Richard Matheny  

Lake Moultrie by Richard Matheny

January 2022 - Lake Moultrie

About the Image(s)

An early morning 2 1/2 hour trip north to Lake Moultrie for sunrise hoping to have some fog or mist on the lake for some long exposure shots. When we got there the lake was smooth as glass, no fog or mist and not a cloud in the sky so there went the long exposure fun. Thankfully it wasn't long till the clouds started to roll in and made for some better photography. This is the 3rd largest lake in the state of South Carolina and has some beautiful Cypress Trees around the lake edges. A few are accessible for photos from beaches but many more if you happen to have a small boat. No boat on this trip so everything shot from land. My objective was to show the beauty of the lake with the Cypress Trees.I shot some images using the trees as the subjects but that didn't work for me. Without the enormity and the beauty of the lake, the trees had no story to tell. It just didn't make an appealing photo.
Using a nikon D800 with a 20mm Lens on a tripod. The wind was starting to pick up with a storm moving in so went with a faster shutter speed of 1/3200 of a sec.trying to keep trees and water in focus.Shot at f2.0 and an ISO of 50. Very little Cropping on this image. Used some of the sliders in LightRoom to brighten the image especially the large white clouds and smoothed out the water some with the clarity tool.

5 comments posted

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Great, now I have to go to S.C. to get my Cypress tree picture! GRR! I've been searching for a tree like this in the open water but have not found it yet. I do like the mood here and the and the trees are wonderful. I would offer two suggestions. Remember the odds are better than evens and you have two (even) groups of trees. I would clone out the lone tree on the left (easy enough to do) and then slightly lighten the trees to give them a bit of life. Also lighten the reflection just a bit to reveal some detail. This is really a dynamite image.   Posted: 01/07/2022 13:58:45

Bud Ralston   Bud Ralston
Larry took the suggestions right out of my keyboard! I love this photo. I had to keep coming back to it to figure out why. Those three trees standing in the vastness of this lake just grab me. There is a solitary tree in Lake Wanaka in New Zealand that all the photo tours make sure to include in their itineraries. I think you have discovered a better location much closer to your home. That would be a great place to camp to watch the scene change in different light and cloud formations. Well done!   Posted: 01/07/2022 17:46:02
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Did you know that the Wanaka Tree was damaged by vandals in 2020. The lower branch that hung over the water was hacked off.   Posted: 01/07/2022 19:04:44
Bud Ralston   Bud Ralston
I didn't hear about that. It sickens me. What is it about people that need to destroy beautiful things? I know it is naive and rhetorical, but why can't all people just enjoy the beauty and let it be?   Posted: 01/08/2022 09:29:23

David Kepley   David Kepley
Richard, I am also very taken by this shot. Love the group of 3 cypress trees. It tells the story of being a group against the elements. I could go several different ways with this photo. One is to eliminate the tree on the left. Another would be to crop down about a third from the top and from the right to create more of a pano. Another possibility would be to shoot it with about a 20 sec exposure using an ND filter. This would smooth out the ripples in the water. Another would be to shoot this at sawn or dusk depending on where the sun sets. A great sop to shoot more than once!   Posted: 01/12/2022 11:01:06


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