Left behind + Repost

Feeling quite “isolated” myself these past few weeks when I was out on a walk and found this lone Ponderosa pine need which totally reflects my feelings of late.


What technical feedback would you like if any?

Had a polarizer on, but does the detail of the snow come through? Other thoughts/comments welcome.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Does it feel “lonely?” Other comments welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Nikon D7200, f/13, 1/200 sec., iso 400, 16-80mm @48mm. Handheld. Post processing: LR/PS - curves, some texture, sharpening.


Linda: I like the comp and subject a lot but it’s not apparent that this is snow since it’s significantly underexposed. I do suspect this was in shadow so you may have been looking for a somber mood which I suspect you were considering your narrative. I think you could still convey that by bumping the exposure 1-1.5 stops. >=))>

Thanks Bill. Good point, going out today to give it another shot. In the meantime I’ve “artificially” lighting with LR, and even tho’ I was looking/feeling for a “somber” feel, I do prefer the lighter image. Thanks again.

Linda: Better IMO. There is also the side benefit of bringing out a little color in the pine needle. >=))>

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Linda, this is the epitome of isolation with the single pine cluster on snow. The view is good, but the processing is clearly a challenge as the idea of sparkling snow and feeling somber are near opposites. The redo is a nice improvement with showing the details in the needle. I wonder how evening out the luminosity of the snow (especially on the left) would look. Dodging through one of the brightest luminosity masks might give some sparkle while leaving the body of the image on the dark side…not sure if that would fit your vision.

Thanks Mark. Am very anxious to give your suggestions a try…but am going to have to wait until next week as I’m still quite remote and internet access is sketchy at best. Thanks again.

Nice minimalist landscape image. In winter, when grand landscape scenes are often absent here in the Northeast, I often look for intimate shots like this. The second post has better exposure. Snow is so bright that it can be difficult to expose properly. My only suggestion, and this is purely subjective and dependent on whether the shot has room, is to leave more snow around the needle on the upper right corner. This would further enhance the feeling of isolation. Nonetheless, this is a nice shot as is.

Mark; finally back at home and have given this photo another go at it. I’ve added the bright luminosity mask and dodge some (with a rather large brush) at 5%. I do like the overall effect however apparently don’t have the technique quite mastered yet as it appears a bit blotchy to me.
In LR I did lighten, sharpen, added a bit of texture and clarity, then finished with the luminosity mask in PS. Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks again.
2nd repost

Thanks Marc. I do like your suggestion about more room and good info for next opportunity. As it is now, I’m back in Texas . . . . with a lot less snow! Darn. Thanks again.

Hi Linda, Did you have to evacuate from Estes? My step sister, her husband and step mother did.

I downloaded your V3 and tried some things. Here’s the result.

Here’s my processing list.

A) create luminosity masks;

  1. lights mask(~top 50% luminosity) [I call this L1],
  2. lights mask times itself [I call L2],
  3. L2 times itself [L3]
  4. Invert image and create new “lights” mask, which is the bottom 50% of the luminosity and is slightly different than what you get from simply inverting L1. I call this one D1.
  5. D1 times itself, makes D2 ,
  6. D2 times itself, makes D3.

For processing, I selected the L2 mask and dodged (using a completely soft brush at 10% opacity on an overlay layer) everything. This brightens the highlights, in this case much of the snow adding a bit of sparkle.

Next I created a “mixed mode” mask by selecting D1 and then subtracting D3 and used this to very carefully brighten the needles (tiny brush, completely soft @ 10 % opacity on the soft light layer). This lightens the needles without lightening the darkest tones. Visually, this opens up the darker tones with minimal change in how the viewer sees the contrast.

Finally, I select D2 and did some darkening of the snow without touching the needles. This adds a bit of contrast.

In any photo, but especially in one that’s as limited in terms of the specific elements as this one, the main drivers of where a viewer’s eyes will rest are contrast, shape, dark, light, and colors. As I worked on your shot, the one thing that I see is an apparent loss of sharpness in the middle and upper right areas. While this might be from converting to jpg, it also might be a slight misalignment between the camera back and the snow surface.

If you want more info, send me a message and we can continue this discussion off line.