I took a photo of “Little C”

You always keep your eyes open for a photo opportunity.  Because, in all honesty, you might not get a second chance.


Over the weekend, I busted out one of my old lenses, my Helios 81-H 50mm f/2 “commie” lens that integrates with my Nikon gear, and took the lens for a little photo walk in downtown Albany.

It wasn’t much of a trip, just a little “shoot around the neighborhood” thing, maybe I could find something I hadn’t previously captured.

And then I saw it.  A little letter, an alphabetic appearance in nature.  Someone had pruned a branch from a tree; and the remaining stump looked like a carved, ornate letter C.

That gives me an idea.

I strapped the Nikon Df onto a tripod and focused tightly onto the tree’s trimmed stump.  A few shots – one over-exposed, one under-exposed, one in the middle – and then combined the three images into a little HDR picture.

Little C
Little C. Nikon Df camera, Helios 81-H lens, three images in HDR capture. Photo by Chuck Miller.

Nice.  The HDR format brought out the shadows and delineations in the bark.  At first glance, one might mistake the bark for elephant’s skin, and the “C” for maybe a birth mark or a wound on the elephant’s body.

But no, this came from an old tree trunk in downtown Albany, probably nothing that anybody would have noticed – or, if they did, they probably didn’t pay attention and just continued walking on by.

This is one of the best parts of photography – being able to capture the moment that everybody else misses.

I know it’s a simple little photo of a pruned tree branch, for sure…

But that doesn’t mean I can’t keep an eye out for images like this.