On my recent travels in Mexico I kept encountering beautiful purple Jacaranda trees. The challenge with photographing the trees was their location; busy streets, private yards and cluttered courtyards. But one morning we found a beautiful tree near a church, and this Jacaranda was perfectly silhouetted against the blue sky. How to photograph this tree?
I started with a sharp image and bracketed compositions changing the position of the tree trunks. The black trunks provided the visual handrail the viewer’s eye would travel along through the image. I liked the trunks in the lower left corner the most.
Next, I aimed my camera straight up, set a slow shutter speed (1/-2 to 1/15 second) and twisted my camera as I pressed the shutter. The trick with this image was trying to keep my center point steady so the motion would rotate around this one point. ‘Twisties’ are a great way to photograph trees from below when you are working on abstract shots.
Finally, I had to shoot the tried and true ‘shakie’. Using the same slow shutter speed this time I shook my camera up and down to create an abstract effect. And in the end, this was my favorite shot. Always experiment with your camera technique, especially methods that produce abstract results. Sometimes these images are my favorites from a trip.