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Out of Place

Out of Place
Photo Information
Copyright: Niek Bouwen (SunToucher) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2385 W: 237 N: 3033] (11162)
Genre: Landscapes
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-11-07
Categories: Trees
Camera: Canon EOS 40D, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 DC EX HSM, Lee Filter System
Exposure: f/16, 2 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-11-13 8:44
Viewed: 3539
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Something you'll need to know to better understand this photo and title. My country has its human footprint all over the place. There is hardly a piece of nature that has not been touched by human. In some cases it has to do with helping nature to stay alive, in other places itís to misuse nature for human benefits.

For example; in many marsh areas humans control the water level. This is to make sure that the water will not come below or above a certain point so that it will either flood or dry out. These marshes are normally surrounded my agricultural landscapes that either stop the natural flow of water or drain it away. The human hand is here for a preservation purpose.

In a more negative way, many forest are planted for a timber purpose. Although this can have its benefits, the uniform way of planting the trees and the homogeneous diversity of the trees is unnatural and can destroy habitats for animals and opportunities for other plant life.

The reason to explain this is the life of this little Beech tree. It is growing in a planted pine and larch forest where normally no other kind of tree is capable to survive due to the extreme lack of light throughout the year.

While walking down a path along the edge of this planted forest I noticed the yellow spot among the green surround. It just needed to be captured. The fallen tree added a good perspective to the overall vertical composition.

Some tech talk for a change:
This is a blend of two exposures. So not a merge, but a blend. To explain it shortly, I made two different exposures in camera, one for the highlights and one for the shadows. In Photoshop I used the shadow exposure as a mask in my levels adjustment layers and blurred the mask to smoothen the edges. This technique allowed me to get the best dynamic range in a high range photo.

aes_thor, carper, Evelynn, eqshannon, Jamesp, SelenE, bobcat08, PaulH, horia, oanaotilia, mbasil, NinaM, uleko, hester, valy67 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To horia: Hot shoe spirit levelSunToucher 1 11-19 01:34
To carper: 40DSunToucher 1 11-14 06:49
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Niek
Very nice photo, well captured and composed. Very interesting and informative note. I know it is sad that forests are being planted just for the timber- but that how it is and how will be if people won't start to think more ecological .
Your technique for the exposure is really good.

hele mooie hefst foto Niek,
prachtig hoor, zeer goed gebruik gemaakt van de wide lens. Je hebt ook de 40d zie ik... leuk.
prettige avond.
groet Jaap

Ciao Niek, great view of splendid forest with fantastic autumnal colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

I'm glad that autumn has arrived there and given you some lovely color. I like you composition a lot. The horizontal of the small yellow tree against a backdrop of verticals is effective. I agree about the fallen tree and also like the repetition of the yellow in the background. This is a very nice blending. I like that technique and use it often. I like it better than Photomatix HDR. Maybe I just don't know how to use it well. I really like haviang control.

Evelynn : )

Of course you know I love the perfect landscape...a place always in my heart..if it were not for the quality environment, we would have no insects, no mammals, no humans...no picture:-)
PS At least they try..shere in America they sometimes leave it clearcut..

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-11-13 23:01]

Hi Niek

A lovely composition - the verticals and dull colours are complimented wonderfully by the brighty colours and horizontals of the beech. The Netherlands and UK are pretty similar in their human 'footprint'.


Hallo Niek,

Een mooi, goed onderbouwd verhaal, om daar als eerste maar mee te beginnen. Het mooie van de herfst is als je in dit soort Pinetree bossen loopt dat deze boompjes en andere kleine rakkers, zoals het kerseboompje zo mooi opvallen.

Je hebt een technisch hoogstandje geleverd Niek. En als ik sommige reacties lees, dan is zelfs Amerika tevreden over je werk (-:

Door je object een beetje terzijde te plaatsen heb je diepte in de foto gecreerd. De bomen op de achtergrond zijn hiervoor verantwoordelijk. De kleuren zijn zoals ze horen te zijn. Eťn brok natuur.

