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gyaban


Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Calendar III (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Canon EOS-5D Mark II
Lens: Canon TS-E 17mm f/4.0L MF
Location: BrocÚliande forest, Bretagne, France
Date: Jun 12, 2011
Aperture: f/16
ISO: 100
Galleries: Nature
Date Uploaded: Jun 12, 2011

This is a very special photo to me. Trees inspire me much respect, especially old and venerable ones: they witnessed the past, and will probably see a far future, unlike me.

This particular tree is a legend by himself. He even has a name: Ponthus' beech. He lives in the BrocÚliande forest, in Bretagne (France), the one where many Arthurian legends occurred. One can also find Merlin's tomb here (well, at least one of them...). Different stories exist, but a common one is that Ponthus, a knight of the round table, lived in a castle there, somewhere around the 10th century. He was disappointed by the fact he had no child, and blasphemed about it. God punished him by destroying his castle in a storm, and the tree grew on its ruins.

While this tree is well known (he illustrates several photography books' covers), finding it is quite hard. Technically, he is located in a private part of the forest, theoretically forbidden to walkers. This is probably why very few information is available about his location. A long documentary research gave me several possibilities, which I entered as coordinates in a GPS device.

I then had to drive about 5h to reach the forest, and park on its side. This place is gigantic, and I met absolutely nobody. It was a fantastic experience to wander alone in these woods, exploring the locations possibilities in the hope of finding the mythical tree. I was quite lucky, and after only an hour of walk I was standing in front of it. I may be an emotional guy, but believe me, I was simply overwhelmed by the beauty of his shapes, the moss covering most of his trunk, and by the fact that he was the very only one of his kind (all the other trees in the area were straight, as you can see on the photo). I spent about 3h shooting it carefully, testing many angles, 3 different lenses, and waiting for the right light. Since the place was quite dark, I decided to use bracketing, which was extremely useful in post-processing to raise the dynamic range.

I really hope I will be able to go there many times again, and photography it at different seasons. It is quite a long day (mainly spent on the road), but it was so worth it. Did I mention I love this tree? :-)

ETA: Thanks all! I'm so glad this one won. If you would like to see a bigger version of the photo, you can do so here.

Statistics
Place: 1 out of 127
Avg (all users): 7.7656
Avg (commenters): 8.8400
Avg (participants): 7.5472
Avg (non-participants): 7.9200
Views since voting: 18203
Views during voting: 314
Votes: 128
Comments: 87
Favorites: 69 (view)


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AuthorThread
09/14/2013 04:34:04 PM
Just saw this image going around facebook - nothing you can really do about it, I suppose - except enjoy the fact that so many people appreciate the image. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/02/2012 10:47:49 AM
Yes, it has taken this long for me to come back to comment on this piece. It resonated strongly with me before while in the voting stage and the imagery of this great and majestic tree has stayed with me than I can no longer resist the call to come back and tell you how beautiful it is and finally fav it (one of two of your works. And yes, I am very picky with what I fav too if you couldn't tell:-) ) I will admit I did have a slight envy that you were able to stand before this tree and experience it's majestic beauty (but that has passed). The beauty of this place and the tree just wraps around you to envelop one with the quiet calm of forest serenity and mysticism - this is a place either physically or just visually where one can come to seek tranquillity when life gets hectic.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
04/09/2012 03:37:13 AM
Pretty sure this is the location shot by another great photographer by the name of Peter Lik!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
08/09/2011 01:28:22 PM
This looks almost like a root. Either way it's pointing magnificently toward its' life sustaining energy source sunlight. Good to include its' huge "knuckles" and "feet".
I love trees, too. And other things. My surname name translated from Hungarian means "From the edge of the forest". "Erdo" = forest and "végi" = from the edge of. One of my early shootings was a 200 year old oak tree. Like the name, since I was born in April.

Message edited by author 2011-08-09 13:32:31.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
07/04/2011 09:35:45 PM
the link to the larger version is worth the ride indeed! just awesome.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2011 04:19:39 PM
Another stunner. Congrats Christophe.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/24/2011 03:46:25 AM
Originally posted by gyaban:

As for the unprocessed versions, no sorry, I usually don't show them. I don't like the opposition that some tend to make between "pure photography" and "post-processing": consequently, I don't want to provide originals that would be used as (so called) "evidences" by one side or another.

I consider the whole thing (imagination, sketches, hardware preparations & logistics, setup, lighting, shooting, raw conversion, post-processing, quality check) as a process aimed at delivering a final product. Isolating one element or another would alter the way the image is perceived, in my opinion. This is also why I don't shoot "making of" photos.


I see your point. Just to clarify, I wasn't trying to make an opposition between photography and processing, I completely agree that they are both important for the end result. However, I am quite mediocre in both categories but try to learn from examples of others' "making of"s, before and afters. I fully respect your decision to keep this to yourself though, as giving it out might indeed "pull away the curtain" and take away some of the magic from the photos.

