Central Texas is struggling through a long drought that has lasted many years now. Many trees -- perhaps in the millions -- have been lost to the lack of rain. To acknowledge and dramatize these losses, four women -- Beili Liu, (as lead artist), Emily Little and Norma Yancey (architecture), and Cassie Bergstrom (landscape architecture) have collaborated on a temporary art installation that is titled, "THIRST."
A real tree was painted white and suspended (it appears to be on an anchored post) over Ladybird Lake, a very visible location in downtown Austin. You can read more details here. The Lamar Street Bridge is in the background.
Technically, this is a four-second exposure, shot without a tripod but with the camera sitting on a railing on an adjacent pedestrian bridge. I bracketed exposures and used an identical shot at a 1-second shutter speed to provide detail in the highlights (mostly the tree trunk) that were blown out in the longer exposure, using a layer mask in GIMP.
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SnapRJW (23724) 2013-10-10 9:23
Hello Russ - Living in a country that regularly suffers from drought I can understand what motivated the artists to create this work and what motivated you to take this fascinating shot. The installation is an interesting collaboration between the women and makes for an excellent photographic subject. You have caught the reflection of the 'hovering' tree really well by leaving space between the reality and the soft impression in the water. Your note about painting the tree white made me smile; here we would call this a Namibian Christmas tree as we paint dead branches/trees white rather than using a pine/cypress which we don't get here.
An excellent TE contribution. TFS and take care. Rosemary
eldancer1 (20850) 2013-10-10 9:23
You did a wonderful job even without a tripod, and this is very appropriate for Halloween. We are having drought problem in Southern Nevada also although it was raining early this morning but not enough. I like the reflection of the tree. Well done, tfs.
Noel_Byrne (13436) 2013-10-10 11:08
I love the title first and foremost, very powerful and rightly so to go with this image. Such a unique idea to create a ghost of a tree in memory of those lost to drought, and it works beautifully well, especially as its suspended like this created another ghostlier image. (Ghostlier is a word apparently!) You got a great composition on this and a lot of very fine detail in the branches of the tree. Creative, intriguing and thought provoking image, especially for me living here on one of the dampest islands in the world. Really nicely done.
marabu61 (5879) 2013-10-10 14:12
A truly impressive art installation here. The white tree contrast so nicely with its plain colored surroundings and the reflection is an added bonus.
have a great evening
jcpix (6640) 2013-10-10 16:31
What a neat effect, and a solid concept to keep the meaning conscious in thought. It's kind of a mind bender at first glance...is it real, or is it Memorex? :) Shooting this at night has, I would imagine anyway, enhanced the visual mystery to a greater degree. I can't tell if it's on glass, or somehow sitting on the waters surface...the distance between the tree and its reflection boggles the senses.
On top of that, the florescent white against the incandescent tones from the bridges lighting is a delightful and warm combination. It has both a wintery vibe as well as a summer mood. I think you did very well with the exposure to bring out the detail, while maintaining integrity in the highlights.
Oh, and I am adding "ghostlier" to my vocabulary! :)
Enjoy the rest of the evening. Take it easy.
Friendly wishes from "next door."
Sonata11 (31253) 2013-10-10 18:46
interesting composition and great impression. I like it it is something different. Great capture and fabulous reflection of this tree. I know where is this bridge and we like Austin very much so. Great photo job.
All the best,
abmdsudi (32529) 2013-10-10 23:39
I love creativity like this! Out of the box and original! Slim tree beautifully 'dressed' - what a delightful discovery there of a subject which has been 'crafted' with imagination and is fascinating. I think I'd never have though of that made for the discerning photographer like you Russ!
Thanks to the people with the awareness about the environ and you picked the right time to shoot making lots of different on which I think this may not work in bright daylight. You have recorded the result showing the wonderful detail all round with excellent contrast and standout very nicely & thank you for sharing with us. Very well done, Congrats.
The link is useful for further reading and much appreciated.
jhm (128091) 2013-10-11 2:42
This type picture get we not everyday on TE.
What a lovely night scene, I like specially the wonderful ghost tree and his reflection.
What a lovely composition, lovely colours.
We get also nice reflections and nice bridge in background.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
claudeD (27004) 2013-10-11 4:30
very fine picture showing this very interesting art installation.You did a perfect fotojob here.Like the view very much.TFS.
With regards from Luxembourg
saxo042 (33940) 2013-10-11 5:02
A beautiful picture and a very interesting work of art. I enjoy your note too and I have mailed the like to our son. They have moved now and live hear 38th and Lamar.
photoray (6700) 2013-10-11 9:48
A magical image with the glowing white naked tree in the night and mirrored in the water, and a glimpse of the interesting bridge architecture.
Water rights and ownership are an ongoing battle in The West, even in California. With our drought year the battles have intensified. Hopefully in the future, Californians will work harder at water conservation. The swimming pool in the backyard may become a dinosaur, and the lush green lawns?
Have a rewarding weekend,
ourania (18738) 2013-10-12 7:42
the artwork is imaginative, creative and lovely, it has a great impact on the viewer and makes a point in a strikingly effective and touching way. Your presentation is superb. I love the homogeneous "chocolate" backdrop that enhances the appeal of the natural patterns, the warm and cold colours, the blurry reflections. Each of the elements and colours interacts with the harmonious backdrop and with the other details and colours of the composition. I like very much the context and reference provided by the distant city lights, the distant audience that maybe is also affected by the "Thirst". Your work to describe the work of art in an original artistic way is very effective. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
delpeoples (48690) 2013-10-13 4:29
A very eye-catching and enchanting photo. bet you wish you'd brought a tripod, but you did very well ad-libbing by using the parapet. Your photo Info doesn't really tell us what ISO you used, probably because of the blended exposures. I notice a fair bit of noise in the image, which might be helped by using Neat Image which is a free anti-noise software. But I also understand that the flares from the lamp posts would have presented a problem to exposing this image. Ideally, I think a narrower depth of field, say around f/11 would have worked better here, to obtain the star points in the lights and also a bit more sharpness. And an ISO of between 100-200. But then of course is the problem of no tripod and making do with what you have. Anyway, a lovely, atmospheric image, with ghostly reflections and excellent composition.
Have a lovely Sunday
Silvio1953 (105653) 2013-10-17 8:10
Ciao Russ, fantastic nocturne shoot withfascinating reflections, great exposure, wonderful colors and splendid light, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio
nikkitta (9023) 2013-10-17 18:31
Just read your answers, lots of people leave comments in an automatic way, lo habias notado, imagino, so relax and enjoy life
About Tecnique, good idea to try with different ones, in front of this original scene with various kinds of lights, it must have been a good exercise
Now the note and subject of the interesting capture, a creative idea to call attention for this problem, well expressed by a gosh white tree
Thanks for the link, the photo is almost identical at the one you did
Te felicito por la idea y los resultados
Alco (5459) 2013-10-17 19:31
Fantastic picture of that ghost tree.Nice reflection of the tree.Perfect management of the lighting.Very well done.
Have a nice day.
- Copyright: Russ Ham (EstudioChispa) (1694)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2013-10-09
- Categories: Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D5000, Sigma 10-20mm F4-5.6 EX DC HSM
- Exposure: f/5.6, 4 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2013-10-10 7:21