tree tones

tree tones

Originally uploaded by kaiyen

This was taken, I believe, in Calero County Park in San Jose. I enjoy hiking, though I don’t do it as often as I’d like, and bring a camera along to grab photos of whatever I happen upon along the way. I try really hard to challenge myself and find photos, rather than just waiting for them to find me. I also look at what might be an everyday scene or subject and try to make it stand out and end up interesting.

This is a decent approach to life, too, I might add :-). I try to do that, too – see beyond the first layer, I guess. Not sure I do a great job with it.

Anyway – what I did here was to try and make the moss and texture of the tree stand out by setting the camera up to blur out the background. I didn’t want to blur it out completely (actually, it would have been almost impossible to do that without then blurring out part of the tree), but I think it makes the tree stand out even though the tones, overall, are really similar.

Another thing I do is to try and work entirely “in-camera.” That is, I don’t take a really wide shot and then crop down, for instance. I look through the viewfinder, look at the corners, change my angles, etc, to get the shot framed the way I want. Not only is that less work for me in the end, but it feels more natural that way, to be honest. Maybe I’m being snobbish against those that do a lot of cropping and post processing. I hope not.

On the technical side, this is also one of my attempts at finding a “holy grail” of film and developers. I am trying to find one that gives really good sharpness without too much grain. This developer is one that normally really, really decreases grain, but at the expense of sharpness. By diluting it to one part developer and 3 parts water, I decrease the overall amount of “grain solvent” present and increase sharpness. I’m hoping it’s a good compromise. I made a few mistakes on the exposure side of things but we’ll see how it goes on my next try.

Comments (2)

  1. Debbie

    I love the shot. I think you succeeded quite nicely with the shallow depth of field. I have not yet figured out how to make similar effects happen with my point and shoot, except when I use the macro or super macro settings. I am not usually a fan of black and white, but it TOTALLY works here. The texture of tree and moss really pop. I don’t know what the original object was that created the dark blotch on the right side of the frame, mid-way down. But it looks like an eye to me, which add a whole other layer of potential contemplation to the photo.

    I am SO GLAD to hear you describe your process of trying to work “in-camera.” I am exactly the same way! I do enjoy a well-crafted, post-processed piece of photographic art, but there is something much more inherently satisfying to me about trying to capture the shot I see.

  2. kaiyen (Post author)

    I never thought of that as an eye. Wow, that does change things. Maybe I shouldn’t hike alone as often as I do :-).

    Controlling depth of field with a point and shoot is extremely hard. If you have the time, I can talk about that at length. I’m always willing to talk photography tech…

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