Tag Archives: Tree

“Fence-row Foliage”

“Fence-row Foliage”.jpg

“In times of stress, the best thing we can do for each other is to listen with our ears and our hearts and to be assured that our questions are just as important as our answers.” 
― Fred Rogers

Many times, I find these ‘secondary’ photos. Meaning, photos I had not set out to make. In this case, I had gone out to photograph local wheat fields, see yesterday’s post “Abundance“. As I had completed the photos I had set out to make, I was greeted by this lovely scene along a fence row, late day sunlight penetrating the shadows.

The first thing I noticed was the beautiful soft light and then, as I considered the scene further, the bright reds of the woodbine vines held my attention.

It’s late June, and we have been in an extended period of hot and humid weather, not quite a drought by definition, but close to it. One of the effects of this weather is that plants become stressed from lack of water and that stress often manifests in a colour change, similar to autumn. Only a few leaves have changed here but I have seen other plants go completely yellow, such as is the case in another recent post, “Grounded Sunlight”

The whole scene here gives an impression of lush summer growth and belays the reality of a hot and dry evening at the edge of a wheat field.

iPhone 7 back camera

“11:00 PM”

“11:00 pm”

“Melancholy were the sounds on a winter’s night.” 
― Virginia Woolf

I thought I would do something a bit different and revisit a time and place I talked about yesterday, but from a slightly different angle and as a slightly different composition.

This lone oak tree is perhaps the most photographed tree in this area. Even to the untrained, it just calls out ‘Take my picture.”

As I said in yesterday’s post, this image, which appears as a sunrise, or a sun set was actually made at 11:00pm. The glow in the sky is the result of light pollution from the city of Toronto, some thirty miles south of this location. The effect, as already stated was unsettling, as it resembled twilight so closely. despite this, I spend several minutes making photos, trying to do it justice. I believe I accomplished that, as the colours you see her are exactly what I saw that evening.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@200mm

1/2 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500

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“Like a Great False Dawn”

“Like a Great False Dawn”

“Beauty is seeing a flower bloom in a garden or in nature.
Artificial is seeing that same flower try and grow in a vase of water.” 
― Anthony T. Hincks

The only words that came to me as I gazed across the horizon, while driving home from a concert last night, was that it looked like a gloaming false dawn. As you can see from the image, there are streaks of blue and red created by the reflected light of Toronto reflecting from a shifting, low cloud deck. It really looks like the sun is rising on the horizon, except this was close to 11:00pm!

I have seen this phenomenon (light pollution) before but nowhere as intensely as yesterday evening. The combination of low, frost filled clouds and millions of city lights, was ideal to create this effect. It also made me wonder, more than ever before, the effect that this amount of artificial light can have on us. The sky directly above me was dark, as I was travelling several miles north of Toronto, between the various town lights, yet I was surrounded by these false dawns, each one marking the a town or city.

As I drove towards my home town of Stouffville, the effect also manifested itself, but not quite to this degree. I made not eof how the light transitioned from darkness, and suddenly I was enveloped in this canopy of light. It felt like a dark, overcast day more than it did night-time. It was actually a bit disorienting and a bit spooky.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@200mm

1/2 sec, f/3.2, ISO 500

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Among the Fallen”

“Among the Fallen”

“When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself. “
– Tecumseh

The inevitability of trees, and all life on earth, is that they eventually fall, through age, disease, or human intervention. The latter is the case in this image. In areas of a managed forest, individual or groups of trees need to be thinned to make room for the healthy growth of others.

What struck me in this composition is the variability of the light, from the dark trunks to the left, to bright, golden sunshine, and shimmering green in the canopy of leaves above. And, it really was odd to see this cluster of fallen trees just laying there. Generally, most are removed and a few left to rot down, but this was a fairly large pile of logs, left where they fell. But, they were just logs, not entire trees, the crowns having been removed, leaving just bare logs.

