Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


I haven’t been out to shoot anything in weeks since the weather has just been so dreary and cold. So I thought I’d get into some shots from last year that I haven’t put up here. This is from the day I finally photographed tamarack pines in all their golden glory. I have plans to hit this area of the county again come spring when they are in their green glory. Tamaracks are my favorite trees so I feel badly that I’ve ignored them for so long.

Specific Feedback

Anyway…nothing specific in terms of feedback, but I’d like a general consensus as to how the composition and processing looks. This group of trees, and for that matter, most of them, are at the back of open ponds surrounded by marshy/boggy areas that you can’t get into without getting wet. So I used a long lens and I think I was on the top of a viewing platform as well, so there are different viewpoints to be had.

Technical Details



Lr for most of the processing and the crop because the foreground is basically uniform. Added a lot of contrast into this because of the backlighting, also some exposure. Texture, clarity & vibrance. Achieved the saturation and look of the colors in the Calibration panel only. Some sleight of hand in Photoshop as well as use of masks to further sculpt and model the trees.


I really like this one, Kristen. I think I’d be tempted to burn the row of leafless trees behind the tamarack pines, as it would likely give the golden color a little more “pop” without having to increase saturation. It might even be worth doing the same and desaturating by just a touch the grasses surrounding the trees. Perfectly fine image as-is, just my 2 cents on how I might try processing it. Thanks for sharing!

I really like this image.
The background is the real show-stopper… the up-front solo tree seems to be stealing a bit much from the real show back there, IMO.


Love this! I can see why this might be your favorite tree; being from the West, I only know these through images…

I think the composition works beautifully. I like the depth that is created by having that smaller, forward tree. There is great balance edge to edge, corner to corner. No nits or suggestions.

Well, maybe just one. The large size is just 1,000 px? How can we pixel peep? :grin: :wink:

Very weird about the file shrinkage. I usually upload 2000px images here and now it only loads them this way. I’ve even double checked to make sure after I noticed.

Thanks for having a look and chiming in @Bret_Edge, @Matt_Payne & @Lon_Overacker - tamaracks are special so I hope to work with them more this year. Just another thing on my growing photography list.

Here’s a shot without that tree, Matt & with the far trees darkened just a bit, Bret -

Wait, that one uploaded at its proper size.

I got it, it’s the file size. I reduced the quality to 90 and the original image loaded fine.


I LOVE this edit - it just really distills it down into the core essence of this scene and it looks fantastic.

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Thanks Kris - yeah, that was kinda weird. I’ll be sure and pay attention on my next post.

And thank you for the rework. I know I mentioned I liked your original composition, (I still do!) but I think Matt was on to something as the scene is great simplified and is even stronger! Love it.

I don’t have much critique to add, but I did want to say I really like this image. The colors and subject are lovely.

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Beautiful image of a beautiful tree, @_Kris . Like @Matt_Payne, I found the little guy in the center foreground to be a bit distracting actually. While the entire image is beautiful, I think the left half of your original composition is the best, and I like it as a vertical (4x5 ratio) to emphasize a layer effect of textures and colors.

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Thanks @Lon_Overacker, @kristal, @Matt_Payne & @jefflafrenierre - so I guess now I will reveal my sleight of hand. It had to do with the little tree in front. It’s not really there. I moved it from much closer in the image because I liked it, but not where it was. Here’s the uncropped version with the tree in its proper place -

And just for fun a couple of crops of the left side -

And one of the lone tree -

So many possibilities in just one frame. I’m really going to have to go back there.

Love, love LOVE the re-edited version. Bravo!

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