Ghost Trees

This image is one of a number I took around Emu Flat, Victoria. I had been out in that area a few weeks before with Stuart Forsyth and between us we produced an interest range of images. I went back on my own to explore another road in the area.

A local real estate agent pointed me toward this hill with promises of interesting rocks and artistic trees. A number of other shots from this expedition are in this gallery at Ipernity.

I took most of the shots with a 20mm lens on the front of the Canon 5D. I love the effect this gives you when shooting from a low perspective with a good subject and a dramatic sky.

When processing this image, I decided I wanted a ‘ghostly’ look rather than a totally sharp image. I thought this suited the pale, dead trees. I use Adobe Camera RAW 4.6 for processing. To achieve the basic effect, I moved the Clarity slider to the left, instead of the right. The amount of ‘negative’ clarity depends on the image. With some images it works really well, with others, not so much.

In Photoshop, I used a layer to ‘paint’ some light onto the highlights of the rocks and the tree trunks and to darken the shadows on the rocks.

This entry was posted in explanation.


  1. Stuart February 24, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    The clarity slider is incredible. I love how a slight touch of negative clarity on portraits improves them in the most fantastic way. Nice effect Rob.

  2. Interface February 24, 2009 at 8:32 pm #

    I am really pleased now that the Clarity slider goes both ways, so to speak. However, I find that it doesn’t look good for every image. Some images get a ‘glow’ about them, an ‘other wordly’ aspect. Some just go soft and vague. As with most things Photoshop, a little goes a long way.

  3. Gary Sauer-Thompson February 25, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    I know nothing of gallery sliders but I do find the gallery of pictures of the rolling hills covered in big rocks landscape around Heathcote, Victoria interesting. The work avoids the beautiful and concentrates on the ordinary and the commonplace and it appears to work within the Australian Romantic tradition.

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