March 4, 2012

Bare Trees


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OK, so this panoramic image doesn’t translate to a narrow web page, but please bare with me.

I hiked last Sunday to the top of Looking Glass Rock in the Pigsah Forest, North Carolina with my running buddies (we were in the area last week to run the Black Mountain Marathon). On the hike we were struck by mountain views the bare trees afforded us. When we got to the top it became even more apparent. The leafless trees revealed the maze of hiking trails that are hidden beneath the canopy of leaves in the spring, summer and fall. I knew I wanted to grab a shot with enough detail to illustrate it and an HDR panorama seemed to be the way to go.

The shot above is comprised of 7 sets of 5 brackets. The brackets were tonemapped in Photomatix and stitched and tweaked a bit in Photoshop CS5. I finished the image in Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro. I thought stripping the color away would help reveal the trails. It was shot with the 50mm at f11.

You have to see this big. You can click on the image to get a slightly bigger version, but you really want to click on this link to pull up a new page with a much bigger version. Take your time and scroll through it.

Oh, the guy in the right hand corner is one of my running buddies, Josh. I was going to stop at six sets of brackets for this but when I noticed Josh exploring the rock, I swung my tripod head a little further and grabbed another shot. I think he adds some perspective.

Finally, if you are too lazy to click through to the image, here is a single detail image, shot with my long lens.

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