A tall leafless sycamore tree in winter with bare limbs reaches high above a cold gazebo with mystery footprints leading into it. Who was it that walked through the snow to get there? Why did they go there? Was it for solitude to have a big long think, or just a search for some peace and quiet? Naturally, people wander where they will for no apparent reason to an onlooker. But here, the snow on the ground has left some clues…and even more mystery.
There are quite a few footprints in the snow leading up to the sycamore tree. Was it only one person that walked to the gazebo and came back, or two people that went to the gazebo and left another way?
Nevertheless, this picture was done to capture the breadth, and if you will, the majesty of this mature old sycamore tree. The many branches are in winter white, as sycamore trees begin to drop their bark all through mid to late summer until it’s all gone. You can find plentiful bark peels all around one of them at that time of year.
By this time of winter in January, a sycamore tree will have lost all its upper bark and the myriad white branches can be very stark against the sky. It’s a beautiful sight to behold on a cold sunny day with blue skies, as it was here. But, I chose to create this picture in black-and-white infrared which turns sunny blues skies black. In that way, those bare white limbs are even more strongly accented against the sky. It’s a very good yet unusual way to make a winter portrait of a sycamore tree.
I truly enjoy trees and have done this kind of sycamore tree picture a number of times. They’ve all come out differently. If you enjoy this picture, there’s also another interesting black and white photo of a lakeside winter sycamore tree to see titled Embrace #14895.
Location: a park in Huntingdon, Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks
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