This was taken on a trip to Wells and the Somerset Levels (to watch the starling murmurations) over a year ago. During a late winter afternoon’s walk around very beautiful moat of the Bishop’s Palace we reached the Southeast side where these very attractive trees lie in a field. One imagines that they must have originally been planted as an arboretum.
Although seemingly more under threat than ever, we have our laws on limiting green belt development to thank for Wells not spreading out in this direction, leaving the Cathedral and Palace right on the edge of town with unobstructed rural and woodland views.
I love to photograph attractive trees when I see them, especially when isolated, because living on the exposed North coast of Cornwall we are a bit deprived in the tree department. They are generally either windswept and stunted sessile oaks, or the occasional pine, but are otherwise densely packed in deep sheltered valleys and not in wonderful open positions as depicted here.
Bishop's Palace, Wells, Somerset, UK
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikkor 16-85 mm f/3.5-5.6
Focal Length: 31mm
Shutter Speed: 1/160s
'Black & White' was my first thought on opening this image. I liked the composition, it is a high contrast scene, I noted the side lighting on the tree trunk and there was enough detail in the sky to work with. After retouching some distracting elements, mainly thistles and the back end of a sheep (bottom right) I needed to work the sky to get detail and bring up the blue and lighten the grass; this was done with a combination of Magic Bullet Photolooks 'Blue Sky' preset and Color Efex Pro (Pro Contrast, Graduated Neutral Density, Polarization, White Neutralizer). This quite pleasing technicolor image was passed to Silver Efex Pro where a strong red filter was applied to the bright blue I had worked for the sky before a little selenium toning was added.