Dance To Your Own Drum

We don’t have much in the way of forests on the island, but this set of mahogany trees always caught my eye whenever I would pass them by.

The light was nice on this evening and I decided to stop and take a look around. I found this tree with a curve in it and thought it would make an interesting subject against the others. I ended up using a square crop to help minimize any distractions and used the trees on the sides to help frame it.

I went for a fairy tale feel. I wanted it to give the viewer a sense of being on an adventure and making a unique discovery. I liked how the lines of the trees on the right helped to create a repeating pattern as they went in to the background and helped to give the image some more depth.

Specific Feedback Requested

The white balance was tricky for me.
I still feel that I’m missing something here.
I’m open to any suggestions anyone has on all areas.

Technical Details

Hand held. 1/200sec f/9 ISO 100. Lightroom and Photoshop.


I just noticed that bright spot on the tree when I published it so here’s the updated version. I have to remember to change my backgrounds when I’m checking my images. It was a lot more noticeable on the dark background when I posted it to the site.

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Andre, you really are an amazing photographer! You have some beautiful scenery to work with, but you really capture it in a unique way in my amateur opinion. This definitely has a fairy tale look to it and it makes me want to explore the forest!

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Excellent composition and control of light. These may be all the trees you need!

Andre, I really love this photograph. Such perfect light on the bent tree. The shallow depth of field in the foreground really makes the subject stand out that much more. I did burn the small patch of leaves sticking out the right side of the middle tree as they might be a bit distracting, but I’m not sure it matters all that much to be honest. This is a very inspiring photograph.

Fascinating image. It’s as though a pathway is being shown to something delightful. The sunlight tells you there is a reward if you follow it and the curved tree is welcoming you to the journey. There is also a sense of coming out of darkness into the light. The left tree is out of focus. I don’t know how much of an issue that is. I’m also not sure if a vertical would not have worked better than the square format. But you need a good amount of darkness for this image to work so perhaps the square is the better option.

@Vanessa_Hill @Ronald_Murphy @David_Mullin @Igor_Doncov Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.

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I really like this. The light cast on the subject tree is fantastic and wonderful contrast with the rest of the image mostly in shadow. I also like how you used depth of field to have the foreground trees somewhat out of focus–it helps keep the eye on the main subject. The white balance seems okay to me.

The use of light and selective focus really pulls me into this one Andre. I think the white balance looks very reasonable; no nits from me.

This is a wonderful moody image that keeps me quite interested. I don’t mind the OOF tree on the left, but do think it might be a stronger image with it in focus. The curving tree doused in light is very appealing. Well done.

Hi Andre - I agree with the others that this is a really great image! I kept coming back to it because something felt off to me, and I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was.

My initial inclination was a crop to a vertical, like Igor said, but I think the off-centeredness of the main subject in the background is nice here and centering it with a vertical felt a little too obvious. I determined that my issue was just that I was distracted a bit by some light areas in the foreground. The leaning log against the left edge, the bright spot at the bottom of the left tree, the rightmost curved trees in the foreground, a few spots near the top edge, and the foremost section of grass all distracted me a bit and prevented me from fully settling into the tunnel.

The image feels a lot calmer to me after darkening these areas (you’ll probably have to toggle between the two to see the difference):

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Oh, I knew I was going to like seeing more of your work, Andre. Spectacular image! If I was to nit-pick, I would bring down the highlights on the bright trunk, ever so subtly, and I mean just the slightest amount. Incredibly well seen and captured!

This image conveys a lot of mystery. I like it a lot! I’m not sure I would change anything about it!

Thanks for the feedback, Alex.

This is one of those images I always find myself returning to and making additional adjustments.
I burned the bright spots you mentioned a few times already and also just before uploading the image. I was wondering if I went too far.

I think what you did especially on the bottom of the tree on the left, and the grass helps to ease the eye into the image.

Just had a look at your Pure Magic image. It’s a beauty! I see the similarity you were talking about with the wavey background.


@J_Fritz_Rumpf Thanks. I was thinking about bringing down the highlights a bit. Good call.

@Matt_Payne Thanks for the feedback. Seems like most of the comments and suggestions were to make minor adjustments. Good to know I was on the right path :slight_smile:

Thanks again to everyone else for your comments.

Great image Andre! The curves of the trees and mysterious feel do it for me.

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You did a wonderful job with this image, Andre. Like everyone else I love the mysterious mood this photo brings to the viewer. The curved trunk tree is acting as a greeter. I look forward to seeing more of your work.

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Thanks for the feedback Donna.

I have been traveling, so have not been on here. It was a treat to see this image again; it never gets old :slight_smile:

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