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Posted by
Taylor (St. Louis, United States) on 27 August 2013 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

The title may seem an inappropriate name for this image, but I believe it to be perfectly fitting. I saw this location from the highway and when I arrived at the shore I waded out into the water and set up my tripod to wait until the sunset. The place seemed dead. There was no breeze, no insects, no animals at all (save for some nesting Cormorants), and no sounds. This all changed as soon as the sun set, however. It suddenly came to life! There were bugs everywhere, more than I have ever seen in my life. My flashlight would illuminate them zipping all over. Spiders began making webs all over the trees. Bats were skimming over the water. Small fish were surfacing to eat the bugs that landed in the water while the larger fish came in to feed on the smaller ones. I have never witnessed a place with so much activity in my life.

About 5 minutes before I had to go retrieve my camera from the water, I saw one of the largest freshwater fish I have ever seen in my life. It was at least 3 1/2 feet long! Of course it was not looking to make a meal out of me, but knowing it is so close by when wading out into the water in almost complete darkness is definitely unnerving.

This shoot was definitely filled with surprises!

I want to thank you all for the very kind comments. I really appreciate the support from the Aminus3 community. Thanks everyone!

I also wrote a more detailed description of how I made this image. For anyone interested, check out my blog post at

PENTAX K-5 20 seconds F/2.8 ISO 400 31 mm (35mm equiv.)

Bruno F from Planète Terre, Europe, France

Fantastic ! 20 seconds was a perfect choice !

27 Aug 2013 6:11am

Ellebasi from HOFSTADE, Belgium

superbe effet, très bon choix

27 Aug 2013 6:40am

omid from mashhad, Iran

E X C E L L E N T !!!!!

27 Aug 2013 7:03am

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Superbe affect.
Je vous souhaite une agréable journée.

27 Aug 2013 7:24am

Basile Pesso from Barcelona, Spain

Stunning catch and superb B and W and long pose.

27 Aug 2013 9:05am

Helodie from AVRANCHES, France

Wonderful composition and black and white.

27 Aug 2013 11:37am

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Sublime avec cette pose longue, magnifique rendu. Bonne journée. *****

27 Aug 2013 2:34pm

Olivier P from toulouse, France

Great the result, very esthetic !! well done !

27 Aug 2013 3:31pm

DarkElf from Perth, Australia

great choice for a b&w capture with wonderful light and smooth tonal transition! the atmosphere is brilliant!

28 Aug 2013 1:35am

L'angevine from Angers, France


28 Aug 2013 6:11am

Basile Pesso from Barcelona, Spain

Congrats on a deserved spotlight ! I've now read the text, excellently written, what a story !

28 Aug 2013 6:40pm

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Amazing image, fascinating dialog and a Spotlight, too ! Brilliant.

28 Aug 2013 7:16pm

omid from mashhad, Iran

Congratulations! :)

28 Aug 2013 7:25pm

Bruno F from Planète Terre, Europe, France

Hurray for Pentax !! Congrats on this deserved spot !

28 Aug 2013 7:25pm

@Bruno F: Thank you! I must say, I do love my Pentax!

Tede from Aubenas 07, France

Congrats for the Spotlight!!!

28 Aug 2013 7:33pm

Ruthiebear from Titusville, NJ, United States

Congratulations on your SPOTLIGHT!!

28 Aug 2013 8:04pm

Ellebelle from Mosquito Town, Netherlands

Exceptionally beautiful!!
Congratulations :-))

28 Aug 2013 8:27pm

BlindPoet from Whangarei, New Zealand

excellent shot and commentary. what did you shoot it long was the exposure.........brave leaving the tripod there with so much life around. Any snakes? I terrified of snakes

28 Aug 2013 8:54pm

@BlindPoet: Thank you for the kind words. I shot this with my Pentax K5 with a Sigma 17-70. This was actually a blend of two images. The first was a 20 second exposure for the tree and water. The second was a series of 10 second pictures over about 30 minutes for the star trails. I then opened the images into Photoshop and set the blend mode to "Lighten." I was a bit nervous leaving the tripod, but I dug it so deep into the mud at the bottom of the lake that it was not going to move very easily. Fortunately no snakes! I am not a fan of them either!

Baldwin Vandewalle from Bejuma, Venezuela

Magnificent shot and great story to justify the title !!! Perfect in B/W ...
Congratulations on the Spotlight !!!

28 Aug 2013 10:01pm

Ana Lúcia from Leiria, Portugal

Congratulations on the Spotlight!

28 Aug 2013 10:35pm

helys from Paris, France

So great story behind this one:)

29 Aug 2013 12:01am

maurizio jaya costantino from Trieste, Italy

thank you Taylor, for the image and the story...

29 Aug 2013 6:21am

Aubain from Rome, Samoa

I totally agree with your title and with the time of exposure. I am surprised of the sharpness of details all around the DoF notwithstanding the focus length. Very well done!

29 Aug 2013 8:56am

Christian Richer from Le Havre, France

The light rains... Superb!

29 Aug 2013 12:38pm

Ranita Imposible from Palma de Mallorca, Spain

The inconveniences paid off. A fantastic shot! Congratulations on the spotlight!

29 Aug 2013 12:41pm

Eric C. from Un peu partout, France

Great shot ! Conngrats !

29 Aug 2013 12:53pm

Calusarus from Drome des collines, France

Congratulations on this spotlight

29 Aug 2013 2:56pm

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Superb!!...Congratulations on this spotlight.

29 Aug 2013 5:04pm

Julie L. Brown from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

Lovely composition and artful exposure and processing. congrats on the spotlight.

29 Aug 2013 9:27pm

Michael Rawluk from Williams Lake, BC, Canada

Purely wonderful.

30 Aug 2013 5:02am

Shaahin Bahremand from Tehran, Iran

unbelievable shot
congratulations !

30 Aug 2013 7:16am

Stu from From Scotland | Living in 京都 Kyoto, Japan

Oh my. This is magnificent! Well done Taylor.

30 Aug 2013 7:19am

Deisu from Valencia, Spain

Magnífica... Enhorabuena ;)

30 Aug 2013 8:08am

Adrian from Wakefield, United Kingdom


30 Aug 2013 10:54am

Abolfazl Shekari from Semnan, Iran

so beautiful.well done

30 Aug 2013 11:54am

Sue-Ann from Quebec, Canada

superb, thanks for explanation, congrats.

30 Aug 2013 4:40pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

Amazing image! Congratulations on the Spotlight!

30 Aug 2013 8:52pm

tce76 from saint Laurent de Brèvedent, France

Superbe pause longue.

2 Sep 2013 10:01pm

Marilla from Turku, Finland

All your photos are impressive and this is just magnificent! Co gratulations on the Spotlight!

5 Sep 2013 7:04pm

Véro from Savoie, France

Wonderful description of what you've lived, great result !

10 Mar 2014 5:56pm

This image has been featured in 3 Remix collections.

Paysages au passage by Helodie

Paysages by Tede

Landscape by Kii

20 seconds
ISO 400
31 mm (35mm equiv.)