Old Tree


This weekend didn’t yield any photos of merit, so I’m once again digging back. This is another image from my visit to the White Memorial Conservation Center in Litchfield, Conn., back in May.

I’d actually taken this image as a landscape, showing the tree on a riverbank, but I’d thought at the time that it might be more interesting to re-frame it this way.  I really wish I’d thought to do that at the time, as I think it would benefit from my stepping back a few feet. But that’s one of the few things you can’t correct in post-processing.

The tree is huge, easily five feet (1.5 m) across at the base. I’m not sure what kind it is. It looks a bit like a Black Willow, but it’s much larger than one of those should be (I’m no tree expert by any means).

I like this image for the tree of course, but specifically for the way it dominates its location. There are no other trees growing close to it, and it casts shade over quite an area, although it was overcast the day I was there, so that isn’t apparent here.  There’s a branch off the other side that’s easily 18″ (0.5 m) in diameter, sticking out horizontally with multiple sub-branches. Even the boardwalk takes a detour to wrap around it. This is also another of what I call “gateway” photos, with the tree standing sentinel over those who would pass to some mysterious place beyond it. If ever a tree deserved to have a resident dryad, this is one.

This image is, as usual, an HDR made from five exposures at 1 EV offsets. The bracket was centered at 1/100th-second, with ISO 400 and f/11, with the lens at 47mm. I used the circular polarizing filter, and as noted I cropped it significantly to turn a landscape-format image into portrait-format. Unfortunately I made this HDR several months ago, and didn’t note what I’d used for adjustments. It looks like it may have been one of the “Deep” presents, but I don’t know what else I did, if anything.


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