Weekly Photo Challenge: Shadowed

This week’s photo challenge is shadowed. The shadows give a sense of depth to the cypress stand in an oxbow in eastern Arkansas. A drive-by shot taken along U.S. 70.

Cypress shadows

Other shadows we liked:

 

Bald eagle

May is usually a little late for “snow birding” bald eagles, but this late-stayer was a welcome sight nonetheless. He sat atop a tall cypress in the middle of an old Arkansas River oxbow within sight of Little Rock’s skyline. Such a treat!

Bald eagle in cypress.
On the lookout for his next meal. 

Weekly photo challenge: Eerie

In the spirit of All Hallows Eve, this week’s challenge is eerie.

We have two photos this week, one new and one old. The top shot was taken on a late October morning as we headed out of town on a road trip. The fog-softened silhouettes and the spotlight effect of the sun brought an air of mystery to the drive. The second photo was taken in a cypress swamp in 2011 at the site of the Battle of Jenkins Ferry.  The original post is here: https://suburbanferndaleark.wordpress.com/2011/09/05/battle-of-jenkins-ferry/.  The shadows and reflections — one in particular — looked like the ghostly image of a man standing with his hands in his pockets.

Silhouette of car in sunrise.
OUT OF THE MIST. A car comes out of the fog lit by the just-risen sun.
Cypress swamp.
GHOSTS — After downloading this image of the Saline River, something remarkable showed on the screen that didn’t show in the viewfinder. In the middle left, there appears the image of a man standing at ease, with his hands in his pockets. With a little more imagination, reflections of the other cypresses in the water could be ghosts of armies past.

Feeling a little black and whitish

Of course, these are not truly black and white, having been shot in living RGB on digital point n’ shoot. When framing a shot for eventual conversion to black and white, or specifically infrared-ish, there is still the challenge of evaluating the color and contrast in the viewfinder and filtering it through your brain, hoping the resulting image will match your ambitions.

The first lesson I had in this area was in the pre-digital days. As wire editor for a newspaper chain, I’d watch as The Associated Press LaserPhoto machine spit out, on a special paper, color photos as color separations. There were four images for each photo and though they were black and white, each represented the yellow, black, cyan and magenta components of a full-color image.  When aligned correctly and run through a four-color press, magically, a full color image would appear.

When shooting through an RGB device, your imagination has to substitute for those CMYK separations — taking it a step further and using only three mental filters, red, green and blue.  Of course, if your image doesn’t meet your ambitions, there’s probably a fix in Photoshop.

Cypress growing in a backwater.
Cypress growing in a lake near the Arkansas Forestry Commission nursery east of Little Rock.
5-24 Cloud rays BW
Clouds spread out like rays from the north.

This was originally shot for this weekend’s In the Background photo challenge, aiming for a little bird in a tree in the background. Once downloaded, the clouds just leapt from the frame.