Haliburton County in Ontario, Canada is dominated by rivers and lakes. Tourists from all over flock here for the water bodies and Haliburton forest. The image above of a swamp is what the tourists might see if they were in the vicinity and got up early.
Swamp in the Haliburton Forest
There is something undeniably magical about swamps and mist. Without the mist, a swamp looks too normal and featureless, almost without character. And mist by itself only hides things we ought to be seeing. Taken together, however, they unite to take away whatever is boring out of swamps and clothe it with a sense of eerie mystery instead.
You really don’t want to see detail in a swamp. It is bound to be not very pretty. The mist does a fine job of a cover-up while keeping the air of suspense. The mist does not obscure everything. If it did, there would be nothing much to see, let alone appreciate. It reveals enough in parts to keep you interested. So you get to see the texture of the water in the foreground, the floating deadwood, the tree line in the distance… All in all, you get an illusion of detail and richness without actually seeing anything that could offend.
Which is precisely why this image of a swamp in morning mist somewhere in Canada is pleasing and not messy. The image seems to say that nature is what it is and even a lowly swamp can be a beautiful thing when seen subdued light and when bogged down by mist. Suddenly it is no longer a swamp. It is a thing of beauty. For even though many of the trees may be dead, you can still feel the wind whistling through the branches.
There is romance in nature everywhere – even in unlikely places. And it is the job of the artist/photographer to search them out and reveal their beauty to us.
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Gear: Hasselblad H3D camera, Hasselblad 80mm lens.
Settings: Focal length 80mm; exposure 1/250 sec; f4.8; ISO 200.
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