A little Willow Bonzai

ok, back to some “regular” nature photography. Captured on the same trip to Yosemite a few weeks ago. I was walking the main road heading back to the car when I spied this little scene. I cropped a little, cloned out the top of a couple rocks at the bottom and kept the river behind a bit darker to emphasize the little willow and also burned a bit to minimize the presence of the reflected rock and stuff up top.

All comments, critiques welcome. And Happy Thanksgiving to all who observe!

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Processing - especially colors, saturation and luminosity. I’m thinking this could be a little brighter? What say you?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any, all

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @56mm, f/18 1.3s, iso 100

I love the little willow! The light on it and the fore ground is wonderful.

There are two things that I am having a hard time with. First, the bit of tree in the LRC grabs my eye right away. I think cropping it out would be good idea. Also, I am having trouble with the reflection of the trees at the top.

The little tree on the left, and the foreground look real nice, and the processing overall looks very good.

Lon, A beautiful willow. I had a bit difficulty with the background. Without reading your description I wasn’t aware what I saw there. I see a nice composition for the willow tree. But for the whole it’s a bit to buzzy. I am with the comment of Preston. Excuse for my english.

Great little scene, Lon. I am with @Preston_Birdwell about the tree LRC. Content aware fill candidate IMO. Otherwise, looks good.

I’m usually a fan of your images Lon, but this one just isn’t connecting with me that much. Even with some of the background elements burned down, I still find the back ground to be a bit confusing. There was still enough definition in the background that I found myself thinking too much about what was there (which is never a good thing). I also think that the central willow isn’t as sharp as it needs to be, with a 1.3 second exposure, I suspect you got motion blur from wind. Sorry, but this one isn’t doing much for me.

Well seen, Lon. I love the lush lime green colors. The comp. works for me, providing good separation of willow. As far as suggested tweaks, I’m less concerned with the small plant on the left but agree with Preston on the cutoff bush in the LRC. You could try adding a vignette rather than doing any cropping. I think a vignette would reduce any distracting elements around the frame edges and place greater emphasis on the willow.

Lon, a sweet little glowing tree / bush here. First thought was the old movie “A Light in the Forest”, with James MacArthur, Rafael Campos, Carol Lynley, and of course Fess Parker…:nerd_face: You know me and them darn old movies. My family swears I have at least one quote from every movie I’ve ever watched…:clown_face:

I’m in with @Preston_Birdwell , @Harley_Goldman, and others on the stuff jetting in on the LRHC. An easy CA there or clone to take it out. Like others it was an immediate draw for me too. Otherwise…:+1: good to go !!

Lon, I really like 95% of this image. Luminosity looks good on my monitor. Def doesn’t need to be brighter. I agree about the bush in LRC. But only the lower part on the grasses. I think the upper part would balance nicely with the bush on the left of the image. The only real problem I have is the reflected rocks. They’re a little too distracting IMHO.

Thank you all for your comments, observations and suggestions; @Preston_Birdwell, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @Harley_Goldman, @Ed_McGuirk, @Dave_Dillemuth, @Paul_Breitkreuz and @Michael_Lowe.

I think the comments are pretty spot on. Interesting and I think the case where simply the person capturing and presenting the image have that preset impression of their own image. I can see now the darkness in the river doesn’t really give the impression it is water and therefore the reflections up top seem out of place. I’m guessing I could darken those reflections even more and not resolve that impression.

Also agree with the bush/leaves in the LRC - comprimise of cropping too close to the main willow or leaving as is - and I didn’t consider a big CA-clone, but that’s probably the best option.

Agree Ed - perhaps not up to my standards… Maybe I should have recycled this one… (LOL!)

Yeah Paul, I think we have the same affliction… although I think you’re more studious than me

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