Chaos + repost

I like to hear your opinion about this one.
Fortunately, there still is no total lock-down (anti-corona measures) in my region, I can cross the border and take a stroll in a nearby nature reserve where I usually try to photograph the great crested grebes that breed here in spring. This time I saw this scene across the water. I like the light on the greens and the contrast with the reddish-brown leaves that are left over from last autumn.
But the scene is also very chaotic, so you may direct it to the waste bin.
All comments are welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Pentax K5, Sigma APO EX DG 4/100-300mm @ 280mm, 1/60s, f/10, ISO200.

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I quite like this one, Han. It has a real soothing mood and beautiful palette. I might experiment with backing off the highs on the greens a bit and maybe cloning out the branch coming in on the left almost to the top? I also might bring down the brighter areas of the background trees to keep the attention forward. All are minor stuff, this turned out really well.

I also like this one Han, no need for the waste bin on this one. The idea of contrasting the red/green tells a story about old/new and growth/decay. I think there are some tweaks you can do to accentuate the interesting parts of this image, and my comments are similar to @Harley_Goldman.

I would suggest a slight crop from the left to eliminate the branch in the ULC. I would reduce the luminosity of the sunlit moss a little, I don’t think it is burnt out, but darker on the moss will allow the red to come forward more and add to the color contrast. In fact I might even consider slightly increasing the red luminosity on the red leaves in the center, to make it more similar to the red leaves on the right. This is an interesting scene, and I think balancing the luminosity a little will increase its impact.

There’s a lovely contrast in hues here, Han, and that fall of light on the green in the centre works beautifully for me. I also like the depth you’ve got, with the shadowy forms of the distant trees

I really like what you saw in this scene! For me the chaos as you say works well, I enjoy exploring the scene and think the tree trunk filled background works well. I feel the lighting is what makes the chaoticness work for me. I would be curious if you grabbed another image more of the water reflection or if the bottom of the image is the near bank/shore? Overall a lovely image as is for me.

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The lighting here what creates a wonderful mood for me. I also think the sunlit greens might benefit from a little toning down, because my eye keeps getting pulled there. If possible maybe bring out the reds a bit. Lovely image Han.

There is a lot of chaos, but there is enough structure that this holds for me and I certainly wouldn’t direct it to a waste bin! It’s a fine line when it comes to chaos, but the strong branching works here.

My favorite part is the dark branching in the tree, and there might be a “Nesting Doll” in there; maybe something like this:

Interestingly enough I don’t find this chaotic, which I define to be the same as busy. Many feel that if there is a lot of detail, such as a forest, it’s chaotic. Here there is a strong structure in the cross like tree trunk that spans the entire image. The intersection is a natural point of focus. There are some highlights on the far right that draw attention and add somewhat to the chaos. I would crop that out for a more coherent image.


Like you I at first had the same reaction to the image as you did. But after reading most of the comments I thought “no, they are all wrong” it should be waste bin material, until I read Igor’s comment and crop. He hit the nail on the head.

There is a lot to see, but the strong, dark limbs of the main tree give this structure, so it doesn’t seem chaotic to me. I like Igor’s crop - that relatively strong, lighter vertical tree on the right is visually distracting. I love the light on the moss and the backlight of the red leaves. Lovely.

Thank you all for your comments, NPN members! This really is a great community.
I took the suggestions at heart and reworked the image; some aspects I like and some I like less. Later more on that.
@John_Williams: I didn’t think of your more or less square crop. It is a different image, but I like it a lot.
Most other comments are present in the repost.

I cropped out the curved, dark branch near the upper LC. I toned down a strip of sky between the trees, and the birch tree on the right. The green moss is less saturated and a bit less bright now, the reddish brown leaves in the center a bit more red. Quite a change!
What do I (dis)like? @Igor_Doncov and @Youssef_Ismail: I understand your remarks. I prefer toning down the birch tree over cropping that out. The cropped out branc near the ULC is an improvement to me. I am more hesitating about the green moss and the leaves. The strong light on the moss was the aspect that attracted me to shoot the image, in the first place. For my feeling, it is no improvement to tone down the moss and exaggerate the reds in the leaves. Personal taste, I appreciate different opinions.

Thanks again for your time, additional comments on the repost are of course welcome.



I don’t know but the crop that @Igor_Doncov made places the main branch out point of the tree dead in the center which just grabs my eye and holds it, and then slowly the dark branches let me move out in all directions to enjoy all the great light that is playing around in the scene. Otherwise the bright slope on the right grabs my eye and holds me there with nowhere to go.


This is quite excellent. The tree structure and the color contrast between the reddish leaves and the vibrant mosses really elevate this out of chaos in to a pleasing order.

My initial thoughts were to bring it more square and eliminate that lighter vertical on the right, which would also take out the bright moss to the right as well. I can certainly understand wanting to avoid the crop - and so, I think you did an excellent job on your last repost. You took care of just about all the feedback and suggestions. thanks for taking the time and considering the feedback.


I quite like this image. It’s messy (in a good way), and had great contrast between the reds and greens.

Thank you @Youssef_Ismail, @Lon_Overacker and @Tom_Nevesely for your additional comments. I highly appreciate your time and attention. I’ll probably spend some more time on this image and your suggestions.