Dreaming of a white winter

This is from our local ravine.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

Any and all. This tree strikes me as melancholy, ghostly, and that seems to fit with the unease I feel with our snowless winter (so far) in Toronto. Processed w simple B&W conversion adding some contrast (maybe too much - the tree stood out already).

Technical Details

ISO 200; 23mm aps-c (35mm equiv ff); f 2.0; 1/400 sec.

Hm. I can see how this would be interesting in 3D meaning being there and taking it in. I think the b&w conversion works well. Seems I always have to add contrast when going monochromatic, so I’m not surprised there. But it’s one of those images that I would have tried in the viewfinder and decided against knowing it wouldn’t work in the end. The forms are too spindly, for lack of a better word. Plus there’s the sky and the other trees are bare and don’t really give us anywhere to look. This is just me, mind you, not the world and others may find more to connect with here. Trust me, I frame up a lot of shots I end up not taking or deleting afterwards. Lucky for us it’s all 1s and 0s now.

Thanks @Kris_Smith for taking the time to comment. Pausing before pressing the shutter is a constant struggle (cue my ambitions for slow(er) photography and nostalgia for max 36 frames). Here though I thought there was something to see even in the spindly; I did do a tighter crop version with no sky, but the sky version I thought gave some depth and context (roofs) for a snowless winter. I’m drawn to the messy and spindly and making nature photos from what is close to home. But it is challenging to make it work and this one is a bit flat. One of my most recent inspirations (not that any of my photos come close) is Burtynsky’s Natural Order series https://www.edwardburtynsky.com/projects/photographs/natural-order

Charles, your bush shows up nicely here. I also like how it’s semi-framed by the two trees. There’s a feeling of chill/cold and lots of subtlety in the viewing. While you might tone down the contrast between the shrub and its surroundings, it feels “reasonable” as presented and makes the subject clear. I do find the sky distracting, but wonder if burning it in would keep the depth while reducing the distraction. I would also burn-in that bright bit touching the right edge.

Ah, I see where you were going with this a bit more now. The difference is the color though - Burtynsky is using it to good effect, especially yellows and reds. It give so much separation and imposes some organization on the spindly-ness. I was really attracted by the lichens he frames up in the branches. I might have to borrow that idea if an appropriate scene presents itself. Too much snow for that now!

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Thanks for the comments, @Mark_Seaver, I will give these edits a whirl.