Heart of the lake

This was such a unique day, so calm, and I was never able to find it repeated that season or the next by which time the ice had shifted everything. I see a heart, a fish, a ferret, a wolf…it’s nature’s Roschach Test. I think it might actually work better rotated 90 degrees clockwise, but it almost seems gimmicky then. I like it like this, as if some beast is rising.

Specific Feedback Requested

I did a black and white conversion and took down the blues and boosted the yellows and reds to brighten the deadwood. I think it could be a bit brighter still now that I see it here…still working on screen calibration it would seem. I added also added mask to brighten the deadwood and keep the background darker, and then tried to warm the wood a little with a yellow mask (at 3%) opacity. I used curves to create contrast. I like the image but it seems a little muted and would welcome any thoughts. I cropped in from the sides, but there is little to no extra canvas top and bottom. Thanks in advance!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Fuji xt-2 55-200mm @71mm ISO 800 1/125 sec f5.0


Charles, this is sensational. Roschach test indeed. I love the B&W treatment and you have the horizon just subtly below the middle of the frame. That’s great. I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m enjoying just viewing and appreciating.

This is a winner, as is, I think. The image conveys a range of feelings - fear, awe, delicacy, mystery, and flow. The muted brightness is essential to conveying all that, I think. Nice work with color separation to display the textures in the wood, and to mute the reflections of the forest. The crop is very successful. The horizontal lines in the lower right seem to be not reflections, and it might be tempting to burn those down quite a bit.

@David_Bostock @Dick_Knudson - hey thanks the kind words! This one does keep me coming back…I’ve been working on the colour shot in parallel. I’ll flip a coin when it comes to printing one of them, but today I’m leaning to the colour. Thanks again!
Haliburton Heart Reflection Colour-

1 Like

It’s the B/W for me. Great shot.

This is amazing! I love how subtle the water line is, and the complexity of the reflection! Gorgeous tonalities! I wouldn’t change a thing!


Fascinating subject - and for sure I get the Rorschach test reference! I get a sense of mystery too - what toppled this old beast?

I do think the b&w is the way to go here. Perhaps the color version can be tweaked, but the green moss in the water is a little too strong and takes away from t he weathered beast.

I haven’t played with this one in PS, but I’m wondering if rather than pulling down the blues - you actually raised the blues? Of course I’m not looking at the file, but in most cases I think weathered trunks like this have most blue in them. I would also de-emphasize the yellows/greens in order to darken the surroundings. Of course all this is subjective and personal choices, none of which are right or wrong.

Definitely worth working to your desires for printing!


Thanks Lon appreciate the feedback - I will try that out!

Thanks Diane! Appreciate the feedback

Definitely the monochrome for me. If I saw this while paddling, I definitely would have stopped. So arresting, mysterious and slightly menacing. Great texture and dialogue of age through weathering. The twisted shapes and tortured soul aspect really speaks loudly. I’d be tempted to take the background foliage darker in order to let this aspect off its leash so to speak. Really wonderful.

Definitely B&W for me. The greens in the color version compete too much with main subject. If you reduced the vibrancy and the luminosity of the greens in the color version you might have something and I agree with Lon about thinking that old wood usually has some blue in it.
All that aside. this is such a unique capture. I see the heart, I see the fish, but mostly, I see a primordial alien monster. I think Dick said it best when he said this conveys a range of feelings - fear, awe, delicacy, mystery, and flow. I agree! I think the foliage luminosity could be brought down particularly on the left side of the image to make the beast stand out even more.

Thanks for this David, I will keep working on this, all good ideas. Appreciate the feedback.