The Swamp Serenade

The last echoes of my swamp serenade for this year are quickly fading into the background. I’m back home now and I’ve almost completed my “return from a trip” routine: unpack, do laundry, organize and stow gear, copy and organize image files, etc. I say “almost” because the most important part of a trip, which I consider to be the process of copying my image files onto my storage array, was stopped dead in its tracks when I attempted to copy a memory card and I received a notification that my storage array is full. Full! A 9 terabyte drive full. Yikes! It knew I was getting close to filling my array, but I got there much faster than anticipated. Of course, this requires a solution. In short, time to buy more storage! So off to my on-line store and in a couple of days, I’ll have a new bigger storage array. Its huge! I figure it will last me until 2022. How’s that for long-term planning?

So, I must await any significant processing of images from the swamps until after I get the new array going. I don’t like moving around tons of files and data unless I have to, and I should wait until I have the new array active. But! I just can’t wait to share a couple of images, so here is one.

As you can tell, I finally had my first experience with fog on the swamp! It was awesome! Although I’ve called this fog many times in the past, now that I’ve seen it, it is not really fog in my uninformed opinion. It is mist and it is formed by the interaction of cold air (think 27 degrees F!) with warm water. Whatever the technical reason, it was magical. The lake was calm, and the mist rose like soft wisps of cotton from the surface of the water. The sounds of the birds and a dog howling echoed across the surface of the water. Did I mention it was magical??

I created this image just before the sun rose, so the mist has a strong blue cast from the clear blue sky. There was sufficient light to sidelight the fall leaves. The combined effect of the blue mist and the dimly-glowing red-orange leaves was palpable to the eye, but not overwhelming. It was visually stunning and subtly mysterious all at the same time! Still, the overall light levels were quite low. Consequently, I used a high ISO (3200) and a relatively wide aperture (f/4.0) so that I could shoot handheld at 1/200 sec. I used the vibration reduction feature to try to make the image as sharp as possible, but it still quite soft overall. Throw in the effects of noise due the high ISO and the relatively narrow depth of field, and you end up with a very imperfect image from a technical standpoint. Yet I still love it. To my eye, it has the quality of an abstract oil painting.

I hope you like it…let me know what you think!


  1. I really love all of these images from the swamp Steve. They are indeed magical. And I know that somewhere back within those waters and trees in an old woman brewing something that is better left alone.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Looks “painterly” and wonderful! And lest you worry too long about a “soft” image, just ponder for five seconds (but certainly not more) about what the Lensbaby folks are doing with image softness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for that, Tom! You’re right…people go to great lengths to make fancy high-res DSLR images look like abstract oil paintings. Kayaks and lensbabies…who would have they’d have the same end result? 🙂


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