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Submitted on
April 27, 2009
Image Size
416 KB
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900×599
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8,694
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579 (who?)
Comments
123
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441

Camera Data

Make
NIKON CORPORATION
Model
NIKON D3
Shutter Speed
1/30 second
Aperture
F/16.0
Focal Length
17 mm
ISO Speed
200
Date Taken
Apr 3, 2009, 4:26:12 PM
×
Cypress by AndyMumford Cypress by AndyMumford
The Photo

I think that these are perhaps the most photographed trees in Italy.

I first came across them in books by Charlie Waite and Lee Frost a couple of years ago when I took up photography, and I've often wondered exactly when it was that they became a tourist attraction. They feature on so many postcards of the area, and pretty much every photographer who visits central Tuscany will make a detour to shoot them. I was there for 3 nights and on the evening I took this, I shared the location with 2 other photographers. When I drove past on other nights (they are situated next to a very busy road), there was always someone there with a tripod.

It's hard to describe the feeling of driving along the road, rounding a bend, and seeing them in front of me, something that I've seen so often in books, an iconic scene of Tuscany, there, right next to the road.

There are really only two places to shoot these trees from; the side, like this, or the more common angle of directly infront. I shot both, but preferred this angle because the cereal was so short that from the front too much of the earth was showing, making the hill look a little bald [link]

At first, I used a polarizer here, but as I was shooting really wide angle, it was leaving an unpleasant over-polarized blue in the centre of the image, so I switched to a two stop neutral density graduated filter (soft grad) to maintain plenty of detail in the sky.

Taken near San Quirico d'Orcia, Tuscany, Italy
Nikon D3 | Nikkor 17-35 f2.8 ED
Gitzo GT2541 tripod w/ Gitzo GH1780QR ballhead
Lee 0.6 (2 stop) soft edged neutral density filter
1/30 | f16 | 17mm

Thanks in advance for any comments or faves. Sadly, I no longer have time to reply to individual comments, but I do appreciate people taking the time to look.
Any questions, please note me.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconneutraldensity:
NeutralDensity Featured By Owner May 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
:D
looks familiar :P
[link]
Reply
:iconjulienkraakman:
JulienKraakman Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Very nice!
Reply
:iconaliceskf:
AliceSKF Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2011
very very amazing!!!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2011
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconaliceskf:
AliceSKF Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2011
:)
Reply
:iconvytros22:
vytros22 Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2010  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Now that's a Cypress Hill xD
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2010
Lol...thanks
Reply
:iconjarofjuice:
jarofjuice Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2009
Congrats! :party: This has been featured in Thumbies! vol 5 here [link]

Cheers :w00t:
Reply
:iconpete-b:
Pete-B Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2009
Superb. I shot Tuscany and Umbria last year. But H wasn't too happy about me disapearing off on my own all the time. So I mainly stuck to the architecture and people. Seeing this makes me want to go back on my own.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Sep 14, 2009
Yeah, where did you go in Tuscany and Umbria. We stayed in Preci and San Quirico d'Orcia. Loved both places, but there was something incredibly special about Umbria...I thought the people were absolutely incredible there.
I keep saying I want to go back, I'd like to see Tuscany a little later in the year, and Umbria I'd like to see when there's a lot of snow. If you ever do plan on going back, we should meet up and make it a proper photo trip
Reply
:icontopotiz:
topotiz Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009
I know these cypresses. I saw them in a different season and had my shot as well. Good work!!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2009
It's a wonderful location
Reply
:iconandreeabindea:
andreeabindea Featured By Owner May 25, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Featured in my Journal :)
Reply
:iconanext:
Anext Featured By Owner May 19, 2009
great landscape as always. i love the color of the grass and how the sky turned out. :+favlove:
Reply
:iconduckmiesta:
duckmiesta Featured By Owner May 11, 2009   Photographer
I love the attention to detail on the grass, whenever I see a photo like this thats the most important thing for me first and you have it spot on.. once again thankyou for your educational descriptions, they must take you some time :)
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner May 6, 2009  Professional Photographer
After seeing so many pictures of this location I imagine that I'll feel like visiting a well-known place from my past whenever I go there (and I don't say IF, I'm totally convinced by your shots that Tuscany is a must-see)!
You did great justice to the place Andy! :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 7, 2009
You're right Maria, when I finally saw these trees, it was the same as when I saw the Capella di Vitaleta, places that I'd seen in books so many times, and then seeing them for real they felt incredibly familiar. Of course, what the pictures of these trees never show you is the motorway that's about 5 meters behind where I was in this shot ;-)

It's a wonderful place, but not just Tuscany, you have to go to Umbria as well. I'd love to visit both places at different times of year. Tuscany will be full of flowers now, and in February Umbria is totally covered in snow.
Thanks again Maria
Reply
:iconseawhisper:
SeaWhisper Featured By Owner May 6, 2009
heh, I want to go back to Italy! :)
Reply
:iconislandtime:
islandtime Featured By Owner May 5, 2009
This is a beautiful shot Andy. I followed your link and actually prefer the others of the same location though - you should put some of them on here too - they'd do really well! This doesn't diminish from this shot in anyway though - it's wonderful but personally I like the others more.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 7, 2009
Thanks so much Viktoria...I put the other shots on my site because there's something I like about each one..there's one from the same angle as this which has much better light, but the clouds had left the sky. I'm not sure why I chose this one really, perhaps because I thought it was the one which was OK in each element, but I know it's not excellent in any particular one (light, composition etc).
I'm wary of putting similar shots up though...I might put another one up at some point later on, but at the moment there are different shots from Italy that I'll probalby submit first.

