Fantasy Tree





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2 Comments | Report
DVallas Platinum
DVallas January 03, 2015
great colors
CeciliaJbz January 14, 2015
Bravo ! Welcome to viewbug :) Absosolutelystunning !
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Behind The Lens

To be honest I don't remember exactly where I took it, which is a shame as I'd love to go back. Basically I made this image while on the way back from another location and shoot. I'd been shooting earlier in the day at a place called Tocnik (its in the Czech Republic) and was driving back through some country roads, when I saw the beautiful sunset in the rearview mirror. I pulled off the road into some country back roads with the idea of finding a place to photograph the sunset and came across the location below by chance. All I remember is that it's somewhere between Tocnik and Zdice but I need to go back and try to retrace my steps.
It was around 5-6pm I believe? Im afraid I can't be more accurate as it seems that I had not set the clock on the camera correctly (for whatever reason), as according to the EXIF data, the photo was created on the 28th of December, which definitely doesn't sound right to me. It was also one of the first shoots with the camera. I guess its a good lesson to remember though, always make sure that your date, time is set correctly. Sorry that I can't be more accurate though.
The only thing to share about the lighting here is that mother nature took care of that for me :) In terms of something that would be useful though, I wish that I'd had an external flash at this point (in fact, I still wish I had one), as I would have tried to light the tree a bit. As it was I took a couple of exposures that I later combined but I didn't do a good enough job on the tree, so if opportunity ever comes along, I'd like to go back and give it another go.
This is an old photo, taken with a Sony Nex 6 (I'm shooting with a Sony A6000 now). The lens was a Sigma 19mm f2.8, taken handheld with me leaning against my car for additional support.
The sunset! As I mentioned earlier, I was driving back from an earlier shoot when I glanced into the mirror and saw this wonderful light and it would have simply been a crime to not stop and try to photograph it. Plus there is, at least for me, always something about photographing landscapes that just soothes my soul. It's something that I really enjoy doing and quite often it's simply awe-inspiring what nature creates. But to finish answering the question, I saw the wonderful light and pulled off the main road and drove down some country roads looking for a good spot to photograph the sunset. I saw this tree alone out in the field with this worn road next to it and the sunset behind it and I knew that I'd found the spot, so I parked the car and started to set up for the shot. One thing that a lot of other photographers have told me, is that there is an unwritten rule, that if you see a tree alone somewhere, you have to shoot it :) Another is to always try to have an object of interest in the foreground if you're shooting landscapes and the tree fit the bill nicely.
Yes I did, in this instance I did some initial correction in LR, set the black and white points, took down the highlights a little, opened the shadows and boosted the vibrance a touch. I then opened the second image where I'd exposed for the tree instead of the sky and realised it was still a little too dark :( I raised the exposure and opened the shadows until the tree looked decent. I then took both images into photoshop and blended the tree in with the sky image at a low opacity. Originally I blended it in at 100% but it looked weird to me, so I toned it down some with the opacity.
In my camera bag
The nice things about mirrorless cameras is that they are small and light and hardly take up any space, the bad thing about mirrorless cameras is that they are small and light, so you tend to take everything :) Case in point in my camera bag I have a Sony A6000 body, a Sony 50mm1.8, Sony 55-210mm, Sigma 19mm F2.8, Sigma 30mm F2.8, Manfrotto tripod with a Manfrotto head, two B+W polarisers (one 46mm and one 49mm), a 8 stop ND filter, remote trigger, 3 batteries, about 6-8 SD cards between 32GB and 64GB, a gorrilapod, a LED flashlight and I think thats pretty much it.
The best advice that I can give for anyone trying to photograph landscapes is to plan as much as possible in advance, there are lots of tools out there to help, a useful one being The Photographers Ephemeris (http://app.photoephemeris.com/?ll=16.768800,-3.007300¢er=16.7688,-3.0073&dt=20150102145500%2B0000), it's also an app for mobiles but its really good for showing shadow length, sun location, sunsets etc. Besides that give yourself lots of time, its always better to show up at a location and have time to spare, than to rush in and have to shoot from the hip. So try to get there at least 30-60 minutes early. This will hopefully enable you to claim a good spot or at least give you time to walk around your chosen location and see if there isn't an even better spot that you didn't see/notice before. Once you've found your location and you're getting setup, make sure you set your fstop to somewhere between F8-F16 depending on how much detail you want to see going into the background of the landscape but rather than focusing at infinity, try to focus about 1/3 the way into the frame. Basically look down at your feet and at the farthest point in the image that you want in your photograph and focus 1/3 in between those two points. This isn't a rule set in concrete by any means but as a general rule of thumb it should help. One other thing to note, using a high f-stop will give you more detail and if you're shooting anything with lights it will give you that starburst effect but be wary of setting it too high, say F22 as then you run the risk of diffraction, essentially the image will look soft. Theres no hard or fast rule for this though as it is different for every lens and so you just have to play to find the sweet spot. But you did remember to go to your location early though right? So now there is time to try a few shots at different f-stops and see which one looks better (if you're viewing them on the back of the camera, remember to zoom in). Finally once you've got all of those things ready, your camera is on its tripod, you know the f-stop you want to use, you've got the shot framed exactly as you want it, remember to set your camera (or lens depending on what you shoot with) to manual mode instead of autofocus, as this will prevent the camera from changing focus and giving you a different image than the one you pictured. As a bonus tip, if you're photographing a sunset, try setting your mode to spot metering and focusing just to the side of the sun, this will hopefully help you to capture all of those great colours in the sky. Hope this helps!

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