Behind The Lens: The Angel Oak
“The Angel Oak” Johns Island, South Carolina USA. Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens @ 24mm, 1/15 second @ f/20, ISO 320.
On South Carolina’s Johns Island just south of Charleston, you might find one of the world’s most formidable Southern live oak trees: The Angel Oak. It truly is a sight to behold, boasting a total height of 66 feet (20 meters), a 30-foot (9 meter) trunk circumference, and a canopy diameter of more than180 feet (55 meters). It’s exact age has not been determined but it’s believed to be about 500 years old, making it the oldest living thing in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
I composed the Angel Oak by zooming in tight on the core of the tree so there was no empty space around the edges and that the branches extended all the way out to the image frame and into the corners. I was shooting directly into the sun so I positioned myself where the sun was barely peeking behind a tree limb and then stopped down to f/20 to create a diffraction star.
I captured all of this with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLR and Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM Lens. I converted this to Black and White with Nik Silver Efex Pro2 on Adobe Lightroom.
Love It! Something very special about the mighty oaks, I love the way you composed this one…
I see a trip farther South. Have seen some beautiful oaks here in NC but usually in a cow pasture and the cows sadly beat a path around the roots and many won’t make 500 years.
Thanks for sharing Richard…
Love the depth and tone effect you kept/created with this, Richard. Nice to hear the process too! It’s not a snap & shoot & done kind of thing, that’s for sure!
On framing to the edges of the branches, did you need to change the size format even slightly after via cropping or such? I was wondering cause (and I just use a point & shoot right now) I often really like a picture but feel compelled to crop its size just a bit to make the image work how I want it. Thanks, Richard!
Breathtaking!! Magical…. I do love trees. Thank you for allowing me to witness so many amazing sights that I will not be able to see in person!
One of my ancestors was margaret Angel! She lived on this beautiful plantation and the beautiful oak got its name the Angel family!
Richard, your image “The Angel Oak” is magnificent! And, I love seeing it in black and white, color seems to distract from the majesty of the tree. I live close to Johns Island, actually my home is on Kiawah Island. I spent one morning photographing this tree and featured it on my blog website Oct 22, 2018, titled “Big Can Be Beautiful Too”. Now I wish I had shown it in black & white.
On another note, am looking forward to your presentation, Oct 7 and 8, with the KI Photography Club.