Final Shot: Our Favorite Reader Photo of the Month


© Erick Castellón

The Old Oak Tree
Shutterbug reader Erick Castellón has a particular attraction to lone trees because of the patterns and textures they create against the sky. This stunning image of an oak tree was captured by Castellón in Calero Park in San Jose, California, in February 2015. “On the day I took this shot, I had been watching the clouds early in the day and was hoping for something interesting,” Castellón says. “My plan was to head to the beach as I normally do when the clouds look promising, but on this day I procrastinated and had a late start so I headed here in hopes for a good sunset, but then the clouds got heavier. So the fallback plan was long exposures and some black-and-white photos.” He shot this 102-second exposure with a Canon EOS 60D, an EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM lens, and a Lee’s 10-Stop ND Big Stopper filter. His setup was mounted on a Manfrotto 190CXPRO4 tripod with a Vanguard ABH-340L semi-elliptical ball head. His settings were ISO 100, f/10, custom White Balance, and a 27mm focal length. The image was later converted to black and white using Nik Silver Effects Pro 2.0. “I’ve always loved black-and-white photography,” he says. “The tonality in a black-and-white image can convey such wonderful moods depending on the subject.” See more of Castellón’s work on his Flickr page:

(Editor’s Note: Every month we will feature an image in Final Shot from our Shutterbug Photo of the Day gallery on