I nabbed a high-res version of this picture from your flickr feed to use as my new desktop background by the way... Now I'm forced to maintain a clean desktop not to clutter this masterpiece :)

  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 10:46:33 PM
This is absolutely stunning! Congratulations on your blue! Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 10:05:03 AM
A fantastic pic of Ponthus' beech. Great job and a clear winner.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/23/2011 08:09:19 AM
Originally posted by wiesener:

Fantastic photo! I love your pics, and think you are an amazing photographer as well as being incredibly skilled with post-processing. Have you considered posting some of the unprocessed originals for your entries? I would love to see how some of your shots look straight out of the camera.


Thanks a lot for your comment!

As for the unprocessed versions, no sorry, I usually don't show them. I don't like the opposition that some tend to make between "pure photography" and "post-processing": consequently, I don't want to provide originals that would be used as (so called) "evidences" by one side or another.

I consider the whole thing (imagination, sketches, hardware preparations & logistics, setup, lighting, shooting, raw conversion, post-processing, quality check) as a process aimed at delivering a final product. Isolating one element or another would alter the way the image is perceived, in my opinion. This is also why I don't shoot "making of" photos.

Message edited by author 2011-06-23 08:11:33.
06/23/2011 07:50:12 AM
Fantastic photo! I love your pics, and think you are an amazing photographer as well as being incredibly skilled with post-processing. Have you considered posting some of the unprocessed originals for your entries? I would love to see how some of your shots look straight out of the camera.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 05:25:02 PM
This is not just a beautiful tree, but a stunning image of it. I was intrigued by your photo and description of the tree, so I googled "Ponthus' beech" and looked at many other photographer's attempts to capture its beauty. There were many great shots of it, but I certainly found none better than yours. Congratulations on the blue ribbon.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 03:50:10 PM
I absolutely LOVE trees, and they inspire me too! This is excellent!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 11:30:20 AM
You are the Roger Federer of DPChallenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/22/2011 01:55:31 AM
Wow...just beautiful!!! Congratulations!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/21/2011 11:21:55 PM
Congrats on the blue! Well deserved. This is such a fantastic piece of work!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 05:57:35 PM
wow it is really amazing !!
i love it
u reallt deserve to win
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 05:56:29 PM
What an absolutely incredible tree, Christophe, and the story you spun to go with it is no less inspiring. Great capture, congrats on the blue (dang! where's that stamp when you need it?!) and aw jeez now we have to watch out for your nature/wide-angle stuff too! AAAHHHHH! ;-0
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 03:43:06 PM
It is so very difficult to capture the awesomeness of nature, to be able to impart its grandeur in a small square of colors. But that is what you have done here, Christophe. Congrats on your ribbon. It would be annoying that you're always winning, except that you put so much effort into everything you do, that instead, it's an inspiration.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 03:07:21 PM
This is absolutely superb !
I am just wondering who the hell gave this a 1?

Excellent, well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 02:52:44 PM
This is to beautiful for words. Inspirational work and congrats on your Blue.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 02:29:34 PM
Spectacular! What great processing to do such a majestic tree justice. Kudos.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 02:04:08 PM
Wow the amount of effort you put into there challenges is amazing! Happy for you that it paid off :-)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:48:31 PM
Oh my---oh my... This is fantastic. Huge CONGRATS...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:13:49 PM
Methinks it's odd to be in love with a tree... but if one is so inclined, this would be an excellent one to focus one's affections on. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 11:58:11 AM
Congrats Christophe, this is magical!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 11:42:41 AM
Gorgeous! congrats on the blue ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 09:56:01 AM
this is Gyabans world, the rest of us just live in it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 09:43:10 AM
You are truly amazing. This shot is so incredibly beautiful. I love the idea of studying it for 3 hours. You've inspired me to work more with each shot. Too many times I take the shot that's in my mind, and don't mix it up enough.

Simply stunning!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 08:51:29 AM
Your dedication is astounding. Well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 08:42:52 AM
Well deserved blue! And wonderful storytelling - I love that you have personified the tree!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 08:33:34 AM
Super win. Well deserved!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 07:56:14 AM
Wonderful image and a wonderful story to go ith it. Excellent work, Christophe and many congrats on your blue ribbon. Can't understand the "1" vote....
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 07:23:43 AM
You could build a little hut in the forest and take a picture of this tree every day...

I'm very pleased to see that you recognise king Arthur as a king of the Britons and not the English :-)

Congratulations and thanks for the image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 04:46:27 AM
Congrats on the ribbon,
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 04:07:16 AM
Wonderful way to round off your magical hatrick of ribbons... special.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 02:33:04 AM
A majestic image and wonderful story! Truly breathtaking. Well-deserved win!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 01:37:31 AM
I agree with everyone else - this is an amazing shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 01:28:15 AM
Superb. Great story, great shot. Congrats on the ribbon.