Throughout the image, my camera movement has captured fine points of light, dancing within the green vel which surrounds me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200 

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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Tuesdays of Texture – “Silver Birch – Close Up”

“Silver Birch - Close Up”

“Beautiful is he who recognizes what is truly beautiful,
Even if the surface is ugly.
Truthful is he who says what is true,
Even if the truth is ugly.
Ugly is he who measures beauty by its exterior,
Without first weighing the interior.
And ugly is the man who judges harshly what he sees looking out,
Without first judging what he sees in the mirror
– Suzy Kassem

How often I pass by the trees along the way, briefly admiring the varieties and texture. Every now and then, I try to document them through my photos. This silver birch had a certain appeal for me, with its colours and curled bark, such wonderful details. I thought it to be a good submission for this week’s Tuesdays of Texture. It was this or more ice, which is plentiful, with more on the way 😦

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/100 sec, f/850, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Hazel Alder with Catkins and Fruit”

“Hazel Alder with Catkins and Fruit”

“Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.”
― Matt Hardy

I thought this was an interesting scene, as it presented itself to me during a hike this past Saturday. The tree had both catkins, the parts that produce pollen, and fruit at the same time, on the same branch and I can’t recall if I have ever seen this before.

It also offered a nice balanced composition, so I decided it was worth the photo.

I’m still getting familiar with my 90mm macro lense and it’s depth of field range, which is much different from my 70-200mm zoom, with which I am far more familiar, so aperture was not optimum, always learning.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Blowin’ in the Wind”

“Blowin’ in the Wind”

“Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I think I’ve photographed this tree about a dozen times. Sometimes, it’s still and brightened by a golden sunset, other times, it’s filled with birds, darting to and fro. But on this occasion, the strong winds of a hot summer day tossed it’s branches from side to side.

I took the opportunity to capture this motion through a long exposure and the results are quite pleasing. As I look at the photo, I can almost feel the ht sun on my back and feel gusts of wind blowing past me into the outstretched branches.

The slight motion blur makes the image look a bit like a painting.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200mm
1/4 sec, f/32.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Long Term Parking” – near Boulter, Ontario

“Long Term Parking” - near Boulter, Ontario

“God draws near to the brokenhearted. He leans toward those who are suffering. He knows what it feels like to be wounded and abandoned.”
― John D. Richardson

A scene from along the roadside in rural Ontario.

When I see stuff like this , I wonder what the story is. How did this old car get to its final resting spot under the canopy of the ancient maple. Did it just die there one day? Or was it put there deliberately?

It was tempting to jump the fence for a closer look, but the proximity of the farmhouse made that less of an option. Though, as I write this, I wonder if the owner knows the story and would be willing to share it? Perhaps next time…

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 700 mm
1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Flowering Dogwood – Square Dance” – Royal Botanical Garden

“Flowering Dogwood - Squaredance” - Royal Botanical Gardens

“A lie has many colours,
while white is the only faithful colour of truth.”
― Munia Khan

This year has been an interesting shift for me, photographically. I tend to lean towards natural places, such as forest trails, rivers, and lakes. This year I’m finding myself also taking in more man-made gardens and cultivated flowers.

Perhaps this is because I’ve been spending more time in my own backyard and going to botanical gardens with my wife for gardening ideas and simply to enjoy the blooms. Of course, I’ve had my camera with me to capture and share those experiences.

Till now, I had not paid much attention to all the flowering trees. It seemed to me that the flowering phase lasted only for a short period, yet now I’m seeing blossoms will into June.

Dogwoods hold a special appeal to me, since I first witnessed the Sierra Dogwoods blooming in Yosemite National Park a few years ago. There is something about the bright green leaves and delicate large blossoms that draws me to them, especially the bright white ones. The variety pictured above is a hybrid called “Square Dance” because of the blossom shapes, they almost form a perfect square. This particular plant was found in the Rock Gardens section of the Royal Botanical Gardens in Burlington, Ontario.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/320 sec, f/9.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pink Flowering Dogwood” – Ancaster, Ontario

“Pink Flowering Dogwood” - Ancaster, Ontario

“If you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for a moment.”
― Georgia O’Keeffe

Until last weekend, I did not know these existed. I love dogwoods and have made many photos of the gorgeous Sierra Dogwoods of California’s Yosemite National Park as they gleam bright white against the dark pine forests. The first time I saw a photo of them, I knew I had to experience them for myself. I did that a few years back and absolutely loved it.  Now, I come across a pink variety is full splendour and am mesmerized.

This dogwood tree is in my great Aunt’s neighbour’s garden. When I first saw it I was not sure what kind of tree it was, until I looked closer and saw the typical dogwood leaves and delicate blossoms. Truly, a wonderful ornamental tree. The guides say it will survive in my zone and I’m tempted to try it for myself. I’d love to have one of these in my backyard.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 17-50mm f/2.8 XR Di II LD Aspherical (IF) (A16NII) @50mm

1/60 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
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