River of Grass

Most US National Parks were created to protect unique geographic features, icons like Half Dome in Yosemite or Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Whereas Everglades National Park, the third largest national park in the country, was created to protect a fragile wetland ecosystem.

That’s the reason for all those wading birds I’ve been showing you lately. But just as important as the birds themselves, is the wetland made by an extremely slow moving river. In the freshwater sloughs, sharp-edges sawgrass grows up to 6 feet tall making the area look more like a prairie than a river. It gave the Everglades it’s nickname “River of Grass”.

Everglades National Park, Florida

Please click the image to view a larger version.

While I liked the original colour version of the image with its yellow grassy foreground, bright blue sky and puffy white clouds, I prefer the drama I was able to create in the black and white conversion.

I used Nik Silver Efex to convert it to black and white and added contrast and a vignette to increase the dark tones. I had to adjust the brightness and clarity of the clouds to bring out their details and prevent them from becoming washed out.

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  1. says

    The Everglades is a very different place Anne. I have only visited Shark Valley in the northern part of the park and I was taken with the ecosystem. I hope to visit the southern part next winter.

    This image is pretty awesome. The B&W does add some drama and conveys the beauty of the park.
    Len Saltiel recently posted..Autumn MirrorMy Profile

      • says

        Hi Kaz. Wow, I looked at the link you sent with the drawings of bible stories and those are intense!! I really appreciate it, those are great inspiration for creating dramatic images, especially black and white. Thank you very much.

    • says

      Hi Len! Shark valley is pretty cool because there are so many alligators there. But it didn’t have the same vistas or as many birds as some of the other areas of the park. I hope you get to see the southern sections. Thanks for your comments on my black and white image. Always appreciated!

  2. says

    Great choice to go with Black and White! It really adds a mood to the image, I’m doubly glad that you used a vertical orientation, it’s not something I think of when shooting a landscape (Unless it’s a waterfall) I’ll definitely keep it in mind from now on!
    Howard J recently posted..Week 4 of 52 – Self PortraitMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Howard, I sometimes forget to shoot vertical too, but recently I was asked for a version of one of my images for a magazine, but they wanted a vertical version. I had to go back through my archives with my fingers crossed that I had one but I didn’t. Fortunately for me they chose a different image. Now I try to keep in mind doing the vertical and also leaving lots of negative space in it since that is what magazines want so they can add text. Thank you very much for your comments on my image.

    • says

      Hi Mark, I checked out your site and you have some great HDR examples there. Thanks for sending the link and for sharing my post with your social networks. It is very much appreciated!!

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