Cedar in Soft Light

Taking an early morning walk this past week in a cedar bog, I came across this handsome creature. What caught my attention was the beautiful curve of its trunk and the soft light which illuminated it as though lit from within. I find taking portraits of trees quite challenging, but this one comes pretty close to my original vision. Comments and critique are most welcome.

I like the concept, and I too like the curved trunk. Overall, though, the scene is a tad busy for my taste.

Kerry, you certainly have been taking on the task of tackling forest photography with enthusiasm. It’s not easy but I like what you created here. The texture and curved shape of the tree is very intriguing. I also like how the fallen branch in the LRC seems to be pushing against the tree to keep it from curving any further. That little branch is a nice small touch.

I’m not sure I would classify this as busy. But I do find the high key background (especially on the left) to be so bright that it competes with the main tree. I think you could darken that area somewhat without losing the luminous look to the main tree.

I like the subtle green colors in the moss and needles. it adds an understated elegance to the image. with that said, with texture in the bark like this, the image might be interesting to try as a B&W as well.

I really like the subject and composition and your “eye” to see this. I also like the small weathered pc of wood leaning against the main trunk.
My only small nit is I feel the BG is a little bright.

This tree trunk certainly has character. I find it’s shape more intriguing than beautiful. Yes, it’s the form of the tree that draws interest. It’s like those baobab trees of Madagascar. It has a sort of bloated look to it. I’m at a point in photography where I prefer these type of images over the ‘perfect’ trees. This is probably not the type of comment you were expecting. I suspect you wanted something said about the texture of the bark. There’s actually a fair amount of ‘untidiness’ at the base of the tree but it’s really fairly irrelevant in my opinion.

@Lyle_Gruby - thanks for taking the time to comment. Much appreciated.
@Ed_McGuirk - Well, I’ve been giving it a go. I find that as I pay closer attention to what the light is doing, I get a clearer sense of what I’m actually looking at and that makes composition a whole lot easier. I have posted a rework based on your suggestion to bring the brightness down in the background and, although the high key was a worthy experiment, in this case maybe not the best fit. If you scroll up you’ll see my rework. And I agree, I had planned to give this a go in B&W, I think it will work very well.
@Michael_Lowe - Thanks Michael, much appreciated. I have done a rework based on Ed’s and your recommendation. Let me know what you think.
@Igor_Doncov - Honestly, Igor, when it comes to your comments, I never know what to expect - which is why I’m so appreciative of both you and your comments :upside_down_face: And, let’s face it, the forest is an untidy place. Maybe next time I’ll carry a rake with me and give the forest a good cleaning before taking arboreal portraits. “I’m ready for my close up, Mr. DeMille.” But seriously, Igor, like you I’m not looking for “pretty” but rather for soul.