Fallen hero standing tall (+ Rework)


This is the revised image.

This was the original image.


I made this photo earlier in the spring during one of my hikes near the San Gabriel River, just outside of Austin. What struck me about it was the resiliency it showed as I looked up. Even though it was a fallen tree, it was still leading by example. Like arms, its branches were still reaching high and passing on lessons of a long and strong life.

Specific Feedback Requested:

Any feedback is appreciated. What works and doesn’t work with this high-key edit? I chose that to emphasize the lack of color in the tree and those around it.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:


IG: EgidioTX

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The resilience of this tree is amazing, Egidio. The outstretched arms work well in making this believable. Must admit, the high key is a bit too bright, at least for my aging eyes. But I’ll be interested to see how others feel. Nicely seen.

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You did a great job with this one.

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Very interesting, Egidio. I’m trying to work out 2 things: firstly, was there snow on the branches, and second, did this get B and W processing? My thought is “no” for both answers. Is this correct? Anyway, I do like the symbolism of this high key shot very much - and the wide angle shows how the other trees seem to be paying their respects to the hero.

First of all, thanks to @linda_mellor , @Igor_Doncov , and @Mike_Friel for your comments. I appreciate them.

Linda, I was also on the fence about the highlights you pointed out. I should take another pass and try lowering the highlights to see if the image is more pleasing to me, too. You might have noticed in the EXIF I provided that I did shoot with an exposure compensation of 2 EV. I was intentionally going for a high-key photo, but I may have overdone it with the compensation.

Mike, about your questions, there was no snow whatsoever. Everything was dry. I did shoot in color and developed the image in BNW. The tree trunk was somewhat dilapidated and had a lot of white bark exposed. I think the “snow” effect could have come from that as well as the light blue sky, which turned very white. As Linda mentioned, perhaps a re-edit reducing the highlights would balance that out.


Ghostly and gorgeous!! The trees on the sides are paying homage to the elder statesman (or woman)! I love the balance high key tonalities and the subtle frame!

Thanks, Diane, for your feedback. I especially liked the fact you noticed the subtle frame. I don’t know how many shots I made around that dead tree, but I’m glad I persisted. :pray:

A great image, I like your high key approach very much. The symbolism as already pointed out by others works very well. I have only one comment, maybe the area marked in the image below could be toned down alittle, it compete somewhat with the “statesman”.

First off, thanks for the feedback and sharp eye, Ola. Your suggestion makes perfect sense. It was a glaring oversight on my part. After you pointed it out, I wondered how I had missed it. I applied a radial filter in that area and tried to make its tone match the others surrounding the subject. Maybe I have not overdone it. Here’s the edit. Thanks for the suggestion, again.