In the parking lot of a nearby hospital, there are some old gnarly oaks that were preserved during construction. I happened upon these trees recently and there is one in particular that stood out to me. It is growing out of the ground almost horizontally for a long stretch before the branches head upward. I think that it must have blown over long ago and just reset its roots and kept growing.
I set my camera with 14mm lens on a tripod at the base and tried to compose some images that would capture most of the tree from near ground level. You can see how the tree grows away from the viewer along the ground. I also managed to get the sun bursting through the branches, which does result in a bit of lens flare as well.
I had a lot of trouble getting a composition that I wanted for this and I am still not sure I got what I wanted. I am not sure the depth of the scene is conveyed. There is a cactus at the base that I wanted to include. There are some parked cars to the right that I did not want to include. I also tried HDR, but that didn’t really give me anything that I wanted. I thought that maybe this blog was going to be about focus-stacking and I tried that and it really didn’t buy me anything. In the end, I like this one with the sunburst in the branches.
Tip: An interesting thing about the sun burst or lens flare is that it is related to the number of aperture blades. If there are an even number of aperture blades, the flare will have the same number of points as there are aperture blades. If there is an odd number of aperture blades, the flare will have twice the number of points as there are aperture blades. The Rokinon 14mm f/2.4 lens that I used has a 9 blade aperture and thus, there are 18 points in the flare from the sun. It also helps to use a small aperture. In the photo above, the aperture was set to f/20.
One last thing to notes is that this JPG has a lot of unevenness to the blue in the sky. I did limit the file size, which reduced quality. The original does not have this problem.
Thanks for reading and leave a comment if you like.
3 thoughts on “Gnarly Oak Tree”
Nice lens flare. I didn’t know about the aperture blades, interesting.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Beautiful sunburst Jason. None of my lenses do this really well. Or perhaps it’s the photographer, not sure but I keep trying. Nice composition too I love trees as a subject.
LikeLiked by 1 person
I have tried this before without much success. I think that the sun has to be peaking through something and you have to have a really tiny aperture to make this work.