Mid-Atlantic Swamp

with polarizer rotated to minimize reflections

without polarizer

As I said in my reply to Mark Anderson, this challenge arose because sometime last year I took it upon myself to put some effort into trying to get “good” pictures that tell about a forest from within that forest. Speaking for myself, I’ve found that to be very challenging. These two shots were taken a week ago under a light overcast. Here in Maryland, at least so far, I’ve found that wintertime, with the leaves fallen and soft light work well at “seeing” into the forests on the coastal plain. This view is a swamp where I was attracted to the greens of the early spring grasses and the green of the moss on the sides of the trees. The two versions show off the differences that a polarizer can make. I can’t say that I have a preference, but it’s quite striking how different the two views are.

Mark, what a great image for this week’s challenge. This has expanded my views of the definition of a forest. My own preference is the polarized version. Thanks for creating this challenge, it’s given me lots to think about.

I find the polarized version speaking to the grass clumps, because they are so green and contrast with the dark water. The non-polarized version is almost an abstract, with all those vertical trunks and their reflections, and then interspersed with the grass clumps. I bet it would be a cool abstract if converted to b&w. Because I’m rather fond of abstracting the landscape, I’m liking the non-polarized version. :+1:

An interesting choice. The polarized version has the richer colors but other has a more complicated composition. I definitely prefer the non polarized version because the greens in the other are over the top. Lots of lines going in all directions but there is enough structure in the verticals and the circles to hold it all together. Actually the greens are oversaturated in both versions.

Definitely the non-polarized for me. I love the reflection and the abstract nature it contributes to the image. Good stuff.

I rather like the brighter greens of the first version, Mark. The grasses so nicely lead your eye through the image from a very good POV. Great sense of place.

Yes, the color of the grasses comes through quite nicely in the first image really setting the stage for the trees in the background. Although each image has its merits, I prefer the first one. This really looks like some of the areas where I grew up in Maryland, adjacent to “the woods” near my house.

Hard to chose but I am going with the polarized version as I think it brings those lovely greens both in the grasses and on the trees to the forefront. I also like the fact that you can see the fallen leaves under the surface of the water in some areas and in others you have the reflections of the trees. Best of both worlds IMO.

I keep going back and forth but in the end I actually prefer the unpolarized image because it to me, the mirrored sky adds to the abstractness of the image. It’s also interesting how each version tells a slightly different story - One speaks of the sky above and the other of what hidden under the surface and I’m really glad that I got to see both!