As my workshop partner Alyce Bender and I guided our group through this amazing swamp, it was hard not to be impressed by these stoic monarchs. We were on a flat boat cruising slowly through the bayou in search of unique compositions. Caddo Lake in Texas is an incredible place to explore and to create striking pictures, especially for a Pacific Northwest photographer such as myself.
Caddo Lake is a submerged Bald Cypress forest. It is also the largest lake in Texas. Situated along the Texas and Louisiana border, Caddo Lake is an experience like no other. It is a mix of natural beauty and local culture. As a result, the little town of Uncertain Texas is unique.
This picture was captured handheld with Active VR. I had the camera on aperture priority to allow me to pull up and take a shot without thinking about exposure settings. In hindsight, in this case, I should have bumped up my ISO to quicken the shutter, but during photo workshops, my attention is on my clients. Thanks to the forgiveness of the excellent Nikon 70-200mm VR II and a steady hand, the focus turned out to be nice and sharp. Also, I had opened up the aperture to allow more light and to narrow the DOF to separate the tree – the main subject – from the background.
If you are going to visit Caddo Lake, the most popular time is during fall, as the beautiful Spanish Moss-laden Cypress trees are in full autumn color. It is also a time of the year when the bugs and the alligators are dormant and not a threat. It can get cold, but the cold can create some beautiful misty mornings.
I am looking forward to my return next fall.
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Dimitri Vasileiou • Editor