Last Stand

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Another from the archives. I have ever so many images from this area, east of Red Bluff in northern California. It’s a harsh environment on rocky volcanic deposits of ancient mud flows (lahars) and basalt. There are many old oaks that have succumbed to age and/or fire.

Specific Feedback

Any comments welcome. I deliberately downplayed the contrast in the foreground because I wanted a more melancholy feel.

Technical Details

Screen Shot 2023-09-06 at 8.21.22 PM

Processed in ACR & LR; dodging/burning, b&w conversion, slight toning, cloned out some stray grasses.

1 Like

Wow! This one has to be seen big! What an amazing remnant of a tree! (I thought it was a fence post from the thumbnail.) I love the low perspective and the tonal softening of the FG. The debris field is so interesting and leads the eye to the standing remnant. Then the soft focus on the BG adds depth and context. It’s wonderful to find things like this in areas that have suffered so much.

I wonder if there is a bit more tonal detail in the sky? I think the rugged FG could stand up to it, if it is there.

Thanks for having a look and commenting, @Diane_Miller. This area has quite a few remnants like this. They are quite dramatic. I did try bringing out more detail in the sky, but it sort of ruined the melancholy mood I was going for.

This turned out to be much more interesting when I saw the large version. For some reason it makes me think of a mask. In my opinion having that hole in the wood adds a lot to this image. I would have different associations without it. In my book this is an excellent image.

I agree with @Diane_Miller that the soft background makes the devastation more profound. I mean the sky.

Thanks, @Igor_Doncov. Now that you mention it, these remnants do resemble masks.