“Roadside Poplars” – Pontypool, Ontario

“Roadside Poplars” - Pontypool, Ontario

There was something about this stand of poplars that made me pull over on a drive back from Ottawa last week and make this image. At the time, I couldn’t quite put my finger on what, exactly, it was that made this scene so interesting. As I worked with the image I looked at several aspects and edited it various ways, looking for what it was that first drew my eye to the composition. It was not till I looked at it in black and white that all the fine detail emerged.

That was it, the contrasts between the bright bark of the poplar trunks offset by the dark background and the texture and glow of the grasses in the foreground. You see, this day was pretty much overcast with a few bursts of sunlight from the south. It was one of these moments of  direct sunlight which lit up the poplars as I approached them, yet the background remained in shade, producing this image with three different bands of light: Bright in the foreground, from the grass in sun, the dark background, with the poplar trunks in the middle, and the grayish clouds above. And, as I look the the photo again, there is this wonderful arching of a few branches near the centre of the image, like a gate to somewhere within the stand.

To me, it make the whole image looks like a very complex sketch. I may have to pull the markers and paper out and see if I’m up to the challenge some day soon. That would be an interesting exercise.

iPhone 5S, @ 4.2mm
1/1500 sec, f/2.2, ISO 32

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