Forest Fellows

Woodlands and trees are a favorite to hang out in and photograph for me. And one of the most difficult to get right. I was enchanted by the small young tree (alder?) springing up beneath the old growth behemoth cedars.

Specific Feedback Requested

In order to truly make the young tree the star in this image, it needs to contrast with the rest of the greens. So color contrast is what’s needed I think, but I don’t really have the skills to do it. I would say I’m an intermediate Ps user (& I also use several plug ins like NIK and Topaz), so I know it’s possible. Any other thoughts/ ideas are welcome also!

Technical Details

Taken with my Sony A7RIII at a 40mm focal length, I was without a tripod, so the ISO is pretty high at 1250 so I could get a reasonable handheld shutter speed of 1/40 a f/10. I’ve made a couple of attempts to do what I described above (beyond basic Lr global adjustments) in Ps, but without much success. So what you see here is just the basic global adj. in Lr. Thanks for your help!


I love me some woodland/forest scenes so this image was right up my alley! Let’s get to it! I like this one! Good one for break down as well!

So with scenes like this, you have to finesse them. A little this a little that, to make stuff work. You mentioned you wanted the little guy…the young tree to stand out, well lets make him stand out!


First - the crop. The crop gets rid of the other trees that are pulling the eye away for the the star of the show! The crop forces the eye into the center of the frame where the little guy is at. I’m guessing you are wondering why I went with the crop all the way into the foreground tree on the right? That tree was a little too curvy and since its one of the main trees and part of the framing of the little tree, I didn’t want the eye to leave with the curving of the tree. It curves right out of the frame to the brightest area of the frame.

Color - since the greens in the undergrowth were the same as the greens of the little guy, I desaturated the greens in the undergrowth, kept the greens on the little guy as is. The greens on the little guy are bright and vibrant, and the eye has no choice but to go there now as that is the brightest area of the scene now.
I also desaturated the color in the bark of the trees. They had a little too much blue/purple in them. I used the target adjustment tool in ACR to hit the specific color in the bark, and pulled some color out of them.

Tweaks - I darkened the foreground tree on the right, lightened some trees in the bg and and darken the tree behind the little guy slightly as well. Subtle vignette as well. I’ll attach an image with those tweaks and another where the adjustments were made.

WHEW…hope that helps :crazy_face:


You could also make the greens of the sampling a bit warmer while make the other greens cooler or about the same. I would experiment with that.

Such a great shot. No offense, DT, but I prefer the wider crop. The suggestions are so insightful, especially desaturating the greens on the ground. Also agree with experimenting with separating the greens.

It DOES help! A LOT! Xactly what I was looking for. Thanks so much DT

THank you Igor. I am looking also to differentiate the greens from one another as they are so similar. I tried some fancier ways, but the color temp seems simpler. I will try that also.

1 Like

Thank You Mark. I will experiment with the crop. I like the wider crop as well, but don’t want to lose the “star” of the show, as Mark put it. But, there’s something about those cedars that give it context in terms of it’s size and place in the forest……