Flare, Texture and Branches

Hilz_100602_8738_HDR (1)

I captured this image using a Lensbaby with the Fisheye optic. I chose the Fisheye because of the ultra wide angle of view and the distinctive look it creates. On a full frame sensor camera it produces an almost completely circular image area, along with classic fisheye distortion. These two elements made it a good fit for the round shape of the crown of the tree. Another important aspect is the flare around the image area, which is unique to the Lensbaby Fisheye. The flare was created because I was shooting into the sun. The backlighting accentuated the individual leaves which transforms them into a texture surrounding the dark branches. In my processing I accentuated the texture in the flare area because I found it similar to the leaf texture, which helped connect these two areas of the image.

For a different perspective, but similar composition, take a look at the next image. My approach to the composition is roughly the same, but I shot it from the other side of the tree to capture the branches side lit. With a different angle of light the photo takes on a very different feel. The leaves don't have so much of the textured look and there's also no flare effect because I'm not shooting into the light source.