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Landing Angels

By CraigBill    
Spending time exploring the coast of South Carolina was time well spent. Old plantation locations settled in among aging, mossy trees and green country roads naturally spark curiosity and adventure. While hanging around the Charleston area, I found so many featured spots of interest that are highly under reported. And photographically, it's a wonderful place to play.

Among other places on my list to visit, the Angel Oak tree was on the top. This little private park can come with lots of protection and lots of people visiting. So to photograph it, you have to be patient. Angel Oak is said to be one of the oldest living oak trees east of the Mississippi River. It stands 65 feet (20m or 6 stories) tall, is 28 ft (8.5 m) in circumference, and an area of 17,000 square feet is shaded by its looming reach. The largest branch reaches 187 feet. It's age is estimated to be close to 400 years old!

These native Southern live oaks are often found in the lowland country of the coastal Carolinas or the "Lowcountry". They tend to grow sprawling outward more than upward but, due to its historic age, the Angel Oak shatters many of these records. Its branches radiate in all directions, with some snaking underground and then growing back up above the surface.

Its name comes from the Angel Estate, once owned by couple Justus Angel and Martha Waight Angel. Now owned by the City of Charleston but the name has remained, However, local legends say the ghosts of former slaves appear as angels around the tree from time to time inspiring me call this shot "Landing Angels".

ON SHOOTING: A warm gel filter and color balance tweaks turned this always green tree a harvest orange. Lens filters, are often confused as "coloring the light", but in reality they only let a narrow band of color make it through the lens to the film or sensor. In other words, it's not the world through rose tinted glasses, it turns out the rose was there all along...

ON PROCESSING...Not many people are interested or aware of the complexity that some images take. This image is several images across and at least 2 images deep. While shooting, I had an assistant move all the "Do not touch the tree" signs 2 feet from the shots before (we could not remove them completely just for a couple minutes, or they would throw us out of the park...). Then others as people move sufficiently so that in post processing, you later ask the computer to only show through the layers that subjects that didnít move. If there is temporary subjects detected, it shows only the area on the top/bottom layered exposures of the unchanged thing. Itís a special technique that you must plan for while shooting and to be patient with. Then add the filtering in with that process and out pops "Landing Angels". With so many people around certain locations, this is the only way without booking private shoot, or yelling at tourists arrogantly like other photographers I've experienced.

Tags: Tree Fog Mist Oak Landscape and travel angel oak

Voters: mike9005, Daisymaye, Split and 85 more

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23 Jul 2020 4:07AM
Daisymaye Plus
12 23 18 Canada
23 Jul 2020 4:22AM
What an incredible tree. Checked the date, it is Autumn leaves. Beautiful.
Chinga Plus
10 3 2 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2020 5:29AM
Magical !! GrinGrinGrin
sawsengee Plus
14 6 39 Malaysia
23 Jul 2020 7:16AM
amazing, magical and out of this world......wonderful backlighting effect Smile
23 Jul 2020 7:49AM
Beautiful. Debs
viscostatic 14 49 9 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2020 8:36AM
Dramatic and very beautiful.

Fefe Plus
9 54 34 United Kingdom
23 Jul 2020 10:07AM
Wow....that is a great tree!
Beautiful work Grin
taggart Plus
16 47 14 United States
24 Jul 2020 11:36PM
What a fantastic old tree---processed with perfection!
oll1e 13 57 2 United Kingdom
29 Jul 2020 11:14PM
Super image ,and a lovely bit of info ,very impressive Wink
Ian-Jones 17 133 2 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2020 10:59AM
This is one shot that proves that serious planning and thoughtful post-processing can be rewarded with spectacular results.
29 Oct 2020 11:40AM
A beautifully timed capture.

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