Tree Stand

Old tree stump with the peak of Mount Mansfield visible. Two merged images…One for the sharp foreground tree and one for the sharp middle and background.

Because of the dismal winter we had I have not been to the location in today’s image for several months. The weather is still quite cool in the area ( jackets and mittens still required) but I thought I would take a chance and hike into one of my favorite areas. Route 108 winds it’s way from the town of Jeffersonville through the Mount Mansfield State Forest, Up into Smugglers Notch ( Visible in the image!) and down the other side into the town of Stowe. What you are seeing is the lower valley and the backside of Mount Mansfield. Off to camera left is Sterling Mountain and the Smugglers Notch ski area.

I wanted to shoot the stump and get the background with the top of Mount Mansfield all in focus. Shooting only one image here would have resulted in a pretty blurry background. I made two images here…One for the tree and one for the background and merged them both in Perfect Layers creating one sharp image! Also for a bit of a challenge I used some off camera fill flash to illuminate the tree which was quite dark. These next two images were my original captures…

My first capture for the sharp foreground tree. I wanted the tree to be very sharp and to make it pop just a bit from the background I used some off camera fill flash. I had my Canon 430 ex II flash set to manual at 1/4 power with a long off camera shoe cord.

My second capture with the sharp background. As you can see the tree stump itself was quite dark and I wanted to see it much more than this.

The next two images are slices from each capture at 100% showing the level of sharpness in each…

Here you can see that the tree is sharp but because my focus is on the tree the background is blurry. I really wanted to be able to see both pretty clearly.

The background in this one is much sharper than the first and the tree is now blurred. The sharp background adds some texture to this image rather than throwing the background out of focus.


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