Old & New in Caddo Lake

This was taken at Caddo Lake, TX. It’s an amazing place and was my first time experimenting with photographing from a moving boat! The trees in the lake are so old and covered with moss. From my canoe, I noticed this small cypress trying to grow but I fear the odds are against it for really taking root in any soil.

I slightly increased the ISO to compensate for the boat movement. In post, I did some cropping, adjusted color, tried my best to remove distractions, and dogdge/burn etc to focus on the small tree.

I welcome any overall feedback but am especially looking for input on my cropped composition as well as any editing or distractions I need to address.

Many thanks!


1 Like

Hi Brie … Wow, you show some niches of Texas that would never have come to my mind. I enjoy the framing of your subject with the two large trees, and the down tree over the new tree is a good story and, to me, a good addition to the otherwise vertical lines of the scene.
For tips on canoe photography, see @Kerry_Gordon Maybe entice him to write up some notes for Learning With Experts.
The softness from canoe motion was one challenge for you in this. I ran it through Topaz Sharpen AI, which helped, and might help more if on a larger file.
Accenting the little tree is also a challenge, as it is not originally the brightest area of the image, and viewers’ eyes tend to go to areas that are most bright or most contrasty. I used vignetting and burning to tone down all but the little tree. Burned the little guy a bit to increase its texture and bring out a little color.

Thanks for this! Texas is an amazing place and I have had some fun discovering some hidden gems. I do have a larger file that is more sharp but had trouble uploading. I am slowly learning how far I can “push” my images in post. Since it’s still new to me, I am tending to have a lighter hand. I did do some D&B and vignetting but it definitely looks like I should revisit my file in PS and be a little more heavy handed. I also did an Orton effect but I think it damaged the clarity a little. I may go back through and use it very selectively or remove entirely. I’m going to try this tonight and see what I can do. And, we definitely need a write up on canoe/watercraft photography! I have a kayak and my camera has been begging to go along for a ride!

Yep, Orton is basically a blur and I think the little guy wants to show its detailed foliage.

1 Like

Ok, I removed that Orton (still learning how to use it), and did more vignetting/burning. That Topaz sharpening tool is slick! I don’t have that but hopefully it looks a little better.

Nice detail throughout. To my eye, the bright tree trunks left, horizontal and bottom and the branches hanging down to the green tree are bright enough to distract from the old/new story. Try burning those and see what you think

1 Like

That always seems to be the case that when I get rid of one distraction a new one pops up. I went back through my Burnet layer in Photoshop and just softened some of those highlights I created there and did a little extra burning in LR. I’m actually pretty happy with how this image turned out! Thanks so much for the help