A tree is just a tree.. RIGHT??

I had the pleasure of hanging with a group of good friends.  We spent a cold fall day hiking in the woods near Carver, MN.  It was a bit slippery that day so I played it safe and only brought my Nikon d90, leaving the “good gear” safe at home.  I got a number of nice shots, but found that I was really struggling with finding any color.  My mind switched to “black and white mode” since that was mostly all I would come up with.

As we were hiking our way out, I came across this tree.  I don’t know why, but it jumped at me and literally SCREAMED to take a shot.  Of course we have to listen to the voices in our head, so I obliged and captured an image.

I wanted to get a nice sky with the tree mostly blacked out in silhouette.  Well I got that, but the sky was just boring.  I played around a bit and nothing I could do would give it the feeling that I had when I first saw it.  I tried Black and White, but it was even more bland.   Finally I decided to use Perfect Mask 5.2 (OnOne Software) to cut out the sky and insert something with more “wow”.  I’m not well versed in the software, so it took some playing before I managed to figure out the best way.  Don’t get me wrong, the software is very simple to use, but this was a bit of a struggle due to the harsh light creating a lot of color contamination on the edges.   I grabbed a nice sky from some that are included as part of Layers 3(OnOne software).  Everything worked as advertised, and with a quick pass through Lightroom 4 I got an nice image.

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