View Full Version : Treescape,Deadvlei

peter delaney
01-04-2014, 07:01 PM
Another from my series on Deadvlei….

Have been away for a few weeks … so will be back again commenting soon… :S3::S3:

D3S 70-200MM

Anette Mossbacher
01-05-2014, 06:04 AM
Hi Peter,

studied this image for quite a while. Was looking for the "how to" of the pp :w3 Wondering of the flying dust, which I really do love in this one as well. How you "draw the light" in this image.
In short, awesome, love it.

The LHS branch on the ground somehow is a bit bright, but on the other hand it suits to the whole image.

Have a great Sunday


Rachel Hollander
01-05-2014, 09:25 AM
Hi Peter - I've looked at this a few times to formulate my thoughts. For me, it's a nice image of a dead tree with dramatic lighting but by eliminating both the high dunes and the reds and yellows that make Dead Vlei such an iconic location, you removed the essence of Dead Vlei and this image could be of a dead tree taken anywhere. The blowing sand could even be mist and the image to me has the feeling of being taken on the edge of a swamp rather than in the Namibian desert. Sorry, but I know you want our honest thoughts.

Is the lighting natural or did you use external flashes?


peter delaney
01-05-2014, 05:13 PM
Hi Anette and Rachel

many thanks for your very different comments , equally appreciated .

Anette , when you create a black and white image , you must control the light and tonal values. In this image I was shooting in to the light as I was intrigued by the wind swirling the sand around the dead tree. I then moulded the light using tonal range to create a mood that I felt at the time. The light on tree branch is around zone 9 so not hot or blown on my screen and is good for printing. I try keep whites below 10 .

Rachel, Ansel Adams once said. " there are two people in a photograph the viewer and the photographer" so the "essence" of how you feel about the image reflects you as a person and a photographer.
I have said before I do not wish to duplicate a scene in front of me as a technical perfect image (as I find these kind of images lacks soul )but rather the image must reflect my essence ,my soul ,my feelings, my mood at the time.
I love to create moody images. It is the creative side within me that I want to explore and challenge to try and make something beautiful and unique.

Thank you you both for your comments again...

Andrew McLachlan
01-05-2014, 07:35 PM
Hi Peter, I like your creativity for this one and think it turned out quite well...I might tone down some of the brighter lit sections of the branches just a little and my first thought was that this was photographed at the edge of a swamp or waterhole...not sure what your thought are on bringing out some details in the desert.

Don Lacy
01-05-2014, 09:23 PM
Hi Pete, I really love this image I think you succeeded in capturing your mood, your essence and I appreciate the fact that you went to Deadvlei and found a way to produce an image that is not a variation on the usual interpretation of this area.

Don Railton
01-05-2014, 11:17 PM
Sorry Peter, I'm not so keen on this one.. Its definitely unique but I find my eye continually being drawn out of the frame by the LH branch..


01-06-2014, 12:06 AM
I like it a lot.
I have nothing to compare it too, having never seen a color version.
Killer B & W treatment.

Morkel Erasmus
01-06-2014, 02:47 AM
I like the mood and tonal range you achieved here Peter. I know it's Dead Vlei and could immediately place it, but I see where Rachel and Andrew are coming from.
I think there my be merit in sligthly lifting out the dune/desert detail behind the tree, without it drawing the eye too much from the dust swirls and light on the tree?
Love reading your thoughts on the creation of these images, it's giving me food for thought as well...

Andreas Liedmann
01-13-2014, 11:41 AM
Hi Peter,
really like your way of processing stuff and your extraordinary creativity you present here.
you are able to produce extra strong moods , that are not pleasing all of the viewers eyes, and i like how you are going your way without looking left or right what others say……. lift my hat for that.
I tried myself something "comparable " but i am not able to achieve anything coming close of your depth in whites and blacks ,without the look of being processed heavily.

Extraordinary B/W work, want to say more but i am somehow limited because of language barrier, it is very difficult to transport emotion from one to another.

So i say well done ,Peter.

Ps : can you give technical advice without telling too many of your secrets , if there are any.

Regards Andreas

Hilary Hann
01-23-2014, 08:52 PM
I think that there are a couple of ways to view landscapes, and for many people the main purpose of a landscape is to show off the scenery of a place so that perhaps they can recognise it themselves. For me, and for many of the artists I know, the more important purpose of a landscape is to illustrate the evocative soul of the place in front of them and that the resultant image is more about emotion than to make a scene recognisable. And in fact, that second point is the harder of the 2 to achieve because to 'see' past the obvious is the most difficult skill to develop.

For this reason, I feel that the fact that some people can't recognise the desert and feel that it could be on the edge of the swamp really is immaterial as images such as these are all about mood, atmosphere and making the viewer feel something other than just recognition.

It is very striking, very dramatic and has loads of atmosphere. I really think the location is hardly important because I'd feel the same about it even if it was taken at one of the many Australian dunes. It makes me feel something which is a rare occurrence when looking at landscapes. In fact, even if an image such as this was used to illustrate an article about Dead Vlei, if used in conjunction with some of the more traditional (and still good) landscapes, it would really sell the place, in my view, as it is evocative with a deep sense of mystery.

But obviously, that is just my opinion and there are many people who prefer the literal viewpoint of landscapes and fortunately there is room for us all. Beautiful image, really love it and well done Peter.