Gnarled Tree

“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”

2016-01-03 15.26.51I 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.” 😀

Photoshop at WorkFast 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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Written by The Twilit Lens

Freelance photographer and ponderer of the unusual. I welcome the presence of mystery and the unknown. Wonder is not absent from the universe, and there is still room for the child in those who haven't yet allowed their hearts to wither to dust.

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