The Mangrove Coast Project

Mangrove Project, Red Mangroves

Living where I do, on an island in SW Florida, surrounded by mangroves, I have become fascinated with the role they play in the cycle of aquatic life here. These walking trees, as they are sometimes called, are photographically interesting to me. But photographing them is a challenge. For starters, it is impossible to walk through or across a mangrove forest so they have to be approached by boat. Hence, I have to climb out of the boat and set up my carbon fiber (somewhat impervious to the saltwater environment) tripod in waist deep water, mount the camera, and frame the intended shot. All rather scary considering I am working with several thousand dollars worth of camera and lens just inches from the saltwater. Did I mention the bottom is very soft and I often sink up to mid calf in the ooze? Most of the shots have been made with an ultra wide angle lens and polarizing filter. To compensate for the high dynamic range of the setting- deep shadows among the roots and bright sky above – I take a sequence of seven images: one, two, and three stops over and under plus the correct exposure. Back in the studio, after importing the RAW files into Lightroom, I process the seven images with Photomatix Pro to obtain a single best HDR file. That photo is then imported into Topaz B&W Effects plugin to be converted to B&W and tweaked with some local adjustments. Finally, back in Lightroom, I make the final adjustments. While I am pleased with the results, thus far, I will likely try some other processes.

Mangrove Project

The project is challenging, to say the least, and I really don’t know where it will lead, but I intend to follow along.

Mangrove Project

For great travel writing and musing be sure to visit On the Go with Lynne.

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12 Comments

  1. Raymond Fausel July 27, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    lovely work

    • Ron July 27, 2012 at 8:58 am #

      Thanks. The project has been a challenge so far. Will have to see where it leads as I have no final goal in mind.

  2. Lisa Bradshaw July 29, 2012 at 7:24 am #

    Stunning photographs!!

    • Ron July 29, 2012 at 7:42 am #

      Thank you. Though in the early stages this is turning out to be an interesting project.

  3. carol July 29, 2012 at 9:43 pm #

    Being one of them “northerners” with very little previous exposure to mangroves, I have come to very much appreciate their function and beauty during my time on Pine Island. This is a worthy project with great photos. Thanks for sharing how you did them.

    • Ron August 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm #

      Thank you Carol. They are a fascinating tree, to say the least and not easy to photograph – so perfect for me:)

  4. Ricardo Vilela August 1, 2012 at 12:19 pm #

    I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blog Award. It is here – http://filmphotographyisnotdead.wordpress.com/2012/08/01/2nd-blog-award/

    Regards.

    • Ron August 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      Thanks, I think:)

  5. TBM August 2, 2012 at 3:48 am #

    Wonderful images! I should dabble with black and white more.

    • Ron August 2, 2012 at 8:40 am #

      Thank you for your comment and visit. I guess I am in my B&W phase at the moment and find I enjoy it more and more. The mangrove images were shot with B&W conversion in mind.

  6. Jörg August 6, 2012 at 4:14 am #

    Great shots – nice blog – like it.

    • Ron October 2, 2012 at 11:09 am #

      Thanks for your comment and visit.