My Tiny Island

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.

2 replies
  1. Samantha
    Samantha says:

    Hey, Varina!

    Love your idea here. It can be rare that a nature photograph tells viewers all that the photographer hoped it would, but I love the diorama feel to this little scene. Pure awesome! I think you are one of the most under-rated photographers on the internet today given your skill and unique vision…just my 2c!!!

    • Varina Patel
      Varina Patel says:

      You sweet thing! Thanks Samantha! What a nice thing to say! I agree with you that it’s rare for a photo to convey all of what a photographer hopes to share. I love the challenge of that. It feels like a constant psychological experiment to me. Can I get you to understand what I’m saying without using any words? Only color and tone and patterns and depth of field? :) That’s what I love about photography!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Are you human? *