Down in our valley at the Little Maquoketa River is a lonely Sycamore tree (Platanus occidentalis) that has intrigued me many times before. It seemed in all the years I never found the right light to make a photo telling the story about this unique tree with its mottled and flaking bark, that makes the tree standing out from any other one around. Today, an hour before sunset, Joan and I went for a walk on the trail in the valley with our dog Cooper. I don’t remember a year without any snow on the ground in January but this abnormal weather situation suddenly delivered the photo opportunity I had somehow in mind. I exposed strictly for the highlights to make the almost white bark standing out. This would have not worked with a layer of snow on the ground. Although the sun was very low already, the light is not really warm and I was actually thinking of black & white when I took the picture. But I like how the crisp light strikes the scene and only the corn stalks in the foreground pick up a little bit of the warmer light.

Nikon D750, Nikon Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm, f/4G ED VR