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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Nature's Angel

Scroll Over Image to See 'Before' Version

As Peter Lik would say, "This is a gallery shot mate." I wish I had that Australian accent...anyway, this is an image that I will be selling at my upcoming art fairs. It was taken in a small town outside of Charleston, South Carolina. It's actually a quite famous tree, called the "Angel Oak." It is approximately 400 years old with a circumference of 25.5 feet. It creates 17,000 square feet of shade. This tree was unbelievable, and you really have to see it in person to appreciate it's grandeur. I got in a bit of trouble attempting to photograph this tree...yes..., me..., I got yelled at by the lady who works in the gift shop because i was using a tripod. Apparently, you're not allowed to use a tripod. Well...I'm learning to appreciate 'rules' as I get older, and I can even understand why they have that rule, but i really needed to use my tripod!! I can't take a panoramic shot without a tripod. So, as i was taking the 2nd of the 3 shots needed to create this panoramic, I hear an angry woman shouting at someone in the background. The voice became louder as she walked closer to me and the other folks looking at the tree...Wait a minute...she's yelling at me! Uh-oh. I explained that i was a photographer and I traveled a very long way to photograph the tree, and that I would only need to use my tripod for 1-2 more minutes. She was not impressed and continued to yell, insisting I close up my tripod. So, feeling a bit like a 2nd grader who just got reprimanded by my teacher, I closed up the tripod and walked away with my tail between my legs. However, I could not accept this fate. I had waited years to take this shot. I've known about this tree for quite some time. This tree was part of the reason i planned a trip to South Carolina! I've got to shoot this tree. So...i waited until more people came to view the tree...positioned myself so that the crowd of people stood between me and the window of the gift shop...quickly set up my tripod...and snapped away as fast as i could. hooray! i got my shot. About 15 minutes later, I walked into the gift shop to buy a post card. As I waited in line to pay, I noticed a TV security monitor behind the desk with 4 views of the tree and surrounding area. There are security cameras on this tree!!! Oh no. She saw me using my tripod after she had already told me not to. I can feel little beads of sweet forming on my forehead. I can't run. That would be so obvious. All of a sudden, I hear the woman call, "next." Oh God. I've got to face her. I'm so scared. So, I walk up to the counter and hand her the post card, keeping my head down and hoping she wouldn't recognize me. As i handed her the money, she asked, "So, did you get your shot?" I didn't know what to say or how to respond, so i looked remorseful and simply said, "yes" in a Steve Martin kind of way.  it was a painful moment, but well worth it because I now have this beautiful tree on a digital canvas forever and ever. 

By the way, is my mouse-over feature working? I've had a few people tell me that when they scroll over the images with their mouse, it doesn't show the 'before' shot. Please let me know. Thank you!!


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  2. Oh, the things we so to get our shots! I love your photo, with its vibrancy, light and shade, but your story really makes this.