Early morning light brings up the details on this biggish cypress tree in Caddo Lake. I was stuck in a giant salvinia mat so relatively stable in the kayak even though there was a steady breeze. One day I hope to do another kayaking workshop with these beauties. They are amazing trees and perfectly adapted to their environment. They are host and home to many other species of insects, birds, mammals, fish and crustaceans. As they grow, the trunks become hollow and luckily some escaped the loggers and gained the grace of age. The knot to the right is a knee formation with possibly an old trunk or branch that has been broken.
Specific Feedback Requested
Processing ideas welcome
Is this a composite: No
Handheld in the kayak
Lr for initial RAW development - a crop, lowered the highlights, tweaked the white balance, added some texture & clarity. Photoshop to remove a channel marker in the background as well as using some lights & dark masks to control dodging and burning so I could create some more depth in the tree itself. I loaded the masks as stencils and used transparent dodge and burn layers. Then I used those same masks to add some color in a way similar to color grading, but using hue/saturation and brightness/contrast layers.
Thanks @KenHebert & @CharlesV - it’s the moss that kept me from cropping more - I think a square or 4:5 crop would make it feel less airy and breezy - the moss is bent because of the wind and I wanted to keep that feel.
Yes, this is a biggish tree (maybe 6-8 feet at the base) and I saw more that were larger. This one, in some not so great light, is as wide as my kayak was long (about 12 feet) -
Wonderful old giants! In the first, the warm light against the cool gray shaded areas emphasizes the drama of the aging tree, and the lovely delicate Spanish moss works so well against the rugged bark!
The second isn’t as dramatic but still tells a great story. I love the multicolored leaves on the left and I think a crop from the right to eliminate the BG would yield a very different and interesting image.