It is not everyday that I can visit my friends in South Carolina. For those that know me well, it is no secret that I love the South. Recently, my family and I had the opportunity to visit with some close friends in Camden, SC. Camden is the fourth oldest town in South Carolina, yet is the oldest inland town in the state. It is a very interesting town with lots of history, beautiful homes, and friendly people. I packed very light for this trip (when I refer to packing, you can almost be certain that I am referring to camera gear). I brought along one lens and one body (Canon 5D and 50L). This vacation was for pleasure, so photography took a backseat. I recently acquired the amazing Canon 50mm F1.2 L lens, so I wanted to shoot exclusively with it to become more familiar with how it handles different situations. In actuality, with the exception of a small number of photos, this lens hasn't left the 5D and rarely is it set to anything but F1.2.
On Saturday of the trip, we took a leisurely walk through N.R. Goodale State Park. The park is great for canoeing, kayaking, and short hikes, but the real attraction is the beautiful Pond Cypress trees that rise out of the water towards the sky. To a Yankee, these look quite impressive - most certainly majestic! Seeing as the day was overcast and I only had my single lens and body combination, I waited for an ideal moment to try and capture this one particular cypress calling my name. I decided to shoot the lens wide open as an experiment. I was hoping to isolate the one tree that caught my attention and allow the shallow depth of field and the magical bokeh of the lens let the rest of the landscape drift away. Because of the ominous clouds and overall mood of the image, I had envisioned this as a black and white from the start.
I am quite pleased with the end result. Unfortunately, web viewing does not do the image justice! The image looks fantastic printed, especially large. One of my favorite practices is to print black and white landscape images with a border and title on metallic paper. The metallic paper makes the white appear almost like mother of pearl and really brings everything together for a nice finished product. I have created a bordered 11x14 and 16x20 for anyone interested.