Glowing Tree, Bayern, Germany by Radu Baranga

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It was a cold winter morning in Bavaria, Germany, it had snowed the day before and all through the night so when I woke up everything was covered in a white soft blanket of snow. The weather forecast predicted a sunny day so I decided to go out for a drive around to see what caches my eye. While cruising on a small country road through fields and forests enjoying the rural scenery, I spotted this tree that was catching the early morning light with the forest behind still in shade, which made it really pop. I stopped the car as soon as it was possible and fought through the deep snow to get into position. I took a couple of hand held images (there was already enough light and I really did not want to carry the tripod through the deep snow). A really simple and straightforward image, the only challenge was getting through deep power and keep my fingers from freezing (I think the temperature was below -10C).

I experimented with placing the tree left and right of the frame but I felt the composition with the tree placed in the middle was the most balanced and pleasing and made it really clear what my subject was. The post-processing was really straightforward: adjusted the white balance, cropped a bit of the foreground, expanded the whites and blacks for some contrast and reduced a bit the saturation. Also I lowered a touch the reds curve in ordered to emphasize a bit more the blues in the forest. All processing was done using Lightroom.

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