Nestled + repost



Got away for a few hours this morning to Guadalupe State Park (not far from our home) to enjoy the beautiful Bald Cypress trees in between seasons. It has been raining (thankfully) for a few days and the trunks/roots were still wet. Which created great contrast to the fallen cypress nettles. After only an hour it started to pour (unpredicted rain shower :frowning_face: ) so I cut my trip short.

Would enjoy hearing how you respond to this capture. The perspective, angle, composition and lighting. Any other thoughts and comments would be great. Thanks.

Nikon Z6ii, f/11, 1/60, iso500 @90mm, tripod, cropped 5:4.


Oh, I like this image, Linda. I love the different angles and colors of the trunk. You did a nice job of separation. The orange needles really adds interest. I bet this is a beautiful Bald Cypress tree to look at. It’s my fantasy to go kayaking in one of the cypress swamps in Texas. Maybe some day. The only suggest I have and it’s nit picking, darken down just a bit the ULC that looks like another tree trunk behind the cypress. The lighter color drew my eye to that corner. Wonderful job.

I really like this image, Linda. The title works really well too: nestled implies home, generations hibernating together. So, having this big burly tree with its delicate leaves nestled in its arms works really well.

I didn’t initially notice the other tree that Donna mentioned. I do think it is a potential distraction, though it could be a less parental spouse in the background (Lol).

Really nice work

This is really lovely, Linda. The tones, colour of the needles, and textures are just great. Having never seen a Bald Cypress, I can image how photogenic they must be. The trees and bush here are mostly so thick it is difficult to isolate trees let alone find any without lichen etc.
I agree with Donna about darkening the ULC somewhat, although maybe blackening that area completely would also work to put extra attention on the lighter and beautiful needles. But then black backgrounds are a favourite of mine and certainly not of universal delight. Cheers.

Thanks @Ola_Jovall and @Paul_Breitkreuz for the thumbs ups! And thank you, @Donna_Callais, @Donna_Callais and @Phil_G for your suggestions and comments. Yes, clearly the ULC needed some work so I’ve attached a revision. Definitely better.

From a 9+ to a 10+! All said above – subject, visual balance, lighting – all top notch!

I didn’t know you had bald cypress in your area. I’m with @Donna_Callais in wanting to shoot the cypress swamps in eastern TX again. @Kris_Smith has done a kayak tour and I’ll bet she would love to do another one!

I did a boat tour from Uncertain years ago – on a tip from a friend who had connected with the guy. It was just for a morning, and it was WAY back in film days. There was a gorgeous sunrise and it was overcooked by Velvia, and the lenses of the day (at least the ones I had) were just not good. I’ve wanted to get back ever since but never made it. Not sure about wanting to try to manage a kayak and shoot at the same time, though.

This is a really nice image and the repost makes it all that much better in the way the vignetting brings my eye to rest. If the title states your intention then you have succeeded admirably in fulfilling it. The textures, lighting, and the orange against the browns and greys of the bark offer a feast for the eye and invite me to take my time and explore the frame. Very nicely seen and executed. One thing you might consider trying: since the bottom part of the frame is not in focus, you could add a slight blur vignette to the tonal one, which would draw the eye in even more to the bright central area with the needles nestled in on its left (right in the frame).

Cypresses are so wonderful and I love that you’ve concentrated on some details, a thing that I tried to do on my week-long cypress workshop in 2020. I like the overall shapes and textures, but might have tried some different framing to isolate or emphasize the lower right section. Not always possible and this might be the best that you could do at the time. The second version is definitely better and shows the cradle that the needles land in more effectively. The rain definitely helped bring out the richness in the colors.

I’d absolutely do another fall cypress workshop. Seems they’re all run out of the tiny town of Uncertain even though Caddo Lake is much larger than just that one spot. Odd. My workshop was done entirely in kayaks, but I could see adding a pontoon boat or similar to the mix to cover larger distances. Working from kayaks, especially the type you’d get on a tour, is not that hard. Mostly you’re in backwaters and unless there is wind, you don’t move much. The tour boats are basically like paddling a bathtub - they’re wide, flat and practically impossible to tip. I kept all my gear in drybag between my feet in front of me and it was easy and safe to work. This reminds me that I’ve really got to put my book together from this tour.

Linda, what a wonderful intimate scene. I like the composition, the colors, and the richness of the browns. Very nice indeed. Well done.

Thanks so much, @Diane_Miller, @Kerry_Gordon and @Kris_Smith for your kind thoughts and comments. Other view points and perspectives are most definitely in my plans, it was just raining so hard I had to give up for that day and am planning another trip soon. Would love to hear more about a cypress workshop, Kris, if and/or when you decided to do one down here at Caddo Lake! Thanks again and happy Thanksgiving all!

This discussion is just making me jealous…being stuck down here in NZ…seemingly without any like-minded souls on NPN :wink:

What a great image, and the rework is just amazing! The colors, the textures and the patterns works very well.

Thanks, @David_Bostock, @Phil_G and @Ola_Jovall for your kind words!

Linda, the shapes and textures here are lovely, with the big curve in the foregournd and the captured needles. (It helps that we had a Dawn redwood in the front yard for 35 years (a close relative of the bald cypress that also drops its needles in the fall). I’ll be the contrarian and say that I like your original post best. In fact I would suggest a bit of dodging on the darker area in the top center. That treatment should also work with your redo.

I love the textures and shapes. Your repost is wonderful. The orange pine needles stand out well and compliment the lines of the tree trunk.

Thanks, @Eva_McDermott and @Mark_Seaver for your comments. Part of what I enjoy about NPN is the different perspectives each person brings to the image. I have experimented with all of the suggestions, and as you would expect each version has a different feel. All of them wonderful interpretations, just depends on what mood a person is at any given time. Below is a version using Mark’s suggestion, which I like a lot because it does bring out more texture/information from the darker areas. Thanks again Mark.

1 Like

Hi Linda - This is a lovely composition. I think it captures the chaos of cypress trees and their bark well while also feeling organized and harmonious. The little pops of color from the nettles adds a lot, too. I think the repost works well overall, especially in terms of your new treatment for the upper left corner. Really nice work!

Thank you for your kind thoughts, @Sarah_Marino. I feel as though I still have so much to learn about what, if any, post processing goes as far as cropping, cloning, dodging/burning and all the other options available these days. But I am getting more confident about when I see a scene or image I love I know I want to capture it. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

1 Like

Those needles really pop and your title perfectly describes what I see here. The rework is much improved on a very good image to start with. How awesome it must be for you to live so close to these wonderfully expressive Cypress trees. The lighting you had looks soft and warm. The framing is really well done on something so chaotic. Nice execution. I agree with @Donna_Callais about the ULC looking like another tree. Darkening it down worked great but I might also reduce the warmth in that spot as it butts up against the nice grey/blue of the main trunk. Wonderful image, Linda.

PS Wouldn’t it be fun to have an NPN gathering in Caddo Lake next Fall??? Like a meet up instead of a workshop? @Kris_Smith, @Donna_Callais and yourself could lead the way if you are so inclined. Would be fun for sure. I’m in. :grin:

Thanks, @David_Haynes. . . .and “wow!” I just made a selected section of the ULC tree and reduced the yellows just a tad, which of course has made that section blend much better with the larger portion on the tree on the right. Great suggestion, thank you!
As for next fall and Caddo Lake, admittedly I’m embarrassed to say, have never been there, but would love to participate if an outing develops!