At the Massachusetts Horticultural Society’s Elm Bank Reservation in Wellesley, Massachusetts there is this wonderful dead tree that is totally devoid of bark that they have labelled and use as a “bird habitat.” It is wonderfully polished, covered with a labyrinth of termite tunnels, like little streets, and presents this marvelously shiny ivory color.
The sky was completely overcast, presenting a very low contrast light. But I was struck by the textures, the termite tracks and the spots that glistened subtly above the rest of the surface. These would not have been there in bright high-contrast sunlight. The scene presented the kind of tone-on-tone challenge that I just love to photograph. Since I was shooting with IS, but no tripod, I chose an ISO of 800. I find that with the Canon T2i you can really go much higher than this without getting into grain trouble. I experimented with manual but found that AF gave me what I wanted. I do this by zooming in on the fine detail after taking a test shot. Here the detail was the termite tracks. The image in Figure 1 was taken with my EFS 18-55 mm (1:3.5-5.6) IS STM zoom at 37 mm in aperture priority at 1/400.
The result was, I think, my best image of the day.