Lauren's tree + RP

Edit thanks to suggestions below:


This old oak is on a neighbor’s property and provides a lovely silhouette on the horizon from our deck. In winter when there is heavy cloud behind it and a spot of early morning light illuminates it, it glows – sometimes more than this.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I wish I could get closer to it, but it’s quite tall and across the deep gully of a winter creek. There are trees on our side of the creek that are just cropped off at the bottom, and if I move closer I’m going downhill toward the creek and their height blocks the view. If I move uphill behind our house, trees behind this one move up into the view and spoil the silhouette. Moving sideways, the nearer trees intervene. So this is my own private view.

Technical Details

Screen Shot 2023-03-06 at 6.22.12 AM

I had the 2X on when the light started doing this yesterday morning and I was in a hurry to capture it so I rotated the camera to portrait orientation (on a tripod) and shot a pano, as I like the entire silhouette. Then I realized this was an interesting take on the Weekly Challenge theme and decided to crop in to just isolate these branches. Minor global tonal adjustments in LR. Haven’t gone to PS here.


Great photo, Diane. The lighting is amazing and really shows up very well. The background really brings out the lighting very well. It looks like the 2x did not affect the image at all. I have been renting one and do like having it around. The composition is well framed. How long does this lighting last, I was wondering how much time you get to decide to get the camera, setup, and shoot.

The tree and it’s covering of lichen looks great Diane, especially with the lichen standing out so nicely against the very early new growth. I do think that cropping more of the sky at the top creates a more intimate view.

It looks like this tree couldn’t grow it’s own flowers so it went to an outside contract for decorations! It’s a very interesting scene and shows how prolific lichens can be. I agree with Mark that cropping the top to just above the branches and maybe even a little off of the right side would make the composition more balanced and actually put more focus on the lichens and branches.

Thanks, @Dean_Salman, @Mark_Seaver and @Gary_Minish! Good idea about a slightly tighter crop – thanks! I wish there was a natural break on the left but there isn’t. I did manage to subdue the lichen there and at the bottom while I was at it – thanks to a TK8 Lights 2 mask with its contrast pushed to about a 2.5. RP added above.

Oooh, I love this! Lichens on oaks are the best. If you wanted a more even-steven framing, you could crop off the right until the edge touches the right tree.


Wow, this is awesome! What a great view you have from your deck! I first saw this on my phone early this morning and thought for sure these were oaks with a fresh dusting of snow - after all this is CA and we get snow all the time now. :slight_smile: But then I see the real image once on the computer. And I wasn’t disappointed with the lichen covered branches.

Great job with this. I was going to suggest a tighter crop, and I think it works better.


Lichen-y reaching branches are so great. I love the shape and the sort of fuzziness the lichen creates. I think a tighter crop would work to keep more focus on the right side. Glad you can enjoy this view even if your neighbor can’t.