Micro-landscapes are way too much fun! I love tiny scenes like this one that I took near Panther Creek in Washington. This is a wee pine tree just beginning to make it’s way in the big world. It’s growing on a giant downed tree trunk. To me, it looks like a tiny little island in the middle of the ocean – are you sure that’s not a palm tree? ;)
I think the hardest part of a shot like this is just getting the focus where I want it. I knew that I wanted the very top of the “palm tree” to be in sharp focus – so I zoomed in close and used the auto focus function in live-view mode to make sure it was really sharp. It took a few tries, since there was a bit of a breeze. I wanted everything else to be soft and fluid – like something out of a daydream. So I chose a wide aperture of f/4.0 to get a really narrow DOF. I’m working with maybe eight or ten mm of DOF here – so even the ends of the pine needles are soft. Little bits of detail in the moss give your eye something to play with… but not enough to grab your attention. And the bark of the fallen tree seems watery.
I converted to black and white in post-processing – for no better reason than because I wanted to. :) I just liked it better that way. Sometimes color is a distraction.