Tag Archives: stump

“Study in Wood #6” – Seaton Trail, Whitvale

“Study in Wood #6”

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity… and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself.”
― William Blake

I absolutely love the William Blake quote above. It goes beyond simply this image.

Number 6 in the series and growing. I keep coming across these gnarly old specimens, standing along the trails, or in city parks. I find myself staring at them, immersed in their story, while others pass them by as merely ‘stumps’. They all remind me of abstract paintings or deeply furrowed sculptures. Their lives recorded; marked out in intricate patterns, each unique.This particular tree had been recently stripped of its bark, revealing smooth undulating wood, with only tinges of moss taking hold.

Winter winds had embedded a few stray cedar and spruce needles in a hollow. I was not sure if I wanted to include them in this composition, but they are part of the image in front of me, so I decided to leave them in.

The smooth surface of this tree is so different from most trees I see. It reveals all the curves and bumps of a slow growing hardwood. Though the bark is gone, I expect it’s a member of the maple family. tree aficionados, feel free to help me on this one. By the end of summer, I expect this old fellow will be darkened with moss, it’s surface transforming from a solid, almost ivory-like texture to one mottled with mildew and softening as the decay process takes hold. Yet, here he is preserved as a photo for me to enjoy even when he’s gone back to the ground that birthed him, so many years ago.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 82 mm
1/125 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200

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“Red Belt Fungus” – Hermon, Ontario

“Red Belt Fungus” - Hermon, Ontario

Wow, I wonder who came up with this brilliant name?

I came across this rather bright fungus during a recent hunting trip. Well, it was more like walking through the woods with a gun, and a camera. It was certainly not an ideal hunting day, but the subdued light and wet conditions (it had rained for 3 days straight) were ideal for photography. I had my 70-200 f/2.8 with me to make up for the dark conditions in the forest. With this lense I can shoot down to 1/8 second handheld because of the excellent VR. That saves carrying a tripod everywhere, like I used to do.

This photo was made on a wood lot just outside Hermon, Ontario, in the Bancroft area. It’s a beautifully diverse forest with wonderful ancient stands of red pine, cedar, and maple, bisected by steep rocky ridges so typical of the Canadian Shield.

It was hard not to stop and photograph this wonderfully colourful fungus which just glistened in the rain. I was tempted to move the branch lying across the stump, but it adds to the composition, I think.

There is something about mushrooms and fungus that is inexplicably appealing to me, as well as several other photographers I know. They (the mushrooms and fungus) are very diverse in their colour and texture and only last for a short period, so that may be it.

Yet again, this is one of those natural compositions I see on a daily basis and like to share. I hope you enjoy it.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 135mm
1/30 sec @ f/2.8-.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Fallen Oak Leaves on Stump”

“Fallen Oak Leaves on Stump”

Sometimes, with the right light, a simple scene along a roadside or a hiking trail can be a thing of tremendous beauty. It’s something I come across all the time. I tell my friends that this is how my eyes work, and I can’t turn it off, nor, would I want to.

Take as an example, the photo above. It’s just two oak leaves which have fallen and come to rest on a stump. My eyes are, for some inexplicable reason, drawn to these scenes. I look at the simplicity of the composition nature has provided and it brings me joy.

My dilemma, frequently, is how do I capture this moment in time effectively, so others can enjoy it too. Most times nature, and my knowledge of light and my camera, suffice. While, at other times, the elements just don’t align, or I get my camera setting wrong, and the scene becomes, simply a memory. If I go back the next day for a reshoot, the light is rarely the same, or some other element has moved or changed slightly and the magic is gone.

I’m learning, on every shot, what settings need to be made, based on failures and experimentation. Many times now, it’s just instinct, and I like that. There are images I could not have made a few years back and I’m looking forward to what lies ahead.

In this case, all the elements aligned and my settings were OK, though I would change aperture if I had to re-shoot. I was drawn by the light on the oak leaves and, as I looked at the composition, I really liked the textures of the old log they were laying on. Oddly enough, in some cases I can’t really articulate what it is about composition that I find appealing till I get back to my computer and really look at the image, then it becomes obvious.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 155mm
1/60 sec @ f/5-.33, ISO 250

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website
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