Photos – even those for the purpose of art – should have a purpose. They can be documentary with unaltered record of events. Some photos are meant to make statements or spark emotions by invoking anger, pain or sadness. But then there are those that inspire dreams, and they are perhaps the most inspiring of all. This week, we are featuring this photo, simply titled Cypress, from the sensational mind of Dennis Ramos.
The exact creation of this photo is unknown to this writer, but I can only assume this is a long exposure. The effect can be created after dusk (you’d be amazed how much light your camera can get in darkness with enough time), but I suspect it is more likely that Dennis was using a stack of Neutral Density Filters (ND Filters) or a Variable ND filter. In either case, the trick is to induce a long exposure by cutting the light that gets into the shot. This gives more time for choppy water to move around and soften into a blur and it gives the clouds a more smooth and surreal look. In post, you adjust the curves so the whites are white and the blacks are black and you get this dreamy, surreal and somewhat haunting type of shot.
Cypress truly seems like it was dragged out of a dream, not pulled from our world. The technique helped Dennis to create this dream, but it was his vision that made it a reality. He picked a perfect subject, the right light (which we all know means he was at the mercy of the sun and the weather) and developed a great composition. The results are stunning. May it inspire your dreams.
Dennis Ramos’s photostream is filled with seeds of dreams like Cypress. His unique use of light in his work sets his photos apart from anyone else, even those using similar techniques. You can of course find Dennis on Flickr, but you can also find his work at Pixu.