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Phil Douglis | all galleries >> Galleries >> Gallery Eighty-five: On Tour – cruising the Mississippi from Memphis to the Gulf > The Alley of Oaks, Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana, 2012
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The Alley of Oaks, Oak Alley Plantation, Vacherie, Louisiana, 2012

I made this image from the balcony of Oak Alley’s Big House, just as the sun momentarily broke through a heavy overcast. I waited for the three figures to divide the quarter mile long red brick walk into thirds, and made this image. It is one of the most photographed spots in the Old South. Most pictures made from this spot attempt to balance the rows of facing trees evenly. However, instead of making a static centered image of these facing double rows of Virginia Live Oak trees, I reveal mainly the row on the left by placing the sidewalk over on the right side of the frame. This off-center placement gives the image its tension and sense of movement. French settlers planted these trees here 300 years ago. When Oak Alley Plantation first began growing and harvesting sugar in 1839, these trees were already more than 100 years old and fully mature. Since Live Oaks have a lifespan up to 600 years, these trees are still considered to be middle-aged. The green growth on the limbs and trunks of the trees is called Resurrection Fern. This plant appears to shrivel and die when dry, yet manages to uncurl and reopen to a vibrant green when water becomes available.

FujiFilm X10
1/450s f/4.5 at 22.8mm iso100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original auto
Phil Douglis04-Jan-2013 23:28
Your memory trumps mine here. I do recall a Lenin in Kiev that we saw on one of our long walk back to our hotel, but I have no recollection of Lenin still hanging around Bucharest during our visit there in 2009.
Tim May04-Jan-2013 23:21
I thought Lenin was there also.
Phil Douglis04-Jan-2013 23:17
I don't recall seeing a statue of Lenin in Romania, and I never met a statue that I do not remember. (You might be thinking of that fallen statue of a Romanian communist official that we both photographed just outside of Bucharest: see However I do recall making an overhead shot in Bucharest that is very reminiscent of this Oak Alley image. This might the "walkway" you are referring to here: ?
Tim May04-Jan-2013 04:25
This reminds me of the walkway at the place we went to in Romania. Where we saw the Lenin statue.
Phil Douglis03-Jan-2013 05:04
Thanks, Iris. While I certainly did not pose these people in their places, I did visualize exactly how I wanted this picture to look, and waited for three figures to align themselves in this way. Eventually, after about five minutes of waiting, it came to pass.
Iris Maybloom (irislm)03-Jan-2013 04:37
Beautiful lighting and composition. The three figures couldn't have been placed more effectively had you placed them there yourself.
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