Dawn Silhouette

What makes this image expressive?

I feel like this image represents my own feeling of standing alone (represented by the lone cottonwood) at dawn seeing the rising sun and feeling the coolness of the early morning (the dew reflected by the warm light and dark outline of the hills) welcoming in a new day.

Specific Feedback Requested

I would like to know how you (and others) see in terms of expression. I would like feedback on how tone or composition could make the image more effective.


Thanks Bob for sharing this very uplifting image. First impressions are of a hopeful and optimistic scene. If you are projecting yourself into the tree, then I feel you are happy in this moment and feeling the first kiss of dawn and hope for a new day ahead. This is what comes through at first sight.

As we engage however, I do feel some conflicts. The right side in particular is quite dark with deep shadows and quite a bit of mystery. The consequence of this is to create a dichotomy in the expressive fingerprint. There is doubt there, a sense of insecurity and almost a sense of fear.

I think this is exaggerated by the slope of the hill falling to the right. The tree becomes a rock that will inevitably roll down the slope to the right into the shadows, into doubt, into insecurity! Hmmm, maybe I am getting carried away.

I wonder if levelling the image so that the slope was less apparent would help to alleviate that sense of being pulled into the right.

Again, to summarise; an image that expresses hope and joyfulness, but is being pressured by doubts and a sense of darkness.

Thank you Alister. I really see what you are saying. Nothing is blow out in the shadows so there is opportunities to open them up and create more depth (and maybe less mystery) in the image. Leveling out the foreground is a good idea. I will definitely give it a go.

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Great Bob, very happy to hear that.