For years I had been planning a kayaking adventure in the swamps of Texas and Louisiana. This environment represents one of the most primeval places still existing in the USA, home to a multitude of bird species, turtles, alligators, poisonous snakes, spiders and so on.
Last autumn (November 2019) I finally made this dream come true and I spent 20 days exploring different areas.
This picture was taken at Caddo Lake, Texas. It was one of the first days and I found some difficulties to make this image: I had to paddle in the dark to reach this side of the lake with incredible bald cypresses emerging from the water. After the first lights of the day the mists created an impressive atmosphere by surrounding the bald cypresses and transporting me to one of the most primordial places I have ever seen.
To realize the best shot I decided to get off the kayak (definitely challenging as the water level was high), with my chest waders on. Shooting hand held in these light conditions can be really limiting and frustrating, so I acted!
Placing the tripod into the muddy waters was crucial for my composition, exposure and aperture issues. To avoid camera shake a went for a 400 iso and 1/5” shutter speed as a longer exposure often makes the tripod move when placed in the mud. For a cleaner result I chose a panoramic cut and I wanted to exclude the sky that would have disturbed the harmony of the scene on my opinion.