Thanks again for your comment Viktoria, how's stuff with you?
Reply
:iconislandtime:
islandtime Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2009
I totally understand that you don't want to saturate the site with very similar images and it's always difficult choosing one shot to represent a shooting location. You have a great collection of them though so at least you have stuff to choose from. Things are really good with me but I've had very little time to be on DA lately. I just had a trip to the UK for the first time since I left to move to Canada. I didn't manage to take any decent photos - it was more about catching up with old friends and I just didn't have time to get out with my camera. Hopefully, I can catch up a bit now and maybe submit a recent shot or two to DA. Hope all's going well for you?
Reply
:iconmaciejkarcz:
MaciejKarcz Featured By Owner May 3, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
This looks bloody sharp mate.
You know, I'm feeling so useless not having a full frame w/a lens. When I last checked the 17-35 was $15 more than the 14-24! That's pretty ridiculous and I'm somewhat disappointed in Nikon. Canon has 16-35, 17-35, and 17-40, all USM L lenses. Only w/a landscape lens we have is the 17-35 and because of its tiny supply its price is enormous even though it's overdue for an update.
At this point I think I might instead save up for the Zeiss 18mm, it's about $1200.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 4, 2009
Thanks :-)

Nikon do seem to have a strange lens policy...I can't always work out the logic in what they are doing. You'd think that now we have cameras like the D700, Nikon would be looking at making a decent midrange zoom, something in the 24-120mm area, because all they have at the moment is the 24-70, which is excellent, but expensive and a little lacking at the long end, and the 24-120VR, which every single review says is really not a good lens. I'm currently using the 28-105 [link] which I picked up for $150 for my FE2....it's VERY sharp at the wide end, not so sharp at the long end, and the bokeh is pretty unpleasant...but it does a decent job (you can see some shots I did with it here [link] [link] [link] [link] [link] ) I'm looking at the 24-85 [link] although, I would prefer something a little longer with comparable IQ...but Nikon seems to think that they've got that covered with the 24-120VR.
I understand that Nikon has a much more limited production capacity for lenses than Canon, but some of their choices surprise me. The 17-35 is so expensive because it's been discontinued for around 6 months, but as the lens has such a great reputation and useful range, demand for it is still high...it seems really strange of Nikon to discontinue it without introducing a real replacement. The 14-24 is certainly amazing in terms of IQ, but it doesn't take filters and I often use the 30-35mm end of the lens...so it's just not the same. It seems though that Nikon thinks that we only need on wide angle zoom for FX cameras, but thought that it was a good idea to launch the new 10-24DX while they still produce the 12-24DX....strange decision.
I'm still hoping that Nikon introduce a genuinely wide prime, somewhere between 17 and 20mm, but I just don't think they will. Having written all that, I've just looked at the Nikon site and come across this [link] I've never heard of this lens before! Thom quite likes it [link] and BHPhoto have it in stock [link]
I may actually look into picking up a second hand one for when I want to go really light.

By the way, I've come across some great BBC documentaries recently, if you haven't seen them already, they're well worth checking out:
BBC Yellowstone [link]
BBC Nature's Great Events [link]
BBC Earth-The Power Of The Planet [link]
All are great, and up there with Planet Earth, Wild China and (my personal favourite) Ganges.

Hope you're good

Andy
Reply
:iconmaciejkarcz:
MaciejKarcz Featured By Owner May 6, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
That's interesting, those are some great shots (though I'm a bit wary of spiders =P )
I like to peruse Photozone.de every once in a while to see what new lenses they review. That's how I came across the 18-35 but then for some reason I forgot about it. I might have to give that lens some serious thought since I've no clue when I can afford a better lens. I'm really eager to see what the D700 can do with landscapes. Last few months I've been in a photographic slump though, totally lacking motivation (partially due to not having a ff w/a lens).

I recently watched the Galapagos special, it was quite nice. I also gifted it to a friend for his birthday and he really enjoyed it. I've added the ones you listed to my shopping cart.

Btw, have you been following these threads on dp? [link]
The first two threads about this lens already reached 150 posts, they started a third thread. It seems like a real gem of a lens, probably one of the sharpest lenses out there at f/1.4. I'm eventually going to sell my Nikkor 85 1.8 (it's just not very sharp) and most likely replace it with the Samyang 85 1.4.

