Late afternoon on the farm Gannabos and the sun is sinking in the western sky. The branches of the Quiver Tree are pierced by starburst rays and I am happy to allow the lens flare to add to the composition.
There are two trees that are instantly recognisable, and synonymous with the African landscape. They speak of wide-open spaces, history, and exotic cultures – many of which, sadly, are dying out. The first: the giant upside down trees, or Baobabs which occur in the northern reaches of sub-Saharan Africa. The second: the Quiver Trees of the Northern Cape and Namibia. Called “Kokerbome” in Afrikaans, and “Choje” in San, their branches were hollowed out and used by Bushmen as convenient holders for their hunting arrows. The plant also has myriad medicinal uses.
The Quiver Trees are actually succulents – the world’s largest growing Aloe (Aloe dichotoma) , they generally occur in isolation, cutting stark and lonely figures on arid, wind-swept ridges. But every now and again, you’ll find a clump or forest of them. The planet’s largest Quiver Tree forest exists on a farm called Gannabos, just outside Niewoudtville in South Africa’s Northern Cape.
Here is a larger version
This photograph is copyright of Rosemary Walden - © Rosemary Walden 2014. All rights reserved. Any redistribution or reproduction of the image in any form is prohibited. You may not, except with my express written permission, copy, reproduce, download, distribute or exploit the content. Nor may you transmit it or store it in any other website or other form of electronic retrieval system
Critiques | Translate
tyro (26142) 2014-03-05 0:51
What a fascinating note you have written.
You have, of course, shown us these Quiver trees before but to me they still look remarkably hard and "woody" and it is difficult to believe that they are succulents. I know that Baobabs are succulents because I remember asking one of our guides in Madagascar if their wood was used for building and suchlike and was told that the trunks of these massive "upside down trees" consisted largely of water and their substance was of no use whatever for construction. But, as I say, these Quivers look much "woodier" to me. Fascinating.
This is a striking picture and, like yourself, I don't find the two or three little patches of lens flare on the left at all distracting. The star rays from the sun piercing the upper parts of the tree are delightful and I presume that was simply a natural effect and not enhanced with a "star" filter or similar.
A very fine and strong composition with lovely vibrant colours, spot-on exposure and, as always, exquisite details and sharpness.
jurek1951 (42196) 2014-03-05 0:53
a fascinating atmosphere with attractive composition, the colours and lights are beautiful, superb shot,
Noel_Byrne (33036) 2014-03-05 1:01
What incredible trees these are, and hard to believe they are succulents, they look so unlike succulents that I know and love! But that is the joy of the world, I find that one notable stark difference between places is the style and shapes of the trees that grow there, and this is a fantastic example of the variety and beauty to be found.
The sunburst though the branches like this is fantastic, and you have managed to capture it with such a cool shape, the pin sharp rays coming from within make it look like the star from the nativity. And of course, the background...I fell if I look long enough I will see a stegasaurus walk past :)
Beautiful shot and excellent note, thanks as always
Royaldevon (41718) 2014-03-05 1:21
A fascinating insight into the natural plants of South Africa. I fear that the plants seem to be under the same sort of threat as many animal species!
You have made your photograph so interesting by converting the sun into a very eye-catching jewel, as it sparkles and glistens between the branches of the tree. The lens flare is a real bonus to the overall effect.
Good, off-centre positioning of the tree, so that the sun is strongly placed but the branches of the tree fill a lot of the empty sky space.
Have a lovely day,
williewhistler (16410) 2014-03-05 2:49
what a mine of information,I`m not sure which I admire most,the note is fascinating and most informative whilst the use of the star burst has added extra punch to this clever shot where the steep rocky terrain in the BG adds enormous interest for me.
Kind regards Les.
Sergiom (85877) 2014-03-05 5:55
J'aime beaucoup ce rayon de soleil très brillant qui est bien accompagné par les fleurs de cet arbre qui ont un peu la même forme.Le ciel bleu est un superbe arrière plan.
JanArie (657) 2014-03-05 7:46
Beautiful photo with these sunrays.
