Cypress Swamp + repost

I took a couple of group tours of a cypress swamp over the weekend in northwest Tennessee. While the main focus was bird photography, we did come across this scene in one of the side channels of the swamp. I took a few pics as best as I could hand held from the boat but someday I could see taking a private tour and returning to this spot with purely landscapes in mind. I like the feel of this scene as it conveys to me the depth and variety of the swamp we visited.

I’d appreciate any feedback but particularly on composition and setting the mood of such an image. Plus any comments about shooting landscapes from a boat.

Canon 7D2, 24-105mm L @ 32mm
ISO 640, f8, 1/25s, hand held from boat


This is such a wonderful photograph, Allen. For me, the composition is perfect. The visual mass of the root clump in the lower right perfectly balances with the base of the trees on the left. And those two darker areas create a visual gateway into the channel and beyond. The lighting and colour palette are simply gorgeous. Who could ever imagine so many different shades of green. The reflections on the water are icing on the cake. Some cake!!

Allen, I feel like I am standing there in the swamp enjoying this scene. Very well done, in my opinion.

Allen, An amazing image. I would say with a great use of light. But I think in this case the place and with it, the light came to you. It must be a fairy-like place. You grabbed this moment so well !!

Allen, I love this image, it has such a calm and gentle mood to it. The composition is very well thought out, and very effectively handled. This image is a great example of directing the viewers eye through composition and light. The other thing I like a lot about this image is that while it is essentially monchromatic, there is a wide range of subtle green tones that create visual interest. While I love this image as presented, I might consider cloning away the left-most branch suspended form the top edge of the frame.

A beautiful image, Allen. Great mood, great balance. Makes you wish to be there (although I may not like the mosquitoes).
I can agree with the suggestion of @Ed_McGuirk, about cloning away the branch coming from the top edge of the image, a little bit left of the center.

I really like this photo, and those cypress trees are something special.

I don’t think I would change much to the composition, as all the elements are placed quite well in this scene. There is a nice visual flow through the image due to the small waterway and diverse vegetation on the sides.
I really like the fresh greens and I would try some basic dodging and burning to enhance the transition from dark at the sides to light in the middle of the photo.

This is a very beautiful image Allen. You composition is delightful and I feel like I am floating through the scene.

Great image. I never been there but swamps are typically places where compositions are hard to find. You really nailed here! I love the shape and texture of the trunks.
It was an overcast day?

Hi Juan, thanks and yes it was overcast when I took this image. We returned the next day and the sun was out but I liked the look here better.

The overcast day was an important part of this splendid study of lines, textures and color. Until I saw another bald cypress image on NPN a few weeks ago, I did not know how bright is their new foliage.
To me, it seemed that the background is quite bright, and fairly uniformly toned and textured. I did a bunch of dodging and added a vignette for a slightly different take on this fine scene.

This is flat out gorgeous, Allen! The lighting in the scene is sublime and is perfect for show casing all those wonderful shades of green for the viewer. The mood is one of peace and solitude that I find very inviting. The calm water with the reflection only adds to that feeling IMO. My only suggestion would be to clone out the limb hanging down left center along the top edge. This may have been a trip for bird photography, but I am so glad you noticed this scene and captured it for the rest of us.

Thanks everyone for the comments and suggestions. I did a rework taking out the branch in upper left and burning the middle grasses and their reflection.


This is a beautiful image. We have Cypress Swamps here and I agree that the greens in your shot are just right, when the light is filtering through the foliage. You captured the reflections well. There is a lot of depth in the scene, which is not always easy in those conditions. Sometimes the cypress knees are a bit warmer in color, so next time-- look for that also, as a contrast to all the green.