Cheers mate
Reply
:icondwth:
dwth Featured By Owner May 3, 2009  Student Artist
This photo have been featured on Thumbs of the Week 70th.:wave:
Reply
:iconhhryah:
hhryah Featured By Owner May 2, 2009
Amazing colors and composition!
Reply
:icondidumdidum:
didumdidum Featured By Owner May 2, 2009   Photographer
Just visited your Tuscany album. Every image there left me full of wonder. Thanks. Lovely work.
John
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 2, 2009
Thanks so much, glad you liked the gallery :-)
Reply
:icons-s-r:
S-S-R Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009
amazing
Reply
:iconmaticgolob:
maticgolob Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Your wonderful photo has been featured in my journal.
You can see the journal on this [link] !
.:heart:.
Reply
:iconxerces:
Xerces Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009  Professional Artisan Crafter
very nice shot! some lovely colour capture! very intense piece :-)
Reply
:iconkirliancamera:
KirlianCamera Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009  Professional Photographer
I like this one better, i think it has a better balance but I wish there was some light in the tree trunks like on the other shots. I know can't have both. Maybe on a more overcast day the trees wouldn't be in that much shadow.

I remember Charlie Waite's photo! he was only lucky bastard to have such a dramatic sky the day he took the shot.

none the less great photo and if I find my self there too I will sure try one myself :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009
Cheers mate, glad you like it. It did bother me at the time that I couldn't get any definition in the trees, but this was the only place that I could shoot low and avoid seeing all the mud in the earth.
I reckon, like in Charlie Waite's shot, this is a place to shoot against rainclouds (he got storm light by the looks of it). I spent about 3 hours over 2 days wandering around this field looking for compositions, and I reckon that next time I go back, I'll be better equipped to do the scene justice if I visit at a later time in the year (late May is probably best).

It's fantastic seeing it in real life after the books though mate, you really should try and get yourself over to Tuscany, it's a great place
Reply
:iconrykardo:
Rykardo Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Bom click Andy, o céu está excelente o mesmo se pode dizer do verde do chão!

Diz-me as árvores ficaram pretas porque o sol estava a nascer ou por conta ti certo?

Bom trabalho neste local fantástico ;)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009
Thanks Ricardo.
You're right, the scene is almost backlit...the sun was just to the right of the image, which is why the trees are silhouettes. You can see the location from the other side (front lit) here[link]
Reply
:iconrykardo:
Rykardo Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2009
Fotografar contra o sol é sempre complicado!

Tiveste que andar muito para conseguir tantos ângulos, também gostei! ;)
Reply
:icondimensionseven:
DimensionSeven Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Actually, I preferr the other angle better. The 'imperfect' ground makes it stand out. (imo)
Reply
:iconmaldonadoga:
maldonadoga Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
:wow: Great composition and tonal range. :+fav:
Reply
:iconrocqua:
rocqua Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
great shot, though personally i prefer the other one, it has a lot more depth, and i am a sucker for warm colours.
Reply
:icondenimf:
denimf Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
nice one :)
Reply
:iconancoben:
ancoben Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Stunning
Anne
Reply
:icont-u-c-a:
t-u-c-a Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009   Photographer
LOVELY!!! great work
Reply
:icongrevys:
grevys Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
andy - the sky is awesome and the comp great. i have a little issue with the darkness of the hills vs the lightness of the FG grass. i think i'd be inclined to tone down the grass a touch to balance the exposure. it'd also have been good to see a little detail in the trees themselves. small nits, though. ow - dust on your sensor already - tood bad!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Cheers Stuart.

This shot is very close to being backlit (the sun is just off to the right of the shot) so the trees were always going to be silhouetted...especially as cypress are so dark and unreflective anyway. Also, because the sun is so low, the backs of the hills are in shadow, which is why they're so dark.
I see what you mean, and the other composition [link] is taken from the other side (here you can see the front of the hills, and more detail in the trees) and is perhaps a better balanced shot...I just wasn't happy with the earth showing through (this angle would be great in a month or so) and it's also the same angle that most people shoot...so I decided to submit this one.....I'm perfectly happy with both.

The D3 really is a dust box. I need to clean the sensor far more regularly than I did with my D80
Reply
:icongrevys:
grevys Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
thanks andy - i prefer this one to the other - the point of view is much more interesting. point taken, too about the shadows. interesting to note about the d3's dust intake ...
Reply
:iconsvision:
Svision Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Wonderful shot. On my holiday to Tuscany I haven't seen it and I still regret it.

The colours are very nice and vivid. It's a quite 'fresh' shot actually.

ps. I noticed a little dust-spot in the sky. Horizontally on 10% and Vertical on 40% approximately. I hate it when I make a print and I still see a dust-spot somewhere.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Thanks loads, glad you like it :-)

I noticed the dust spots earlier and was sorting them out as you commented. I think I've got them all now (my sensor took a battering in Italy, and I think there's still dust on it now that I haven't been able to get off)
Reply
:icondimensionseven:
DimensionSeven Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Did you try Giotto's Rocket blower/Q-ball? ;)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 28, 2009
Yes, I use the rocket blower every time I change lens, and I also use an Arctic Butterfly, but dust spots do get missed
Reply
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