10 comments posted

Isaac Vaisman M.D.   Isaac Vaisman M.D.
(Groups 4 & 58 & 72)
Larry, impressive effect of the elements on the trees and the beach surface, exposing these very interesting structures. Your vantage point worked as a frame for the smaller stumps in the back. Nice early morning light with long shadows, very sharp.   Posted: 10/09/2021 16:38:10
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Isaac. One of the reasons I shot low was to place those small stumps in the background in the gaps caused by the framing roots. I thought being low really accents the drama of the scene. Sitting on the wet sand was a small price to pay for capturing this scene.   Posted: 10/11/2021 13:38:58

Richard White   Richard White
Larry, you do some of the most interesting photos, I really like this one and of course, the story that goes with it. I believe you brought the image alive with shooting low to make them stand out.   Posted: 10/09/2021 18:41:57
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thank you Richard. I really try to tell a story when I capture an image. My hope is to let the viewer see and feel what I experienced. I spend a lot of time thinking about this before I start shooting. I greatly favor low angles because of the drama they create---the subject usually become more powerful---more in the face of the viewer.

I'm really pleased that you got the storyline.Thanks   Posted: 10/11/2021 13:43:32

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
This image tells a very strong story. I like the time of day you shot the image and that you had some separation between the two stumps. Color temperature gives a sense of morning in addition to the strong shadows. It appears you cropped the image to make it more of a pano. That works for me.   Posted: 10/10/2021 18:36:41
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Great! I'm really glad the story comes across. I love directional light for the textures it reveals and the drama it imparts. I see you caught my crop also. I just felt the sky was not contributing so the crop seemed logical.

Thanks for your thoughts. I always appreciate your input.   Posted: 10/11/2021 13:58:33

Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
These are amazing trees and the composition told the story you wanted to tell. I think the lighting helps the scene by showing all the detail. I can't help but wonder how beautiful these trees would look with a stormy sky. Nicely done.   Posted: 10/10/2021 19:30:11
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Barbara I'm glad the story line came across. I'm still trying to learn how to make my storylines connect to the viewer.

Since these trees were a 6 hour drive from home I really had to take the weather was available. When I was walking to the site for my Milky WaY shot I passed these stumps but the light was coming from the sea side and it left the stumps in shadow---so I opted for shooting them on my way back.

I do wonder about a stormy sky changing the mood but beggers can't be choosy.

Thanks for your thoughts.   Posted: 10/11/2021 14:06:46

Nan Jiang   Nan Jiang
An outstanding landscape picture. The trees are full of mystery. I will make it B&W to be more impressive.   Posted: 10/15/2021 02:48:51
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks. Glad you liked it. I have given some thought to converting to B/W but have not had the time to try it out. Perhaps later this month I will. Thanks for the idea.   Posted: 10/15/2021 16:37:42


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