Image: Joshua Tree dead/alive

Description: drought

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Pertinent technical details or techniques:

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Margaret, needless to say this J-tree has seen some better days. Some of the scattered tree debris in the area is an indication of previous losses for one reason or another… :face_with_spiral_eyes:
I like how you’ve used the arch to frame the BG tree here. The overcast sky has damped the light nicely for this TOD photograph… :sunglasses:
As a side note to JTNP. I asked a ranger about all of the “Tank” designations in the park and he said years ago when much of the area was used for cattle certain dry washes were used to trap rain runoff. He stated that back then 40 inches of rain was seen most years at that time… :cowboy_hat_face:

Margaret, there’s a lot to like in this view. The framing arch of the dead J-tree works very well. The cloudy sky adds to the somber mood and lets the details show. I also like your inclusion of the fallen arm to the right of the big arch. Centering the arch does a good job of emphasizing the arch and the tree showing through it. In my opinion, the extra scenery to the left is not adding to “the story”, so I’m wondering if there was a somewhat different camera position that might let you keep the major elements while reducing the influence of the lesser parts.

I really like your composition, Margaret. I grew up in NM and always loved the desert. I now live in the NE which is beautiful, but in an entirely different way. I’ve lived in the Ithaca area now for almost 40 years and I still miss walking through the desert. Your image brings back memories.

I hope you don’t mind. I downloaded your image to see what I could do to bring out more contrast in it. I think contrast would really bring out the desert and sky and make it pop. I’ve posted the results below. If you like the results, it was very simple to do.

I cropped to a square
I added a small S curve adjustment to add some contrast.
I selected the sky and used another curves adjustment that darkened it. You could also use the levels adjustment.
I added a vignette to darken the corners.
I dodged the center tree to lighten that area up. I took a large soft white brush with an opacity of 2% and slowly brighten the area inside the bending tree. This helped bring the eye through the loop of that tree. If you need help with any of these adjustments, I would be happy to give you some guidance.

Very nice image.


Donna! Right on. I was going to work on this image to create more depth, but you did such a nice job!
Margaret! Nice image! I like the ‘old life, new life’ narrative to the composition. Very powerful!

Here is my latest. Thanks for the input! :grinning:

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