Earlier this week I discovered a Stand of Poplars (I think) that I hadn’t previously noticed. They were arranged precisely in rows and to get reasonably near them required me to trespass into a field – nothing growing and nothing grazing, so I walked in, got my images and walked out.

Two images for you. The first is a simple straight image. The light was bright, the blue sky provided a nice contrast.

_DS82236The second is an in-camera blur. No ND filter (I keep meaning to buy one), so this was simply setting the ISO at its lowest point, the shutter speed at its slowest, and a rapid handheld pan while pressing the shutter. Straight-trunked trees always suit this technique – the main difficulty is getting the pan truly vertical and I just about achieved that, it’s so easy to take a slightly diagonal line and that does not work!


About LensScaper

Hi - I'm a UK-based photographer who started out 45+ years ago as a lover of landscapes, inspired by my love of outdoor pursuits: skiing, walking and climbing. Now retired, I seldom leave home without a camera and I find images in unexpected places and from different genres. I work on the premise that Photography is Art and that creativity is dependent on the cultivation of 'A Seeing Eye'. I'm not averse to manipulating images to produce derivatives that may sometimes be far removed from the original.
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24 Responses to Poplars

  1. suej says:

    Excellent! Something I want to do, but never find the right trees!!

  2. vastlycurious.com says:

    They look like Birch but I have not seen a poplar stand ? I really am drawn to trees planted in rows….Beautiful photo though!

  3. bananabatman says:

    That’s a very good vertical pan shot. Much better that the multitude of shots that I have tried, every time I come across suitable trees. I’ve never managed to take one worth presenting or publishing anywhere. I wonder why I keep trying! 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks you. They are certainly not easy. I practice the vertical swipe several times before I actually press the shutter. And…you don’t see all my failures!

  4. oneowner says:

    The second photo is so good you can hold off buying the ND filter. This shows not only good technique but the ability to know when it would be an advantage.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks very much for that, Ken. I really should buy a ND filter – it would help with flowing water. I really don’t understand why the slowest ISO on my Nikon is 100. Is there some major technical issue in having an ISO of 25 or 50? Nowadays when I see straight-trunked trees I consided the idea of a ‘Pan’

  5. I really like the motion blur Andy. It have a bit of an impressionistic feel to it.

    • LensScaper says:

      Many thanks Edith. Some of them turn out better than others, and some you never see because I haven’t got a good one! Impressionist is a good word too – thank you!

  6. Chillbrook says:

    It’s a great effect and this copse of trees suited it perfectly Andy. It’s getting the pan dead vertical as you say that I always find a struggle.. and finding the right trees of course. I don’t think I’ve seen any poplar trees in Cornwall. Lots of little stunted oaks.. 🙂

    • LensScaper says:

      Thanks Adrian. Yes, I imagine there aren’t too many tall trees down your way. The dead vertical pan is difficult. I used to shoot – at school – and that included shooting when standing with the brace position (elbow cradling the rifle and butted tight into the chest). That was a very stable stance, and I use the same brace with the camera, and the tilt down is then a body movement and that seems to help to get it vertical. But there are still plenty of shots that go straight in the trash!

  7. Really nice, Andy! I agree about moving the camera truly vertically, not at any diagonal; it usually does work best. This photograph is also special because of the precise rows of the trees. Good find and great treatment.

  8. shoreacres says:

    My reaction to your second photo was visceral. It threw me back into my experience of a modern sculpture by Soto, called “The Houston Penetrable,” at our Museum of Fine Arts. There’s a short, explanatory video here which gives some information and a sense of what it’s like to be inside it.

    The sculpture was made up of thousands of ceiling-hung strands, which the visitor could walk through. What gave it a sense of mystery and an edge of anxiety was the fact that, once you got into it, you lost sight of people only a few feet away from you. It was fun, and strange, and just slightly off-putting, all at once. The minute I saw your trees, I thought, “Soto!”

    And I must say, this is the spookiest image I’ve seen this Halloween season. It’s a little like Edvard Munch meets Ansel Adams.

    • LensScaper says:

      Thank you so much for that Linda. I enjoyed the video. I would have loved to have been able to stand in the centre of that large plantation, there would have been scope fore some quite dramatic images, claustrophobic too, I am certain. I think I might try and discover who owns that land and see if I can get permission to enter it. I hadn’t spotted the spookiness – the reaction to an image is always varied and in the eye of the beholder – but now that you mention it I can see the references that you have picked up on. There’s another spooky image coming up on monday that I saw in London on Halloween. Look out for that.

  9. poppytump says:

    Wow . Makes me think of needles and glinting swords …
    Very effective shot Andy , looked to be the perfect day to be out capturing those silvery looks .

  10. Wonderful panning shot 🙂

  11. Earl Moore says:

    Great job, especially handheld on that second photo, Andy. From my own efforts I know it’s much harder then it sounds to move the camera exactly vertical. Very nice results!

  12. Len says:

    Love the blurred image Andy. I have always wanted to try doing them but I seem to forget when I have the opportunity. I have to make it my next assignment.

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