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Ormiston Gorge, not far from Glen Helen Gorge in the Western MacDonnells, is one of the highlights of a trip to the Red Centre. Two or three hours west of Alice Springs, it's relatively easy to visit, there's a car park, a path and once at the top, you're in the heart of it!I first photographed this tree (I am assuming it is the same tree) some twenty years ago. Mind you, now that I think about it, perhaps it was another tree on the same spot because this tree isn't that big. Then again, maybe the trees don't grow very tall in this area. Hmmm. Last time I was there it was early morning and I have always remembered the way the white bark glowed in the pre-dawn light - and how disappointed I was because the tree was moving in the pre-dawn light and the resulting image was blurred.The same happened on this trip, that annoying zephyr that seems to accompany dawn as it races around our globe. So while I photographed the tree in the pre-dawn light, I also remained for the sunrise so I could use a faster shutter speed and stop the movement. So, given I was using a different light source, when would the tree look its best?Our group was up early so we had plenty of time to work out the best angles. There's a sign right next to the tree and a railing behind. In fact, the location is now a very well appointed look-out with all the trimmings required, so I had to position the camera down low so these manmade intrusions were not overly obvious. In the photo here I have removed the sign and some of the railing in Photoshop, but not in the other images which have been only quickly edited. Even so, you'll have to look hard to see them - they are pretty well hidden in the bottom right corner... (to view these other photos visit the Better Photography website - www.betterphotography.com (select General Blog).We also had some other bushes near the camera that were intruding into the scene, so I had to gently hold them back out of the picture while each exposure was made. Please be assured that no flora was damaged in the making of this photograph.I also took a series of images. The first had sun on the rock face, but not on the tree. The second had a splash of sun on the tops of the tree. The third had the sun extending down most of the trunk, but not lighting up the foreground. And the final one is the image here, where the foreground is just being kissed by the sun.The question of when do you take the photograph was easy to answer: having travelled several days to reach my destination, I took as many frames as necessary so I could decide later on which was the 'best'.Which would you chose? Although I have only worked the file here (the others are just out of the raw processor), you can get a feeling for how the light works on the tree. My initial thought was that the sun should only appear on the top half, not the bottom, but looking at it later, I think the sun all the way down the trunk produces great separation between the tree and the background.

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