Sabinal River Gallery Finished

I’ve completed the photo gallery from our recent trip to Utopia, Texas:

click to view gallery

It’s been since March that I’ve gone outdoors and seriously photographed. My time in the field was short but very enjoyable. I miss doing that, and I’m glad I miss it :-)

6 thoughts on “Sabinal River Gallery Finished

  1. ‘Deep River Channel’ – Nice sense of depth. I like the low camera angle and the reflection in the water. The natural color and soft contrast of the image impart a sense of calm to this scene, I can imagine it being very quiet and peaceful. The ‘stuff’ floating in the water in the foreground is unfortunate since it interferes with the reflection but it does provide an additional layer to the composition.

    ‘Cypress Roots’ – I just love Cypress trees and their roots. This image is fascinating to me, is that clump of roots in the foreground actually part of the tree behind it? You’ve done a great job of using a wide FOV and low perspective to create a composition with an interesting foreground and plenty of depth. B/W is an good choice here, and your conversion is excellent, with a rich tonal range but not too much contrast. This is my favorite image of the set (I seem to be on a B/W kick lately, though).

    ‘Cypress Tree’ – It seems a grad filter was used? Top of the tree seems unnaturally darkened. I have to admit this is a peeve of mine, but it doesn’t seem to bother a lot of people.

    ‘Reflections’ – I like the top half of the frame, with the great color /reflections in the water. The bottom half of the frame doesn’t work for me as well, because of the bright areas where the sky is reflecting, they just dominate the image. Maybe cropping from the bottom to 5:4 or even square would help shift the center of interest upwards in the frame?

    ‘Flowing Water’ – I love well-composed panoramas ad this one’s really nice. The rocks add interest to the foreground, and I like the soft reflections in the water. You’ve recorded some movement in the water, but there’s still some texture. I might crop a bit from the left side of the frame to get rid of that partial tree trunk and sky, but I like this one a lot.

    ‘Backwater’ – This one doesn’t really work for me. The foreground is too cluttered/messy. Also the quality of light doesn’t seem to be as good as some of the others, it just lacks the ‘luminous’ quality that the other B/W images have.

    ‘Milky Way and Lights from Utopia’ – I love your night-time shots, especially the ‘starfield’ shots that capture the actual stars rather than trails. This is something film just can’t do (I suppose you could use one of those tracking mounts, but then you’d lose the foreground elements to camera motion). I really need to try this sometime.

  2. Thanks, Mike!

    Thanks, Jeff. Thanks for taking the time to leave me detailed feedback, I really appreciate it. I agree with what you’ve said, and I’ve also picked up a few things that I hadn’t thought about either. Thanks!

    This photo “outing” was my first serious attempt since about mid-March this year. I felt rusty and out of touch with photography. But it was a good learning experience and reminds me to pick up the camera more often.

  3. I missed answering Jeff’s questions a while back ’cause I was in a hurry, so here we go:

    “I just love Cypress trees and their roots. This image is fascinating to me, is that clump of roots in the foreground actually part of the tree behind it?”

    Dunno about that. Seems like it might have been part of the root system from an adjacent tree. But then all the cypress roots seemed to be bound together as one unit :-)

    “It seems a grad filter was used? Top of the tree seems unnaturally darkened.”

    Sorta – it was one RAW file, processed twice, then blended in PS. The blending effectively mimics using a grad ND filter, so I tried to “paint” out that effect locally on the dark branches, but the top branches of the tree were very dark naturally! I don’t know what could have caused it to be dark. It was very weird looking, and that’s why I wanted to shoot it.

  4. TJ, I love all your images. Love the all the river and tree photos, the Milky Way, and the Star Trails-well, all of them. The star trails are a really unique concept that I haven’t seen anyone photograph before. I really like all the detail in the images-very sharp with great color.

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