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A sycamore tree reaches with bare limbs toward the warmth and light of the winter sun. It’s almost like an open and welcoming embrace by those white tree limbs. The ice has recently thawed from the lake and the rippled water reflects the clouds above.
To be sure, standing in the chilly wind to create this shot made me glad of that sunlight too. On this great sky day, the clouds were floating high and fluffy and moved very slowly like a herd of fat, lazy white hippos across the sky. Infrared photography done properly needs strong light, so I had to wait here for a good stretch as one of those fat hippos moved slowly across the sky. Soon, the sun was back out, the wind fell off, and I had my chance to shoot several frames. In the background, a cloud was blocking the light onto the land. As photo fortune would have it, that made the bare limbs of this sycamore tree stand out even more.
Aside from helping to make an interesting picture, clouds can let the light through or block it…they give the light and take it away. There’s just no sense in getting uptight and in a hurry, it’s Mother Nature who calls the shots when shooting outside. You’re actually along for her ride whether or not you’ll admit it. Sometimes, all you can do is wait and your efforts are best greased with patience.
In this black and white infrared image, both the sky and water have gone black with the rest varying intensities of white. Every year, the middle of March is the tail-end rump of winter with everything still drab and brown while Spring waits to bust out in glorious green. It’s a great time for shooting black and white, especially in the infrared I love.
There’s another horizontal view of two sycamore trees along this lakeshore here as Two Dancers #14896.
Location: near Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Image and text © Andrew Dierks
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