Two Dancers #14896

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The Story

These are two sycamore trees standing leafless on a lakeshore with bare limbs stretched widely. The open sun warms and illuminates all the white branches down to every reaching twig. Brightly lit with the dark flat lake behind them, they reminded me of two dancers working a wide ballroom floor. It was great to be outside in nature on a cold day at the edge of late winter passing. Wonderfully, rippled water reflected the clouds above and the mountains beyond were dappled by moving clouds.

It was a great sky day with large fluffy clouds floating high, moving like a heard of fat and lazy white hippos across the sky. I had to wait several times for some of them to pass overhead to let the light onto the land; making infrared photography takes good strong light. Finally as a large cloud cleared, the sun lit this scene and warmed me in that chilly wind. Other clouds left the mountain background darkened. The camera and tripod were already set to shoot, the shutter was tripped, and the two sycamore trees with bare limbs left this digital impression in black and white infrared. There was also another impression, one of two dancers with reaching arms in my imagination.

Aside from helping to make an interesting picture outside in nature, 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 on a day like this or anytime 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. It turns out that was the main ingredient for successful shooting on this off-and-on light day.

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 creating black and white photography, especially in the infrared I love.

Would you like to see a nice view of a single sycamore tree in black and white at this place? It’s here as Embrace #14895.

Location: near Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Image and text © Andrew Dierks

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