“Ugly roots and malignant hanging nooses of Spanish moss beset them, and now and then a pile of dank stones or fragment of a rotting wall intensified by its hint of morbid habitation a depression which every malformed tree and every fungous islet combined to create.”
– H.P. Lovecraft, “The Call of Cthulhu”
I recently visited Mead Botanical Garden in Orlando. My wife JoDee was with me and pointed out the sites as we explored, including the first cypress trees I ever saw! So naturally my imagination got to working. When I found this particular tree, I knew the shot was too good to pass up.
Using my 18-270mm lens at its widest angle, I shot the image in RAW mode using exposure settings of ISO 100, f/11, 1″. As a finishing touch, I tilted the camera at an exaggerated angle to heighten the otherworldly appearance of the scene.
And luckily, despite park signs to the contrary, I didn’t meet any “poisonous reptiles.” 😀
Fast forward to my Photoshop work space back home. After importing the photo, I used Adobe RAW to ensure my white balance was spot on. Then I applied a high pass digital filter to maximize sharpness where it counted (this is where I get very anal; I love to play with my images to get them to magazine level quality sharpness). And, as usual, Topaz Adjust came in handy with its “Dramatic” setting. Finally after a little of my trademark vignetting, I uploaded the finished product to my web site and a small and quicker-to-load version to the blog.
Naturally, in addition to all the cloud-based storage, I used my external hard drive (bottom photo, lower-left corner) to make one last backup of my images: both RAW, Photoshop format and jpegs. Can’t be too careful. 😉
Hope you enjoyed this high-level breakdown of my usual fine art workflow. Trust me when I say that having a consistent method of taking and processing your shots will save you time and frustration. Cheers!
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