Study The Fallen Tree Trunks

Posted: August 21, 2015 in Uncategorized
Next time you’re out in the woods where you shoot, take a good look at any downed tree trunks.
Here’s an old trunk which over the years has lost the out side bark, and exposed the underneath.


Look at the center of this image and you will see that small round raised area on the trunk. That is where a branch had once been before it rotted and fell off.


Now lets take a closer look at that raise area and near the center of the frame you will see the interesting swirling lines, which is what you want to look for on these old trunks. So study the areas where a branch has fallen off and look for the lines and texture left. Now you won’t always find interesting lines like this, but at least be aware that this is possible and study each tree trunk.


We move into that area where the swirling lines are and this is what we find. By itself this image is pretty interesting, but it seems to need something to help put it over the top. This subjects make great backgrounds to go along with a main subject that is more recognizable.


In this first one I added a Turkey feather, so now it has something that the viewers eye can go to that they will recognize and connect with, and than they will study the interesting tree trunk after they view the feather.


In the next image I added this tiny Oak leaf. Again the viewers eye will first go to the recognizable subject, the leaf, and then roam through the background thinking wow, that’s pretty cool. Without the feather or leaf, most viewers (non photographers) would not appreciate this subject as much on its own. Now if the viewer was an artistic person or a photographer who can understand the value of interesting lines and texture, then they will get it even without the feather or leaf, but if you take the feather and leaf out, the vast majority of the public won’t understand why they are looking at a bunch of swirling lines.

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  1. Rick Berger says:

    Mike, you have good understanding of how non-artistic types (aka ‘the vast majority of the public) view shots like yours. I’ve encountered this in my photographic work. I sometimes shoot a subject from both points of view…one the artistic community will get (swirling lines on a dead tree trunk) and the other (like your leaf on the lines) as what the public can identify with. As always, great work!

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