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Where have all the trees gone?
Lens: A35-105 ISO: 200 
Posted By: MSL, 02-25-2014, 07:09 PM

Our region was hit with at least one if not two infestations that targeted the local trees. The biggest culprit was the emerald ash borer, and with a lot of ash trees around, a lot of damage was done. The city tagged all the heavily damaged trees with spray painted R and were slowly removing them and replanting other species. But with the ice storm and other winter damage, a lot of these dying trees broke apart, and as the city already had crews out trimming other damaged trees, they went around and reduced many of the diseased trees to just their trunks.

This was my third attempt to photograph one strip where a lot of ash trees were planted. The first time I used the 135 mm lens, and the second time my 18-55 with an emphasis on the wide angles. But after I thought about it for a while, I realized I need to use hyperfocal focusing to try to capture all the trunks in a row, so today I worked around 70-80mm using the trusty A35-105. I'm still not sure I've gotten the images I wanted so if you have any suggestions please suggest away.






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02-25-2014, 07:27 PM   #2
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MSL:

Your biggest problem with these images is the street sign. Find a point of view that eliminates it. As it is, it is as if the pole is a tree in itself.
02-25-2014, 07:31 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by BigDave Quote
Your biggest problem with these images is the street sign. Find a point of view that eliminates it. As it is, it is as if the pole is a tree in itself.
I might be able to get rid of it by shooting from the other side of the trees, but I rather quickly run out of space and will end up on the (rather busy) road. I agree the pole is a problem without an easy solution and I'm just hoping to convey a sense of loss as overall the city has lost thousands of trees to disease and storm damage. If I get a chance I'll see if I can take it from the other side, but I think no matter where I stand it will be a busy image with too much "other" cluttering the frame.
02-25-2014, 07:36 PM   #4
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Not knowing what lens you used, try using a wide angle lens and get close to the pole, cutting off the first two trees. The pole is effectively "behind" you at this point and you can get the last 4 trees in. You may also want to take a higher vantage point to catch the white stumps of the tree tops. With a wide angle you can get quite close and actually accentuate this feeling of the cut off tree.

Good luck!

02-25-2014, 11:03 PM   #5
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Hi

You obviously where aiming to achieve good DOF for good reason and thus you shot most of these here with f20 and ISO 200.
At f20 IQ starts to suffer badly with this sort of lens (as with most if not all lenses)

A better setting would have been to come down to the K-5's ISO 80 allowing you to get into f8 for good DOF and perhaps if needed crank up shutter speed to obtain good exposure.

Your image quality will be markedly better this way.

Greetings

Last edited by Schraubstock; 02-25-2014 at 11:05 PM. Reason: typo
02-26-2014, 07:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Schraubstock Quote
A better setting would have been to come down to the K-5's ISO 80 allowing you to get into f8 for good DOF and perhaps if needed crank up shutter speed to obtain good exposure.
The choice of f20 (or a few at f16) was to push the focal range to as close to hyperfocal as I could get, since I really didn't have a good estimate of all the distances. I'm not sure I could get nearly as much in focus at f8, but I'll put that aperture into my calculators and see what focal length I need to work at.
02-26-2014, 07:41 AM   #7
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So sad...
02-26-2014, 07:48 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by tessfully Quote
So sad...
That's what I've been trying to capture in this photo and others but with little success. Part of it was also bad planning on the part of the city, either by planting or allowing the developers to plant too much of one species.

02-26-2014, 08:05 AM   #9
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I felt instantly sad upon viewing your photos so I think you were successful. There is a lot going on in an urban shot, not a lot you can do about that. The feeling is there. By the way, the 2nd image has uploaded too big for my monitor.
02-26-2014, 08:19 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by tessfully Quote
I felt instantly sad upon viewing your photos so I think you were successful. There is a lot going on in an urban shot, not a lot you can do about that. The feeling is there. By the way, the 2nd image has uploaded too big for my monitor.
Thanks Tess. I may have to get your thoughts on one shot I really wanted to get right, but I'm not sure I succeeded. It was a tree that lost all its fine branches, which formed a ring around the tree when they dropped. The contrast was interesting, but unfortunately most of the days I was able to shoot were grey and blah, which is how the images ended up. Thanks for noting about the second image. It is too large, as I normally resize everything down to the limits of this site.

(Fixed - thanks Tess)

Last edited by MSL; 02-26-2014 at 08:27 AM.
02-26-2014, 08:35 AM   #11
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That is so sad what those bugs can do to trees. The landscape will be forever changed.
02-26-2014, 08:55 AM - 1 Like   #12
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I would love to see that photo Marc. For the landscape above, I am wondering if you used a wide angle lens and a tripod, set up on the other side of the road, mid point down (which might be that cement pole) have the road in the foreground, use a high f/stop and long shutter speed, (a car blurring through the photo, or people blurring past on the side walk, could be interesting) and tree trunks starting in the bottom third, backed by what appears to be bushes in the background and sky. Take when the sun is low, at dusk or dawn....sets the mood.


These would look good in monochrome/black and white too. Maybe that is part of it,... getting rid of the primary colours, converting to black and white, would put more emphasis on the tree trunks?


I can't see what is in the sky out of the left side of the frame, but I guess if I were to try this again, I would experiment with completely different angles, heights and approaches such as what I suggested above.
02-26-2014, 09:36 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by tessfully Quote
lens and a tripod, set up on the other side of the road, mid point down (
I did think about shooting from the other side of the road. It is hard to get it free of traffic, and I think for the most part the trunks will be obscured by the cars. If I get a chance I will try again today, maybe at a different time of day to capture different shadows.

I did think about trying B&W and should see which image converts best but haven't tried it yet. Will do.

Towards the left side of the frame there was a shopping mall far in the distance. Made the image even more cluttered.
02-26-2014, 10:20 AM   #14
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If it is dark enough, and your shutter speed is slow enough, the cars shouldn't obscure the tree trunks. At most they will be a blur with lights making a streak thru the photo. I would try it just to see. Start with a 5 second exposure minimum, but I bet a 30 second exposure would be very cool.
02-26-2014, 10:41 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by tessfully Quote
If it is dark enough, and your shutter speed is slow enough, the cars shouldn't obscure the tree trunks. At most they will be a blur with lights making a streak thru the photo. I would try it just to see. Start with a 5 second exposure minimum, but I bet a 30 second exposure would be very cool.
Cool suggestion. I'll have to see about doing it close to sunset for it to be dark enough. Only problem then is that there is a lot of traffic. But aside from that I tried B&W and sepia conversions of two of the images. Makes a huge difference as I can tweak the contrast and shadows to emphasize the trees. I need to work on these some more, and probably by starting from the RAW files rather than the already tweaked JPG files. But I've gotten so much useful advice so far, I didn't want to delay putting something up. THANKS!!!





---------- Post added 02-26-14 at 12:45 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
That is so sad what those bugs can do to trees. The landscape will be forever changed.
I'm not sure about forever, but for a long time there will be a lot of young trees in the area. Some areas hit harder than others - I think our street only lost one or two trees.

What was interesting to watch was the slow devastation as the infestation can take a few years to cause real damage. Then you start to see holes in the bark, and a secondary growth at the base of the trunk that looks like a different plant has hijacked the tree. In some ways it looks healthy in all the wrong places, while the upper branches don't produce many leaves. I've tried to think of ways to capture this, but it is a challenging subject in a densely built area.
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