Message edited by author 2011-06-20 01:28:31.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 01:06:37 AM
PS: only a troll could've given you that "1". Seriously!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:58:44 AM
I understand that feeling of awe that comes from looking at trees. This is so amazing. I bet it's breathtaking in person. Congrats on the blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:47:02 AM
Wow Christophe, had no idea this was yours, is there anything your not good at !
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:41:43 AM
A WOW image indeed. Great story as well. I can't believe that 1 vote. Sheesh. Congrats!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:32:54 AM
Christophe, I had NO idea you could look like a tree at will :-)

But seriously, I actually respect this more than practically all of your fine images. What a wonderful rendering, what a fine story! Congrats on your best-deserved (in my book) blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:32:54 AM
amazing story, amazing photo. my highest scorer and another well deserved blue!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:23:49 AM
You are a fortunate man and an accomplished photographer. Congratulations. A wonderful story and a wonderful picture
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:18:55 AM
Wow! I am so impressed with the amount of work you put into this. It's amazing. You show that photographing beauty, to you, is a real passion. Absolutely incredible and such a well deserved ribbon!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:17:08 AM
Christophe this is simply fantastic, an amazing effort produced again, you totally deserve the victory.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:14:16 AM
Love the story behind this shot! Beautiful image (and tree), congrats Christophe!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:12:15 AM
Really amazing work once again! Well deserved first place, and beautiful work to be very proud of.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:10:33 AM
Wow, you did it again! Thanks for all the notes. Even something as apparently common as a tree, you put lots of research and effort into. (Not a common tree at all, though!) No wonder you keep pulling the ribbons. We'll see this on 1x next week, I'm sure.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:09:59 AM
What a GREAT story to go with a Great Photo!! Congratulations on another blue (hey if ya get tired of all them blues send one over to my profile) ;^)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:08:36 AM
gyaban_congrats.png
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/20/2011 12:04:53 AM
Fantastic and now that I know the story behind it even more magical.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
06/19/2011 11:44:48 PM
Noce POV and lighting!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2011 10:01:49 PM
Very well done. I hope this makes front page.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2011 08:51:59 PM
I think this will ribbon. Awesome greens and the POV is stunning. Looks like it could be a post card almost! Fav'd!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2011 03:20:05 PM
I said WOW as soon as I loaded this image. My pick for a ribbon. Great image.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2011 11:06:20 AM
Wow, this is so majestic and amazing. Would love to see how you edited this after the challenge. Great shot!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/19/2011 10:27:15 AM
Oustanding image, much appropriate for a calendar or otherwise. Well done!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2011 07:18:22 PM
ommmggggggg my fav!!!! 10 hands down!!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/18/2011 03:37:37 AM
Have you seen Merlin around ???
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2011 06:23:06 PM
Mesmerizing. Absolutely outstanding colours and tones!! Would love to know how you processed this!!!!! Gave a 9 plus a fave :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2011 01:40:20 PM
Very "avatar" in the hugeness of the tree; I love the yellow green tones; the line and color make this shot- and they make it great.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2011 10:21:54 AM
I can certainly see this in my calendar...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/17/2011 10:05:09 AM
Love it!

The perspective portrays the age and 'power' of the tree. The sunlight starburst gives an added dimension.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/16/2011 11:57:38 PM
Well I'm about 40% done voting and this looks like a front page to me !

Moving to a 10.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/16/2011 01:15:05 PM
A simply wonderful picture!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2011 04:57:58 PM
Wow, what a tree! That is a great location. Beautifully captured, too.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/15/2011 09:57:54 AM
absolutely love this
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2011 09:57:25 PM
My fave of the bunch. Great processing. I can see this in a calendar!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2011 03:01:44 PM
Wonderful image exuding a magical atmosphere.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2011 02:47:24 PM
Beautiful!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2011 11:20:48 AM
Like what you have done here exposure wise.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/14/2011 12:16:08 AM
This is only the second picture I've looked at in this challenge, but this deserves a ribbon. 10
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 09:37:18 PM
WOnderful POV, the light source is amazing.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 02:10:26 PM
A superb shot that stands out from the rest.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 01:18:18 PM
Magnificent tree!!! Don't know why, but this image REALLY speaks to me. Love how you've pp'd it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 11:29:16 AM
Gorgeous setting, lighting, and perspective. WEll done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 10:34:04 AM
Wow this is just great
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 09:00:14 AM
Wow, magnificent.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 08:58:11 AM
Oh this is gorgeous. It gives me the sense of the enormity of nature. Love the sun flare. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 08:54:31 AM
Wow...........I'm speechless!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 07:51:30 AM
magical
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 01:31:54 AM
Yes, that is exactly how you're supposed to use that lens! Awesome...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 12:29:21 AM
Love the sun star. The color and light are gorgeous, one of my favorites of the challenge.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
06/13/2011 12:24:30 AM
Great POV lovely shot.
  Photographer found comment helpful.


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