Fijn weekend en tot TFS BOB

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-11-14 3:07]

Hi Niek,
You got a very good result with blending two different exposures. Composition, perspective, color tones and the scenery look very nice. TFS
Have a nice weekend,

Hallo Niek
Je techniek is blijkbaar heel goed gelukt.
Niet alleen in Amerika zijn ze tevreden over je werk, maar zelfs in BelgiŽ.:-)))

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-11-14 10:07]

Wish i knew how to blend exposures like this! Works very well. A very strong composition, well seen Niek. Your country, like mine, sadly has no large areas wilderness left...although here it does feel wild, a credit to your work.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2008-11-14 10:48]
  • [+]

Hi Niek

Just as i was writting a comment for this shot last night, my computer died...i'm still not sure if it's windows or some virus (probably both) but i hope to resolve it soon. I also hope nothing will happen this time :)

This is really nice!
Aside from the aeastetic part (which i will refer to soon) i really like the tech part here. Initially, i thought that this was some sort of a stitch since you mentioned two expoures. I thought of that because of the terrific verticall parallel lines everywhere, which are really difficult to obtain from a full-frame single shot especially with an ultra-wide lens. My hat's off to you for positioning your camera perfectly horizontal and managing such an exact photo (did you get the level, in the end?)
Also on the tech part, i find it interesting the way you blend them. I'm not a big wizz when it comes to Photoshop, so such things i find very useful when i find them in one's notes. Thanks about that, too.

Now for the photo itself:
- the composition is truly superb! I like the positioning of the lone beech tree in the frame and that enhaces its impact well. The contrast in the colors and shapes between the beech and the pine and larch trees is equally outstanding.
- the DOF and perspective are excelent and obviously the overall eposure that resulted from the two shots is an absolute success.

And as a last details, the fallen tree adds some more significance to what you also mention in your note...hopefully this natural aging phenomenon of hte forest will lead to a more normal evolution of nature there as well.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Niek!

I'm impressed in two ways. First by the beauty of the simple, yet so pleasant picture. Together with the notes it gets its full dimension. Sometimes we tend to overlook simple beauties in our nature... Second, I like the technical aspect of the blended composition very much. I know that technique, but never really tried it out. You did it in a perfect way.

Kind regards


I find this to be a lovely image, Niek. The little yellow off-center tree is like a little David standing up to the forest company Goliaths! It's a fun note. Good color and the HDR works here to good effect, IMHO. My suggestion would be to look at it as a tighter pano crop, especially cropping out some of the top -- I think the story of the little tree works better.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2008-11-28 7:13]

Niek, you picture the forest the way I love and that is not easy to do because of branches everywhere and grass, bushes all around the place. One has to have the eye to depict the beauty that will be seen in a picture. You really succeeded with this picture, it is simply fantastic. The spot of colour created by the birch tree, the fallen tree is just like you said, a perfect perspective added in your picture, well, it is perfectly beautiful. And thanks for the tech tip!


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-05 3:45]

Hello Niek,
Well, you're welcome to join the large number of Dutch people who're moving to Sweden! (Especially farmers and 'horse people'.) There's still plenty of space for everyone here! However, the forest around us looks very much like this at the moment as they've thinned it out and ruined the ground with their big machines. The little saplings of deciduous trees don't seem to get much of a chance to survive.
Your composition here is lovely though with the little Beech in focus and the fallen brown leaves on the ground. Excellent DOF and beautiful colours too.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

This is a very unique shot, the strange little tree adds a lot of character to the image. It looks so natural as well,
Great job!


  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-12-15 11:03]

Hi Niek

Nice to see nature trying to fight back. The little survivor gives a wonderful colour splash to the photo. Wonderful PP work here, it look beautifully natural



  • Great 
  • valy67 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1727 W: 59 N: 3060] (9219)
  • [2008-12-24 23:26]

Hello Niek !
I like this courageous little tree, growing where he shoulfn't actually grow.Sad also to heat that this is only for timber purpose. But even though, the picture looks fantastic, with all the big dark trees, and then the small one with golden leaves. Very nice contrast. And technical qualities of the picture are perfect also, as usual from you. Very well done !

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