Spooky Looking Tree

During my family’s visit to Enterprise South Nature Park last Sunday, we hiked a new trail for us called Boulder Point Trail. It’s the most remote of the hiking trails there.  While on this new to us trail we found this interesting looking dead tree. I took several pictures of it but none of them seemed to capture the spookiness of it.

I thought this tree might be a good candidate for a High Dynamic Range or HDR & Tone Mapped Image.

Be sure to click on the links I provided for HDR and Tone-Mapping because Wikipedia describes these techniques much better than I can.

Take make an HDR image you need to make at least two but more commonly three or more images of the same subject with the only change being the amount of exposure. This is called Exposure Bracketing. After making your set of bracketed images there are several programs you can use to combine them into one image. I currently use Photomatix Essentials.

Click HERE to see a tutorial video on Photomatix Essentials. As you can see in the video, you can really mess around with the final look of your image. It’s easy to over do it so be gentle with your sliders as you make your adjustments in Photomatix.

Here’s my version of the Spooky Looking Tree on Boulder Point Trail. Like I mentioned, a single image didn’t capture what I was feeling that day in the woods looking at this tree, but this  HDR and Tone Mapped version does.

Boulder Point Trail Tree HDR

Boulder Point Trail Tree HDR

You can click on the image to see a full size version.

I will warn you, if you start to work on HDR and Tone-Mapped images, they are polarizing, in other words, people either love them or hate them. There are entire web sites, blogs and facebook groups of people who hate the look of a Tone-Mapped image. So, if you like them and enjoy making them, that’s great, but be sure to have a thick skin because a lot of photographers will give you a hard time about them.

That said, I hope you enjoyed this photograph of the spooky looking dead tree we found last Sunday. If you did, that’s great! If you are one of those who can’t stand tone-mapping, that’s OK too.

Thanks for visiting my blog.


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6 Responses to Spooky Looking Tree

  1. Ron Bingham says:

    I like the dead tree but what I REALLY, REALLY like and think is spooky is the wide-angle photo of the path at the blog’s home page. Something about the way the shadow of that one tree commands your attention , , , you can almost see Hansel and Gretel walking arm-in-arm, glancing all around nervously. Waaaa-ha-ha-haaaaa!

  2. Ron Bingham says:

    Sorry, I was confused. The wide-angle path shot is not at the top of the blog’s home page but at the top of the “spooky tree” post.

    • Phil Thach says:

      There are currently two images that rotate at the top of the blog, the one of the path and a shot of “Aldrich Falls”. The Path is “Hidden Lake Overlook Trail” at Enterprise South Nature Park. That one, like the spooky tree took HDR & Tone-mapping before it looked like I wanted it.

      Thanks for visiting Ron!

  3. Ron Bingham says:


    You may want to check with your blog administrator. I followed the directions to receive an email when new posts were entered on your blog, but got no notice when you posted at 6:05 PM on the 2nd. Don’t know . . . was your reply considered a “follow-up comment” instead of a “new post?” (If it was, that’s just weird.)


    • Phil Thach says:

      That is weird, are you getting new post notices? You name is not listed in the email subscribers section. I wonder if the verification email landed in your spam box. Sorry for the trouble. I’m pleased that you subscribed.

  4. Ron Bingham says:

    Negatory . . . but then I never got a verification email either. Oh well, I just check in on some sort of routine basis. I like your photos and the fact you’re enjoying your new hobby.

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