Bending by Water and Wind+New Comps

As promised, here is another from Deadhorse Point on a morning in March. I have several frames taken over the course of an hour, some with this tree, and some without. My thinking at the time was to capture the resonance between the bend in the tree and the bend in the river. I have been unable to decide whether the resonance makes this interesting or distracts.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Is it too dark? I have one taken a little later, but it feels like less interesting, mid-morning light.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Does the resonance resonate with you? Does it make the image more interesting or somehow too gimmicky.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Single image cropped and processed in LR

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Marylynne, I just finished commenting on your previous Dead Horse Point post. In that other pre-sunrise image, I did think it was too dark, but I think it is not too dark in this post here. In this image, the shadow areas serve to define and accentuate the sunlit portion of the landscape (including the famous tree). If you open the large image here, and give your eyes a moment to adjust, there is plenty of shadow detail. The shadows here direct yout eye to key sunlit portions of the land. In your prior post, all of the land was in shadow, and to my taste a lift in the shadows helped. This is a classic scene, well handled on your part. Cropping the bald sky made lemonade out of lemons here.

Marylynne, the lighting here really shows off the shapes in the land beautifully. Because most of the tree is so dark, I don’t think that the shape mimicry shows up very well. I find myself wishing for a bit more light on the tree’s crown as it’s such a different shape/color/texture from the rest of the view. The big bend in the river and the reflections as well as the long view are thoroughly enjoyable.


For me, this one doesn’t have the impact that your previous image did. I do like the light and shadows on the canyon walls and the bits of reflection in the river.

Honestly, I did not connect the two, at least not until your description. I can see what you’re after, but “bend” in the juniper trunk is in shadow and so it was difficult - actually, there was no resonance because the trunk just doesn’t seem to be an important element. The eye catches the first light on the upper branches.

Excellent job with the processing and handling the light, shadows and color. A well done landscape. Just doesn’t strike me as anything more than a well done landscape. But that’s just me.


Thanks Ed, Mark, and Lon. I had mixed feelings about all of the images taken from this location during the sunrise. I think it’s a matter of expectations v. reality, but also the distinction between experiencing it and representing it. I have attached below two more images, just a bit later with the tree placed differently and more light on its crown. Let me know if one of these works better for you, either in general or in mimicry between bending river and bending tree. Of course, it could be that my more abstract shots here are better, and those will follow in a day or so.