Always admired (+ 1 big distraction removal)

OMG did this test my skills with the clone stamping & spot healing tools!!! Also cropped a bit off the bottom edge.

With the logs, but a 16:10 crop -

One of my favorite fall images from this year. I remember coming to this little bit of trail and just stopping dead. Of course it wasn’t the first time on this 3 1/2 mile walk around Wood Lake, but there is just something about this scene. I worked on it a lot with some of the masking tools in Lightroom and frankly wouldn’t have been able to get what I wanted without them - I’d have had to go into Photoshop.

Specific Feedback Requested

Be honest, does that leaning tree on the left drive you nuts? I have another, similar composition with less of it showing, but the balance is off. There was no way to avoid it in the field, barring a chainsaw, and I don’t feel confident in Ps to get rid of it without making a mess.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Tripod and CPL dialed carefully to bring out the richness of the leaves, but not block the colors entirely.


Lr for processing and a lot of local adjustments to even out the lovely light and tonalities. Hopefully it doesn’t look artificial. It didn’t need much globally, but this is my Mask Panel -


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Beautiful and peaceful fall scene. The falling tree does not really bother me, but the branch coming in from the left about 1/3 up does. I would make that disappear and looks good to go.

First of all I want to express how much I like this image. There is a woodland feel to it that is hard to capture. Only Ben seems to do so now and again. I love that distant log which to me is the point of focus despite its small size. The arrangement of the trees as though for a stage is great. I like rather like the shrubbery coming from the side. I don’t particularly like the leaning tree but it’s not a big deal. I can easily see how one can get fixated on it, however. There is a matching log coming in from the left so that balances somewhat. Woods are inherently messy and conveying that mess is a good idea in my opinion. I wanted to show how well a panoramic aspect ratio would look for a scene like this.

Kris this is really nice. I like the whole scene, leaning logs/branches and all. Well seen and great processing work.

Like @Igor_Doncov, I am drawn to that distant log immediately but the leaning tree on the left is a distraction to me. I would really consider taking that off. I also like Igor’s panoramic crop, Kristen. You have captured this really well.

PS. I also like this latest LR’s local adjustment mask a lot. Very flexible and very functional!

I can see why this is one of your favorite images from this fall as it has such an inviting feel to it with the lovely colors and light. The leaner does bother me a little so my thought is to try and get rid of it if you can. The branch coming in just below that I would definitely get rid of as that one does grab my eye. I do like @Igor_Doncov’s crop very much as it looks perfect for this image.

Thanks everyone!

I didn’t want to try getting rid of that big leaning log until I knew it had to go and you all laid down that gauntlet pretty quickly. So as bid, I have done. Thoughts?

That leaning tree branch on the left does bother me but what a great job you di to remove it from the scene. Very nicely done. I also noticed that you removed the upper half of the fallen branch further into the center of the scene. After seeing the cloned version and the original I like both. The original has a real woodland feel to me and the three logs/branches combine to make the composition work for me. The log poking in from the righ side is pointing right at the log in the middle of the scene where you eventually want your eye to go, the log from the left side of the scene balance the log on the right nicely and even that log further back that you removed half of has it’s place. I think I might actually like the original better but can go either way. Whatever, this path going down the middle invites the viewer in and colors of fall make this pop. I really like that little green tree on the right as it balances the little shrub with color on the left. I also like @Igor_Doncov crop on this as it removes some of the foreground that has a little tiny bit of negative space.

This is a lovely scene - I can see why it stopped you in your tracks. I’ll be the contrarian, though, and say that I like the log coming in from the left. Your rework feels out of balance to me now without it, but with the smaller right-hand one still there. To me, the presence of those two trees protruding into the composition gives this a horizontal feel, rather than a vertical feel. For that reason, I really like Igor’s pano crop. It does eliminate nice bit of path at the bottom, but there’s still enough trail visible to get the idea. Your LR mask edits look great to me.

Thanks David! I thought exactly that, but then thought I was only justifying my unwillingness to try cloning out the big leaning tree. When I was waiting for the right light (thin clouds floating around) I moved the tripod back and forth, trying to come up with a composition that didn’t include the left side leaning log, but it didn’t work as well so I came back to this. I thought it balanced with the one on the ground on the right.

Thanks, Bonnie! I think you’re right about those two logs adding a horizontal cue to the image. So I’ve put a slightly cropped version with them left in up in the OP.

And thanks about the mask panel. I don’t often show it, but for this I thought it might be of interest since it’s kind of new. I did an Intersect With addition for the Green Oak edit just to make the green pop and nothing else. Wicked handy!

The 16:10 crop is better.

I’m impressed. I have not figured out how to effectively use the new mask panel (I’m in ACR, not LR, but it’s +/- the same). Guess it’s time to find a YT video or something.

This is a wonderful woodland autumn scene that I’m really enjoying. I love woodland photography and this is so nice. I like the panoramic crop that Igor did quite a lot. Beautiful scene Kristen!

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Thanks Bonnie - the mask tools aren’t too difficult, but will take some time to learn. On 12/12/21 (how’s that for a date?) I’ll be posting a little tutorial on my blog about the new tools. It will feature this shot and a ton of others from the same walk around the lake. If you want the link I’ll post it or PM it to you.

Thanks Nick. Wisconsin does put on a show now and then.

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Thanks, @Kris_Smith! You should post it for our edification. :grinning:

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The pressure to be brilliant! The pressure!!! :blush:

I’m late here – but sheesh – I love ALL the versions. My kind of woods. Great job on the removal, and I would probably favor that version after I get over loving all of them!

Definitely shoot a heads-up on your blog post! You can handle the pressure – it’s good for you!

Thanks @Diane_Miller - it was probably my favorite fall ramble. The day was perfect - high 70s, some filtering clouds, but mostly blue skies and most importantly, no bugs!

I’ll post the link when it goes live. Maybe I should switch the dates with the post that’s going live tomorrow so it’s more timely. - OK, I just did, it will go live tomorrow. I post articles on Sundays.

Here’s the link to the Blog Post -

I was messing even more with masking yesterday and so there will probably be another article.

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Well, as the Johnny come lately to this exchange of ideas, I do like the image as presented first, odd logs and all but since some of that seemed to disturb you enough to remove some “offending” pieces, I wondered what it might look like if you removed a fair chunk of the sky as that section doesn’t add to any of the impact of the scene and took off the sides (with a bit of cloning here and there), if the trail of leaves leading to the log in the center, might just be enough to convey the sense of fall-ness.

WOW. You and your chainsaw. :laughing: I love this rework!