Canebrake – Keel Hollow; Gurley, AL: I have lived on the west side of Keel Mountain for almost 29 years and have known of the fabulous canebrake in Keel Hallow for as long. Cane in the brake grows large. Much of the cane is five or more inches in diameter, and reaches 25 to 30 feet in height. It is very impressive. Every time I drive past the brake I say to myself, or who ever is in the van with me; “there’s a photo in there,” but I never could seem to find it. On occasion I would stop at the canebrake, walk around and look. I would get my camera out and look through the viewfinder at the giant cane poles, but the image eluded me.
Recently I drove past the canebrake. While looking at the stand of cane I said to myself again, “there’s an image in there.” Again I got out of the van, and looked for the image. This time I found a spot I liked. A huge piece of cane leaned toward the camera and the lean, was exaggerated by the wide-angle lens. The vertical stalks were also curved from there vertical position to converging angels. The spot had potential, but the images I was shooting looked blain and totally uninteresting.
The light was low, so a long shutter speed was essential to get an image. While shooting one of the exposures I had the idea to swing the camera from right to left; just to see what the effect would look like. So, when I open the shutter for the next exposure I slowly swung the lens from right to left. I experimented with the movement, some faster, some slower until I achieved the desired affect. I was surprised to see the results and even more surprised that I liked the results.The movement of the camera during the exposure finally gave me an image I was happy with. But, this is just the beginning. I know that there are many good images still to be taken in the canebrake, and I will continue to return and search for them. Hopefully the next image will not take 29 years to find!
Nikon D3, Nikkor 20mm f2.8, Digital Capture ISO 200