Monday, January 31, 2011

Winter Oaks with Mistletoe

This is a reference shot (done on my iPhone!) from 2 weekends ago.  Locating new subjects is a never ending job, so when I have a free afternoon and I don't have a specific location in mind to work, I like to drive around checking out new roads, or hike a bit at spots that I normally pass by, just to see what I can see.  Usually it's mid-day and the light is not interesting, or the weather is not right... but I'm not concerned about all that, because I know I can come back at a better time.  If a new spot seems to have potential, I just take some quick reference shots as a kind of visual notebook, or "photographic sketch", if you will.
I was strolling around this clearing and thinking that there was not much of interest here, until the sweet light just before sunset lit up these bare oak trees and the background, making it suddenly magical.  For some reason, the clumps of mistletoe in the trees really make the scene for me... makes them look like they were somehow deliberately decorated.  Kind of wish I had been prepared to shoot it properly, because the combination of clouds and light was so perfect, but I can get to this spot in a few minutes next time the conditions and my time permit... and I'll know what time to be there and exactly where to set up to get what I want.
If you click on the image to look at the expanded version, you'll see that the sky is a little noisy and the detail in the grassy area is not the best, but I have to say the the new iPhone 4's 5mp camera is pretty impressive for what it is, with built-in HDR processing and geo-tagging... and on top of that, it shoots HD video!  I think the detail in the branches of the tree is quite nice, at least for a device that fits easily into your pocket and does about a hundred other useful things besides taking pictures:) 


Mandy said...

Thanks explaining the concept of a reference shot! It makes sense to me now and reminds me of how I barcode-scan books to my Amazon wishlist so I can remember to read them. How did we live without iPhones?

I must say though that this kind of shot shows just how talented you really are. There is no way I would get a photo like that from my iPhone, even though I still only have a 3GS. Will definitely upgrade later in the year.

Unknown said...

This light was beautiful Mark.

You were right and this post makes me smile (once more) but yours are really most beautiful than mines :)

Mary Howell Cromer said...

Very interesting the way you explain this great concept and the image is great. I love viewing Mistletoe in large old trees this time of year.

storybeader said...

the mistletoe looks like a bunch of nests or something! It is nice, and the geo-tagging in the phone is pretty neat!

forgetmenot said...

Another beautiful photo--you find interesting subjects to photography and then you "make the most" of the shot.

Teemu Tretjakov said...

What a great idea to use iPhone as a sketch book! You can save time and location automatically. Thanks for sharing the idea! BTW: I don't think you should visit that place again, the image is amazing..