Forest for the Trees

Water, rock, trees. Water, rock, trees. Repeat. Alternate title: “One is not like the other”

Somewhere along the Merced in Yosemite. Only this time looking away from the river… :wink: I was attracted to this forest scene with the spring greens providing a vibrant background. I have the full frame version as this one is cropped from the original. The full version shows the base of the trees and leaf litter of the forest floor. I like the more intimate look and the wider view is so much more ordinary.

Thank you. All comments, critiques welcome!

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Especially interested in colors, WB, etc. I have many layers and some times you just have to stop processing and step back.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I can add the wider view if anyone wants to see it. Curious to hear your thoughts? Order from chaos?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

28-300mm @38mm f/11 1/15s iso400. 3-image focus stack for better detail front to back.


This is a beauty, Lon. I think the horizontal format works very nicely with the vertical lines of the tree trunks against the inviting backdrop of lush spring greens. I like the way you have spaced out the trees rather nicely throughout the frame. I am also enjoying the radiating lines off the limbs as they spread out from the evergreens. The colors look fine to me, but I would be curious to see this with a touch more saturation. The image has a wonderful inviting feel to it.

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This looks really good to me. Colors look good, too. Your watermark looks like white tree trunks. :slight_smile: No nits here.

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Yeah Harley, I didn’t really think about that. It’s rare that I’ll turn the watermark vertical. I think it will be best to go back to horizontal. Thanks for pointing that out!

Lon, this is an excellent image. Although the bare trees make for a really fine subject, I think it must be the BG lighting and greenery that produces the best out of the scene. As we know it’s the “light” that can make or break a photo. This one works exceptional with trees that are presently missing most of their foliage.
Very nice indeed…:+1:

Lon, I am really enjoying this one a lot! I agree with @Paul_Breitkreuz, the background is exceptional in this scene. The foreground trees act almost like a curtain that is hiding the really good stuff in the back, a really nice effect! The colors look well done! One minor nit, that one angled dead tree on the left side needs to fall :wink: It does not detract from a fine scene though!

Lon, I absolutely love this. What appeals to me most is the overall warmth of the palette, and my goodness, those delicate branches are delightful. Y’all are so lucky out there to have all those wonderful locations.

At least to me seems like your choice of crop works well. This way the eye level POV without convergence makes for a nice graphic design that keeps it simple and clean. Now, if they were our local Cypress including the butts, then that would be debatable.

Speaking of the graphic aspect, I’m betting you could work on an alternative of this as a high contrast B&W of some sort.

Lon, the “tree trunks fading into the green” look great. The glow of spring greens is right on target and you got a fine balance of trunks/branches and leaves. Well done.
PS The vertical watermark fits the eye flow well.

I adore this. It’s hypnotizing and it makes me look at it for a long time. The repeating patterns are great and I love the simplicity by cropping the valley floor. This is not a nit but more of something that I would try if it were mine, the horizontal log on the right, I probably would try to lighten it up a little (or reduce contrast) to match the horizontal somewhat dark-ish strip on the left. Like @Harley_Goldman, I also thought your watermark was a white trunk!!

Thanks everyone for your comments and observations. Mucho appreciated.

Ed, guess I’m still struggling with the right amount of saturation. Perhaps better to err on the conservative rather than the gawdy… :grin:

Alan, good catch! Funny, actually ironic that I didn’t really notice … Talk about literally not seeing the forest for the trees… LOL.

Thanks Bill! I went back and tried after the fact and couldn’t find anything that worked better than the color. Interesting too because I try real hard in the field to make decisions at the time whether or not I shoot for b&w. Rock, water motion are always good candidates for conversion and often times trees are as well - especially bare branches. However, this particular scene I recall that b&w never crossed my mind and so I wasn’t inclined to convert it once I got it on the computer. It’s always a good exercise though to think about how you want to present a scene - actually before or during the actual process of capturing it.

Thanks folks!

Lon, this is one of my favorite images of yours, it is just so unique. The trees almost take on the appearance of insects (think millipedes). Common photographic advice is to have light subjects against dark backgrounds to achieve separation. But I love how you successfully turned that rule on its head here. I initially had the same thought as @Ed_Lowe about adding a little more saturation, but I then realized that increasing the saturation of the background foliage might actually hurt the subject/background separation. I would leave it as presented, other than taking a Photoshop chainsaw to @Alan_Kreyger’s leaning tree.

Wow! I love this! The spacing between the trees is perfect and the greens provide a really nice background. The colors are warm and inviting and I have no nits there. I agree the leaning tree in the left of the frame is a tiny distraction but a very small one at that. If there isn’t anything you can do to successfully remove that leaning trunk - this is still an amazing image as is! Great work!