Thanks for sharing, Jan-Arie
Nicou (148320) 2014-03-05 8:02
comme un étoile qui scintille quel effet et iamge quel rayonnement et couleur fabuleuse compo.
holmertz (57285) 2014-03-05 8:58
There are many quite original compositions of very various kinds in your portfolio. This is another one that stands out in the crowd. I like very much the tightly cropped close-up of this characteristic tree - and others seen further back - and the spectacular rays of the sun, matching the star-looking twigs (or are they maybe flowers?).
ktanska (28705) 2014-03-05 9:49
Backlight shot shows well the spiky nature of that quiver tree. Really excellent framing where most of the tree is against the blue sky. And the sun looks spiky too on this exposure!
Graal (103038) 2014-03-05 12:10
amazing star in tree, nice finally effect. Good idea and shot under the sun light. Interesting place near by wild nature.
Have a nice evening.
carlo62 (53146) 2014-03-05 14:58
non sembra il paesaggio tipico lucchese :)
Molto bello questo paesaggio e bella è la stella di luce creata attraverso i rami della pianta.
Un'esposizione eccellente, la foto è completamente leggibile e i colori sono ottimi.
ACL1978 (7511) 2014-03-05 16:42
I feel warmer just looking at this shot, Rosemary - I can almost feel the sunshine (which is saying something, given our weather this winter). I love the composition here; brave to allow a closeup tree to dominate so much of the frame and block the hillside, but it works beautifully to filter the sun and add some interesting texture and contrast. And the way the light hits the leaves at top is really lovely - thanks!
Subhogen (4067) 2014-03-05 20:55
A creative capture to present this beautiful tree. Like the way the sun is turned into a twinkling star hidden behind the branches of the tree. The lens flare is not distracting and adds so much to the photo. Great shot with an equally well written note. Excellent presentation. Thanks for sharing.
jjcordier (79297) 2014-03-05 21:46
Tu as su créer une magnifique étoile lumineuse brillant au milieu de ces feuilles étoilées de cet étonnant arbre.
subhendu_bagchi (26089) 2014-03-06 1:27
a very composition here with last sun of the day. I admire your chosen POV and management of exposer here. Like the effect of sunburst through the branches. Great tonal quality and sharpness is superb. A magnificent frame. Tfs.
krzychu30 (15512) 2014-03-06 1:52
marvelous scene and view!
And the way you´ve captured the sun is a masterpiece(the tree refract so nicely the sun rays and create so beautiful "star"effect)
And in the end I´d like to mention excellent clarity and sharpness of the image(especially FG and the ground),which even despite shooting against the sun did not loose anything from its quality.
Have a nice day
photoray (13981) 2014-03-06 16:09
Excellent backlit view of the Quiver Tree with sun burst mimicking the unique geometric branch patterns, with a steep rocky and multiple tree background.
serp2000 (45302) 2014-03-07 4:22
Superb! I just take off my hat... No words... Thanks for this stunning masterpiece!
Best wishes from Russia!
COSTANTINO (68118) 2014-03-07 22:42
nice composition with the sunrays passing through
the tree branches like a star
simple but impressive capture
fascinating atmosphere with attractive
have a nice weekend
ChrisJ (117195) 2014-03-08 10:26
They look a little like salt tolerant pandanus trees along the east coast of Australia. I love the strong solitary starburst effect through the leaves and branches. Good sharpness and nice warm cold colour contrasts. Tfs!
Gigidusud (21247) 2014-03-08 13:21
Splendid capture of the sunbeam pierced the tree, I love this kind of photo here the effect is very successful. Great light management. Bravo!
Have a nice Week-end.
Angshu (56760) 2014-03-18 2:57
Hello dear Rosemary
The 'star' of this picture has to be the 'star'-burst! The pun is very intended here.
I've seen pictures of quiver trees from your earlier posts, but this takes an unique dimension. Good idea of partially keeping the sun in shade, allowing a small opening & a very narrow aperture to get the desired result...Excellent work!
- Copyright: Rosemary Walden (SnapRJW) (31629)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2012-08-28
- Categories: Nature
- Exposure: f/18.0, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Your Favorites, Spring in South Africa [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2014-03-05 0:40
- Favorites: 1 [view]