Helen Sweet  

The Lone Cypress by Helen Sweet

September 2021 - The Lone Cypress

About the Image(s)

Last week, to escape the Bay Area's smoke from the Northern California wildfires for several days, we drove down to Carmel. On the famed 17 Mile Drive, we stopped to see The Lone Cypress, a California icon and symbol of the Pebble Beach Resorts. Possibly as old as 250 years, it's been scarred by fire and has been held in place by cables for 65 years. Monterey cypress grow naturally only in Pebble Beach and Pt. Lobos. Instead of shooting it from the usual view point, I moved to view it framed by other cypress. I cropped, desaturated, adjusted the contrast with curves, and slightly vignetted the top. Sony 630a, 18-200 lens, 34mm

7 comments posted

Stuart Ord   Stuart Ord
Whilst this image has a nice range of greys from black to white like Don's does, here the histogram is a bath-tub shape, with dominance from white and black and much less of the greys that I like.

The reason I think is that there's a lot of dark foreground and white sky. Cropping those improves this, I think.

We have a place called Carmel in the Lake District, a Fell area. A rather different landscape!

The fires there are quite worrying for you. Alas climate change is only going to get worse with more severe consequences even if we do put in the effort to limit it as best we can, much damage and irreversable change has already been done. I'm so sad, our kids and grandkids are going to have to live with this mess.   Posted: 09/05/2021 02:05:32

Don York   Don York
I think the surrounding trees have framed the lone cypress very well.   Posted: 09/06/2021 13:07:21

Stan Bormann   Stan Bormann
Most of us have seen many pictures of this tree. You have stepped back and framed the tree very nicely and created a unique but still identifiable image. Yes, I am sure the histogram has little in the middle. Perhaps mostly just the pixels of the rocks the tree stands on. I don't think that is a big problem, but I think I would try to open up the shadows to show more detail in the trees and vegetation. I like the highlights, but may try to get more contrast in the water. These adjustments are probably best made with local adjustments of selections.   Posted: 09/09/2021 10:44:11
Helen Sweet   Helen Sweet
Thank you, Stan and others, for your suggestion to open the shadows. They were completely black especially at the base. I did open them but see that I could do more.   Posted: 09/23/2021 14:09:33

John Roach   John Roach
I like your lone cypress. As a boy I lived for a couple of years in Pacific Grove and often travelled with my parents the 17 mile drive. I would love to go back and see it again. I like your image with only a suggestion similar to Stan's comments that to open up the shadow in the trees might be a nice touch.   Posted: 09/09/2021 11:46:40

Jerry Snyder   Jerry Snyder
I think the composition is excellent. The contrast of the dark trees against the light background is very effective. Even the spacing between the tree branches on the right and the rock outcrop is well thought out. Nicely done.
  Posted: 09/09/2021 17:53:36

Jerry Funk   Jerry Funk
I too strive to obtain a unique perspective of a familiar scene. Mission accomplished! As previously suggested, I think opening the shadows would help.   Posted: 09/20/2021 11:12:13


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