On the very first morning of our most recent canoe trip last August, I woke well before dawn to an absolute white out. I don’t think I’ve ever in my life encountered such thick fog. I really was groping around the camp site when I discovered this narrow little trail heading down to the lake on the far side. I walked down - almost right into the lake - into an absolute wall of fog. And so, I walked back to higher ground where there was a better chance for a photograph or two. Fortunately, I walked back down that little path, maybe forty-five minutes later and was absolutely blown away to discover this perfect, tiny, one-tree island emerging out of the fog. My jaw simply dropped at the sight of it. I hope you can understand from reading this image why I decided to call it, “Solitary Resilience” – that feisty little tree standing all alone, holding its space. I didn’t really notice it at the time, but I love how the tree is tilted to one side. It adds just the slightest touch of tension to an otherwise scene of perfect calm.

I didn’t do too much to this image from what came out of the camera. Most of the work in post has to do with colour balance (I absolutely love how Tony Kuyper has integrated the colour balance wheel from Lightroom into his TK8 panel). I chose to boost the blue cast in the mid-tones of the fog but not in the tree. I would love to get some feedback on that – does the colour feel balanced? Any other feedback in terms of your emotional response to this image would also be much appreciated.

Is this a composite: No


I love the stories from your long paddling trip. Makes me want to be there…almost. My first reaction to this is that it’s a first class fine art image. It’s striking and slightly melancholy, but not entirely since the tree seems to be thriving even if it’s separated from its kind. Thanks for keeping it in color. I think it adds an immediacy that is lost in b&w fog images for me. Have you experimented with cloning out the bit of the other island?

Wow!! Coming upon a scene like this is an incredible experience, and you have immortalized it! Your exploration paid off so well. I wouldn’t change a thing! The subtle color works so well for me.

I wouldn’t change a thing, either. Nice shot!

I really like the relationship between the tree and the sky here. Despite the fog there is a glow to the sky due to all the tonal variance there. I personally don’t like all the symmetry here with the centered tree and the tree below the water line the same as above it. I would crop it thusly and let it be just about the tree and the sky. I made the frame to wide. Sorry.

What a great moment. I like the color balance. The blue in the fog suits the cool feel to the image while maintaining some contrast with the tree.

Overall you have captured the mood very well. Quite a few will argue in favor of its simplicity as is. Since the reflection isnt quite as nice as the tree itself, I would consider a crop but still giving it room. I might also consider a little more contrast just to the tree itself

The austerity and mystery of this unusual scene come across nicely in your sensitive exposure and minimal contrast. I really enjoy the hint of warm color in the sky. Thanks, to you we are fortunate to see some of the scenic beauty of canoe trekking, without the work of the trip.
When I saw this a few days ago, I was struck by the stasis conveyed by the centered vertical and horizontal lines. Maybe that could convey a sense of timelessness. But I wondered if a bit more energy would be OK, to be addressed by cropping some of the uninteresting water at the bottom, and a bit of right side. I took a stab at it, and ended up with something less dramatic than @Igor_Doncov 's version.


A beautifully simplistic image Kerry, well done. As you know, I love a good fog image, and this is one of the better fog images that I have seen at NPN in a while, I’m a big fan of saying more with less, and this image certainly succeeds in doing that.

For an image that’s elegant in it’s simplicity, it’s interesting to me that all three of the crops shown here each work in their own way. If I had to pick a favorite, it would be the crop proposed by @Dick_Knudson, if for no other reason than I like seeing the tree larger.

Beautiful and minimalist image Kerry. I’m glad I’m a little bit late to the party on this one as I get to see the three crops that have been used to portray this image in different ways. When seen large, I just love the small ripples in the water near the tip of the reflection giving this static scene a little bit of life. The I saw @Igor_Doncov’s composition and, even though it doesn’t have the water ripples, it makes it more about the tree and that magnificent fog. Then I got to see what @Dick_Knudson did and just love that little nudge to the right of the frame since the tree is leaning left giving it a little bit better balance. You can’t go wrong with any of the interpretations and I love all three in different ways.

This is a stunning, minimalist landscape image. Cool, mysterious, distant, yet intriguing. I can just feel the environment- the sounds, the smell, the soft Earth under my feet. Everything. The exposure and color balance is just right. I’ve taken many images like this, and it isn’t easy to get it just right. The story is a nice touch. I wouldn’t change a thing. Nice work!

This is an absolutely gorgeous image, Kerry. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Your processing is superb and I just love the mood with the fog. I feel as though I am there feeling the damp coolness by the lake. I think all three versions work; great to have so many directions to take this image. No suggestions from me.

@Kris_Smith , @Diane_Miller , @chris10 , @Igor_Doncov , @DeanRoyer , @Karl_Zuzarte , @Dick_Knudson , @Ed_McGuirk , @David_Haynes , @Marc_McCann , @Ed_Lowe :

I really do want to thank everyone for taking the time to view this picture and chime in with your thoughts, feelings, and comments. I know that you all know first-hand, how valuable that feedback can be.
There were a number of people who felt that the image would be improved with a crop, whether fairly radical (@Igor_Doncov ) or to a much lesser degree (@Dick_Knudson ). So, first, I especially want to thank Igor and Dick for taking the time and energy to actually show me what they were thinking. At the same time, I would like to share with you my thoughts and feelings as to why I am choosing not to follow those suggestions.
As I’ve sat with this photograph over the past week or so, I’ve come to realize what this image is really about for me. It’s a dream image (I even retitled it – “Dreamscape”). How I experienced it in the moment when it revealed itself is the feeling sense I want to express through the picture. It really isn’t about the tree grounded in the real world. It is more about an archetypal image floating in space and time or, perhaps more accurately, emerging outside the bonds of space and time, grounded in itself. The space around the tree is, therefore, essential. In fact, this image may be more about the space than the tree because it lends the tree the sense of its otherworldliness. In the same sense as in a dream, it’s not a “real” tree but rather a vision of non-ordinary reality. I’m not arrogant enough to suggest that this picture is that, but rather an expression of what I saw that morning - my attempt to convey that astonishing moment. So, my feeling is that any attempt to crop the image – and trust me, I played with the idea – undermines the core of what I’m trying to give voice to. The extent to which I have succeeded or not is a matter for every reader to decide for themselves but for me reducing the space that surrounds the image and from which it arises, reduces its potency.

If you ever tire of shooting, you have a job as a professor of philosophy awaiting you somewhere. While I really like the shot, your reasoning, objectivity and self exploration in referencing the image is far more engaging.

@chris10 - Touche! I may indeed do better at the philosophy of photography than ever I will at photography itself. Such are the vicissitudes of life :wink:

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