The Tree of Life

Happy Friday Everyone. Here’s to the end of a long and tiring week. Here’s another shot taken from the top of Enchanted Rock in the Texas Hill Country. The views from up here at sunset are truly spectacular and well worth the 400 foot climb.

Tree of Life

The Tree of Life – Fredericksburg, Texas
Copyright © 2010 Jeff Lynch Photography
Shot taken with a Canon EOS 5D Mark II set on aperture priority (Av) using an EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens tripod mounted. The exposure was taken at 38mm, f/16 for 1/10th of a second at ISO 100 using a Singh-Ray LB warming polarizer & 3-Stop, graduated neutral density filter. All post capture processing was done in Adobe’s Lightroom 3 Beta 2. Click on the image above for a larger version.

How To Get This Type of Shot

  • The trick to getting this type of shot is to use a very steady tripod. The winds atop Enchanted Rock can gust to 35 mph and it’s darn near impossible to get a sharp image when hand-holding your camera. A good quality carbon-fiber tripod can make all the difference in the world.
  • Using the right filters is also vital to getting this type of shot. I always use a circular polarizer to cut down the harsh glare and to add saturation to the colors.
  • The most important “trick” in getting this type of shot is to use a graduated neutral density filter. This little beauty lets you balance the exposure differences between the rocks in the foreground and the clouds in the background. Some folks do this “in post” by bracketing their exposures and merging them into an HDR image. I prefer to do this the “in camera” using a graduated ND filter. I think it provides a more realistic looking result.

3 thoughts on “The Tree of Life

    • Good Morning Jack!

      This is one of the most incredible sights I’ve photographed. I’d love to see what the root structure looks like as it burrows down into the granite.


  1. Excellent tips, Jeff. Because of you, I now carry both a polarizer and graduate ND filters in my bag. Thanks! I made sure they were the maximum size for my lenses (77mm) and use step up rings for the others.

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