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Ultra Large Format Photography Diary – Siloam Springs 8×20 Tree Landscape Experiment

One of the most underrated things about ultra large format photography is failure.

Most people only show their “winners,” but it takes courage and a strong desire for personal growth to show your “losers.”

This 8×20 ULF winter landscape of a lone tree along Siloam Springs was a fun experience, but there are several problems.

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8x20 Ultra Large Format (Siloam Springs Lone Tree) by Tim Layton © Tim Layton Fine Art
Lone Tree at Siloam Springs © Tim Layton (

I had a lot of fun working on this image, but I knew when I created it that it wasn’t a keeper, but I followed through with it because I enjoy being outside, and I had the free time to relax and enjoy the process.

This image was the last one of the day when the best light and fog had already left. I knew that, but I didn’t care. I knew this wasn’t a “keeper,” and I still enjoyed every minute of it.

I love the sloping hillside on the right, but the composition of the tree isn’t quite right. This is the beauty of ultra large format photography. It is a contact printing process, and there is nowhere to hide. You either get it right in the camera, or you don’t. There is no “Photoshop” to fix bad choices. I love it!

The composition is way too tight around the main tree, and I knew that when I was creating the exposure, but I felt there was value in seeing if I wanted to return and try again with a different lens.

I plan to return to this location the next time there is early morning fog or when it snows. There are enough good things here to lure me back to try again. Hopefully, next time, there will be some cows or maybe even some wildlife in this scene.

I love defoliated winter trees. I feel like the trees have metaphorically shed their robes, and they are showing us their soul.

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