Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Cypress Knees & Row Row Row Ya Boat back to the house cuz you have to be freezin' ya buns off!

Today's photo challenge was knees.  Knees.  Well, we live in Louisiana and I always thought that Cypress Knees were an anomaly.  Here are some baby cypress knees.  That's the best I could do today.  It was cold and rainy so I went to only one location, lake at LSU.  I thought that I had seen Cypress trees on the edges of the lake.  When I parked, there was a small cluster of Cypress Trees close to the bank but not in the water.   The water you see surrounding is rain water from today and yesterday's rainy weather. 

row, row, flap, flap.
Standing on the edge of the walkway, I looked out over the lake and could not believe what I saw.  Somebody pinch me!  I thought I went to sleep at LSU and woke up at Harvard.  No way!  These people can NOT be from Louisiana.  Didn't they hear that we had school and office closures because we got down to freezing temperature last night?  Besides, I didn't know they made pirogues that long! 

whew!  I realize that I must still be in Louisiana.  There's the familiar aluminum bateau.  At least those couyans are wearing their LSU hoodies.  :)  They might be asking themselves, "What's dat lady couyan doin' over dere wit dat camera, Cher ?!" 

I repositioned myself and waited for the rowing team to appear in the frame because I wanted to provide the viewer more information about the setting.  I chose to show the picnic table and bbq pit in the foreground because it helps describe the area as a pedestrian friendly location.  Also, I used that big tree as an anchor on the left hand side.  I think the image would not be as strong without the tree element.  Do you see our State Capital Building in the misty, foggy background?  I deliberately wanted to show that in the background.  It is a recognizable icon of the city of Baton Rouge and State of Louisiana.
This image is sooc (straight out of camera).  If I had taken it into photoshop, I might would have cleaned up some of the twigs seen at the top of the image, vignette slightly & straighten the horizon line a bit.  But, creating a wow! photoshopped image is not what I am reaching for.  My intention for explaining my thought process before capturing this image is to share the fact that I actually had a thought process.  I'm not saying this is an award winner.  Hardly.  But, if you take time to think about making a picture before taking a picture, I think you will impress yourself!

I focused on the upper / center rain droplet and branch.  Do you see a jogger or a house or lamp post in the background?
A second after I took this shot, I snapped the pic below...

..I focused through the skinny branches and rain droplets to see the lone jogger.   
note:  Isn't it amazing how the droplets and branches almost disappear?  I am standing in the exact same spot with my camera pointed into the exact same spot with the exact same focal length as the rain droplet picture above.  What changed?  My focus.  With my 70-300mm lens racked out at 300mm, I allowed my focus point to train in on the jogger in the distant background instead of the tree branch or rain drops.  When it locked focus on the jogger, the foreground almost blurred away.  This creates a mysterious impression because the viewer instinctively knows that they are seeing through something but can not clearly identify.  
Do you think that is neat?  I do.
It is a great technique. You can try shooting through leaves to get a mystical looking impression of a flower or garden statue. I think if you try it, you will be impressed with yourself!  :)  
Being impressed with yourself is good, right? 

We had a stand off. I have to say, he/she won.  It began to rain again.  Headed home to see my pics. 
It was a slow photo day but a slow photo day is better than a
no photo day any day.

p.s.  I realize that this is the 2nd post from this week that include water drops on twiggy branches.  so, no more.  Hopefully, the weather will clear so that I have a different subject.