Tag Archives: Trees

November Sunset – two views

Taken with iPhone5, using app Camera+. Edited with TouchRetouch, SnapSeed, Distressed FX.


Taken with iPhone5, using BracketMode. Edited with ProHDR, TouchRetouch, SnapSeed, Distressed FX, ImageBlender, Repix.

Tree Project XI & XII

While I’ve been better about taking the photos on time for my 2013 monthly project, I haven’t been prompt about posting the results here.   As I have done throughout 2013, I’ve taken a photograph at least once a month, usually at the beginning of the month, of the oak tree that towers over the hillside behind my house.   (You can see other posts featuring the monthly photos here.)

In early November, the tree was just beginning to turn:


Early November


Early November, Another view

By December 1, all but a few leaves were gone:


Bare Tree, December 1

A few days into December, we had our first real snow:


Early December Snow

The tree, quietly slumbering, is still magnificent against the winter skies:


At Sunset, A few nights ago


Winter Sunset, Silhouetted Trees

Winter Trees

Cold Winter Sky

A view through the trees

Looking at clouds from other sides

Still Slumbering (Tree Project IV) – and a quick photo app review


The old oak tree was still in its winter slumber on April 1. At least the snow was melted and there was some light–anything was better than the dismal gray that persisted throughout most of March. But, as far as photographing the tree, the shots that I took didn’t look much different than those that were taken in January, February or even March. I found the shots I took too mundane to even bother to post.

It has been a late spring; however, I suspect that I’ll probably see the first buds on this tree around the same time I did last year — towards the end of April. We’ll see how different it looks in my May photo. (You can find the entire series here.)

Even though I wasn’t satisfied with the shots I took, I wasn’t going to skip posting something for this month. Even when we don’t like our work, it can still provide an opportunity to learn something about the craft. For April’s photo I decided to have a bit of fun with a shot I took with my phone last Sunday, using an app that I found that I really like called Repix.

Repix allows you to take a photograph and apply different brushes. For this image I used the edger brush and the charcoal brush to create an outline of the oak tree. To make the other trees in the background a little less distinct, I used the silk brush. In places where I had to much of an effect with the outliner or the silk brushes, I used the bleach pen and the eraser.

Repix gives you several options when you’re finished with your image. Your edits are nondestructive; your original image is still in your camera roll unchanged. You can save the edited image to your camera roll, send it via email, post to Facebook and Twitter, or open in Instagram. The app has a handy undo function and also an erase function.

The basic Repix app is free. There are additional brushes, available as in-app purchases, that allow you to edit color, add artistic filters, or create special light effects, available for $1.99 for each set of brushes. Or, you can buy the entire collection for $4.99.

One of the drawbacks that I find with the Repix application is that it is difficult if you have a lot of detail in your photo to easily distinguish between various lines. Basically, it’s a limitation I find with using your finger to “draw” or “paint” on an image. I often found that when I went to enlarge the image I inadvertently applied the effect. This could be due to my skill level and you may not experience the same issue. Let’s just say that the UNDO button was my friend!

Another drawback, albeit a minor one, is that the Repix app does not give you the ability to add a border or frame around your image. It also does not allow you to make adjustments in the overall image, such as exposure or a presets like other apps. However, since you can open your image directly in Instagram or save to the camera roll, you can do this sort of edit in your app of choice before you post your photo. Sometimes, I think it’s better if an app doesn’t try to be all things; what Repix does, it does well.

Overall, I think that Repix is a handy little app that is a great way to creatively edit photos taken on your phone. It’s not for every picture, nor is it for everyone, but it can be a lot of fun to play with.

You can see my original photo, taken with an iPhone 5, below:


Note and other legal mumbo-jumbo since this is a review: I have not received any compensation or encouragement from Repix for either acquiring or reviewing this product. I’m not exactly sure how I stumbled upon this application but I’m glad I did. I’m sure that I will continue to use Repix from time to time.

Did it make a sound? (Tree Project II)

Remember my tree project?   Here is my February entry.   Looks like part of a dead branch fell while we were away.   How loud was it?   Or was the silence deafening?

Old Oak, February

Old Oak, February

Broken Limb

Broken Limb

You can see other entries in my continuing monthly project to photograph this tree here.

See a forest through a tree

Yesterday we visited Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary which contains the world’s largest bald cypress forest.  Recently Corkscrew initiated a Landmark Tree program to draw attention to some of the giants of the forest.  Here is my picture of Landmark Tree #1, a large beauty over 500 years old, more than 80 feet tall and 16 feet around.  At its base is a large Strangler Fig.

Bald Cypress, Landmark Tree #1 @ Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary,

Bald Cypress, Landmark Tree #1 @ Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary

The Swamp is really dry right now. I’ve been visiting it in January for several years and have never seen the water levels so low. In some places, there was no water. Wetlands are vital and the reduced levels in the swamp are startling. Crazy weather, drought, flooding, unseasonal temperatures. There is an old saying: Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. But if we are contributing to it with our misuse of our environments, when are we going to do something about it?

The Landmark Tree is a magnificent tree.  Wildlife that surrounds trees like this is wondrous too.  Magnificent trees, stands of woods, and forests are not just in the Everglades.   Look closely at a tree near you and see the forest that once was there, maybe is there still, or could be in the future.  What are you going to do about it?

“The clearest way into the universe is through a forest wilderness.”
–   John Muir 


So Maybe That Wasn’t the Last of the Fog Photos


Trees, Windy Afternoon

I seem to be a bit obsessed with bare tree limbs recently.

Trees at Sunset

The Tree: Still There

Last March, I posted photos of a fallen silver maple tree in a boggy area.  I had foolishly crawled out on the tree to photograph the brilliant red buds.

Later in the summer, at the height of the drought, I walked back into this area and discovered that all of the water was gone.   I could see just how deep the water had been in the Spring.  The tree still had leaves on it, despite the lack of rainfall.   I took these photos with my phone.

Earlier this week I once again walked along the trail the passes this place.   I was surprised to find that the water has returned to the depths of the Spring.  Even more surprising was that there were still leaves on this tree.   This old tree does not want to go gently into that good night.  There is still a lot of dirt surrounding the roots, but I suspect that this is her final season of life.

The last hurrah