A particular favourite of mine. The tree roots are stripped bare from the floods that charge through here and provide a wonderful contrast amongst the undergrowth and gloom. The trees looked to have gathered at the water’s edge for a “wee sip”, it could be a scene from The Lord of the Rings! This was a late afternoon shot and the last of the sun can be seen in the distance reflecting off the water.


Afternoon Drink by Stuart Bell
Nikon D4; Nikkor 16-35mm; 20mm; f/16 manual exposure 10s; ISO 50

Don’s response
Stuart’s image was captured on a trip he made to the Pilbara (Western Australia) during the rainy season when the usually dry country is dramatically transformed by running water.

I freely confess to being a big fan of “rocks and roots” photography, particularly when the composition and execution is as meticulously handled as in Afternoon Drink.

You’ll note from the accompanying tech details that Stuart set his zoom lens at 20mm with an aperture of f/16 to obtain the necessary depth of field to hold focus from the immediate foreground right out to the most distant trees.

Texture and its expression is what makes this image, so I wonder how it might look had Stuart opted for a more classical black-and-white rendition. As it is, the colours are muted and very much dominated by variations on a theme of beige. Perhaps a monochromatic interpretation would allow the texture and contrasts more, shall we say, dramatic elbow room.


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