Since I live in the hills near Ithaca, we get more snow than the city of Ithaca that’s in a valley. About a couple of weeks ago, we got a very light covering of snow at my house. I know when we get a light snow here, that Ithaca is getting rain or nothing. I was heading to the gym, but I brought my camera. I know when I leave the house I climb up the hill from 1,300’ to 2,000’. There is a section of road about 2 miles from the house I call the “pine room”. It’s a short stretch of road that has a steep downhill on the left with giant evergreens and a hill on the right with forest. You can bet if I get snow at the house there will be more snow on top of this hill. On my way to the gym, I pulled over in the pine room and grabbed my camera. The shot I’m sending is the best shot I took.
Type of Critique Requested
Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
Specific Feedback and Self-Critique
I was looking for a section on this road that had some tree separation. With many of the forests around this area, separation can be hard to find. Since the snow was light, I was also looking for a spot that had the best snow cover.
Sony a7r v 24-70mm @ 70mm
I should say forest magic. Such an attractive image. Where the two trees in front keep my view captured. And drawn in a nice winter scene. Well made , no nits at all.
There must be a lot of scenes to photograph at this place if you take the time and tranquility to look around.
This is super cool, I love it.
I think you could try a crop. The branch at far right doesn’t work for me. See my suggestion below. Also, you’re gonna hate this but that broken tree at center annoys me, BUT, I also think it could tell a story about the fragility of forests, so keep it there!
I can certainly see why this is a favorite spot of yours, Donna. It is a beautiful forest with the small feathery new growth nestled amongst the tall older growth. Also love how the lighting reveals the entire scene, pulling me all the way through. I do agree with @Matt_Payne’s crop. For me at lease, it does help simplify and emphasize the main section. It has a wonderfully intimate feel to it and a place I would be very happy to wander about.
The processing, light and mood here are spot on. Even before reading Matt’s feedback, I thought the same. The branch on the right keeps distracting my attention from the rest of the image. His crop really nailed it, IMHO. Definitely an area I’d spend a lot of time working myself!
Great eye and vision to recognize the potential of this spot - Says a lot about how we should pay attention to our own back yard… As Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home…”
And great job seeking out the “separation” of trees - you found a lovely spot. And the dusting of snow on the ferns just makes for cozy winter scene - like you’re inside with a cup of hot chocolate looking out your window to this view.
I’m with Matt and others on the pine bow making it’s way in to the frame. I expect a case of being so enthralled with the scene, you forgot to check the borders to make sure nothing was out of place. For me, this is just one of those times where the inclusion of the branch isn’t adding - and when something is not adding to the scene, it’s taking away. And only focus on that because this scene is wonderful and should be free of any distractions like that.
And that branch is much to big to CA-clone (although I tried…) and the end result was enough that a bigger/different crop could be attempted. Your original isn’t quite square, but I tried.
One of the first things I noticed when opening (aside from the issue that there is no color profile embedded - and in fact no meta data what so ever? Are you stripping on purpose, or is the settings you have when saving images?)
So with that, I’m not sure if any color casts were introduced because of no color profile when I’m opening in PS? But even viewing online, IMHO, there’s a bit of a magenta cast in the midtones. The cyan is heavy - especially in the fern in the LLC just right of the trees. The reds a little strong in some small spaces likck the base of the two broken trees. I attempted to work on some these, but again probably not a good effort since starting only with the small web image.
I tried some things like changing dehaze, clarity, texture (easy to go overboard onthe small web images). I added a slight bit of orton and another trick I use to try and maintain your contrast. Not confident my version here is an answer. Oh, I also added a vignette - I wanted to enhance that “looking out the window” perspective.
Anyway, this is just one of those scenes and images that IMHO is worth tweaking in whatever ways you know how.
@Ben_van_der_Sande@Matt_Payne@linda_mellor@CharlesV@Bret_Edge Thank you very much for critiquing my image. I have cropped the image and posted a rework. I didn’t crop in on the rt. side as much as Matt, so I had to work at taking part of the green branch out. If anyone thinks I should still crop in more, please let me know. I also noticed a magenta cast that I removed. Your help has made this a better image. Much appreciation!
Your reworked version of this is just so nice Donna. I really enjoy the forest scenes that I see here from Nth America because they are very difference to our thick bush. You have the clean-looking groundcover, the upper tree foliage, and then those lovely blankety-blank trunks that you have separated nicely and look so photogenic with the texture of the small broken (or pruned) twig-like branches. The snow cover is just icing on the cake. Love this one. Cheers.
@Lon_Overacker Good morning, Lon. Thank you for the nice extensive critique. I think I posted a rework about the time you must have been writing this. When I went in to crop, I noticed the magenta cast right off and fixed it on the new cropped version. I tend to wait a day or two after my first processed attempt and then go back to it. I almost always see things that I can’t believe I didn’t see on the first try. Color casts are often one of those things I miss for some reason. I’m getting better at seeing them, but I still need work on catching them right off the bat. Anyway, I didn’t let this one sit a day or two before I posted it. Lesson learned.
I didn’t leave out the meta data or profile on purpose. I guess I never even thought about adding it. Are you saying that the photo may not be displayed correctly anywhere (ex., web) because it doesn’t have a camera profile or that Photoshop/Lightroom doesn’t display it correctly? I don’t do anything with my jpegs except put them on my website and I don’t add the camera profile on them. Should I? I’ve only had one photo printed for a friend’s birthday, so I can easily add metadata to the image I send to be printed. At age 72, I have no space on the walls to hang anything and I have no interest in selling my images. I just have fun outdoors with my camera. I can certainly add that to my posts if you think that will beneficial.
I was very excited to finally get an image of these forests that was worth posting. I took this from the road. I’m sure this property is owned by someone, however there are no posted signs. These wood are dense, so it’s hard finding separation. We finally got some snow, I may just take a chance and walk down the steep hill into this area while the snow is still around. I’m very happy to have taken this shot and happier that I have had so much help to clean it up and make it the best it can be. Thanks Lon.
Thanks so much, Phil. It’s funny. I don’t do any traveling out of the US, but if I did, I would love to see New Zealand. I’ve seen photos of your county and think it’s gorgeous. Happy you liked my image.
Hi Donna, thanks for the response and additional info. First, NO, having the “meta data” or camera info in the file does NOT affect how the image is displayed. Meta data is “nice to know” information about the camera, settings, etc. And for many, you can include your name, copyright info, etc. - in case the image ends up out in the vast internet…
The embeded color profile is important to displaying properly on various browsers. For the most part, browsers handle color profiling very well now without you having to embed a profile. So actually, the problem arises when fellow NPN members download your image for illustrating various edits/crops, etc. So when an image is opened in PS/LR without an embeded color profile, the colors are WONKY to say the least, and these programes what to assign a Profile like Adobe 1998 or even Srgb. Having a color profile embeded helps in that regard.
Honestly neither are huge issues. And BTW, “camera Profile” is not the same - or at least I believe that wouuld be more related to Meta data/Camera EXIF information, than a Color Profile.
I’m getting out of my league now and probably said a few wrong things… But if you need help, let us know! Maybe start a thread in the discussion forum if you want.
Yes, this does help. I’ve marked the color profile in Photoshop to be entered into the jpeg. My jpegs should have that info. imbedded. I always list my camera settings under Tech. Details. Thanks for this info, Lon.