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Cattail Ballet

Cattail Ballet
Photo Information
Copyright: Bob Harrison (BobH) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 40 W: 8 N: 192] (650)
Genre: Plants
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-10-05
Categories: Water Plants
Camera: Canon PowerShot S5 IS
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/50 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Reflections [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-05-02 21:06
Viewed: 8151
Points: 14
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This image is the fifth in my current series. It was shot only a few meters away from the previous post, but from "Loon Island" instead of from a canoe.

The shot was taken in very similar fashion to the fourth image in the series, "Frog's Eye View of the Grass Forest", but using a mini-tripod (15 cm high) instead of holding the camera over the side of the canoe. By partially submerging the mini-pod on a rock which sloped gradually into the water, I was able to place the camera as close to the water as possible without getting it wet.

If you have never tried this approach while shooting reflections, you should. Distance and angle to the reflection have a large effect on what the final photo looks like. Just as with the intentional distortion imposed by a view camera (a large format perspective control camera such as used by Ansel Adams), the effect achieved is difficult or impossible to introduce solely by digital modification.

The low angle allows me to focus attention entirely on the foreground cattails, which almost seem to be floating in space. Unlike the previous image, there is nothing in the immediate foreground to distract from the reflection, and the resulting composition is fairly simple. Even though the green of the leaves is quite visible, the fog is still muting the direct light. This muting also prevents the lake bottom in the foreground from becoming too visible.

All of this helps to guide your eye to the graceful curves of the leaves, which remind me of the arms of ballet dancers. I wonder... ...are they performing to the singing of the frogs in the grass forest a few meters away?

Hope you enjoyed this little natural ballet. Thanks for looking.

tech notes-
slight cropping, one step PS sharpening, increased brightness & contrast, adjustment of shadow/highlight balance, no color modification

NinaM, nglen, tuslaw, andykirkland has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To foozi: thanksBobH 1 06-13 09:27
To andykirkland: analysisBobH 2 05-05 07:58
To NinaM: your museum?BobH 3 05-04 06:22
To tuslaw: lying in the water?BobH 1 05-03 19:18
To nglen: music supplementBobH 1 05-03 17:35
To LordPotty: mini-pod methodBobH 1 05-03 05:23
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Critiques [Translate]

Mini tripod,15cm high .... sounds a bit like fungi photography.
A great effect you've achieved by this method.
I think I'll try and get out tomorrow and experiment myself if the tides are right.
Thanks for the tip on low POV reflection shooting.

  • Great 
  • NinaM Gold Star Critiquer [C: 773 W: 3 N: 1157] (4077)
  • [2009-05-03 7:40]
  • [+]

This is such a different pov, what a nice perspective, I just love it. I could easily see these pictures hung onto the white walls of a museum, big big big frames with the beautiful colours, the beautiful light with the subtle and graceful hints of colours in the clouds. Really, the colours are fantastic, the light is superb and exposure spot on. Plus, we get the privilege to sit and contemplate just like a frog, a salamander maybe, or even a turtle! I like the trick you use, maybe a helium filled balloon could help ;-)) Me will get myself a gorilla pod!


  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-05-03 11:54]
  • [+]

Hi Bob. Once again the is pure beauty for me. Its so simple but so clever . You have an eye for this type of pictures. I am sat here with clasical music on the radio looking at this first class picture its so relaxing . great colours and detail with a fine refection. wel ldone TFS.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2752 W: 280 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2009-05-03 18:18]
  • [+]

Perfectly composed shot Bob!!
Love the low POV and great DOF. Makes you feel like your lying almost eye level on the water and as you stated, seeing what a frog sees!!! Well done!!

What beautiful picture!

Great angle, depth of field and framing. Even thought the larger cattail is in the center, the smaller cattails on the sides frame the image and provide balance. The reflections lead the viewer not only to the subject, but also into the depth of the image. The sky narrowly distracts the eye away from the water line.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-06-07 5:06]
  • [+]

Hi Bob,
i really like your nature graphico artistic presentation. They are lovely and unique.
such a beauty with the reflection, clear water depth and nice colours of the sky. The lines and hues of the long leaves are very attractive.
A splendid presentation.


Wonderful design Bob. They really are dancing cattails. Wonderful shot with a wonderful majenta sky. TFS Trevor

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