Life of a Rolled Fern

This image of a rolled fern has lots of personal meaning. In my original story I drew parallels to the balance of life and this single rolled fern. I talked about life as rollercoaster and how it’s extremely difficult to find a balance. This image of a fern represents just that, the rollercoaster of life. There are various factors why ferns curl for example overwatering, unbalanced soil, low humidity, pests, disease, too much direct light. In the end it sounded similar to what one can face over time.

Specific Feedback Requested

Not sure if this would qualify as an abstract, at best it would maybe border an abstract? Either way I apologize if it doesn’t quite fit the an abstract. I have been working on this image and as I said above it has meaning to me which is what is important. I had it critiques by others and this is where I ended up which I like however I believe it can be much better. ALL feedback would be appreciated. Thank you!

Technical Details

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Hi Brett – I agree that this photo doesn’t fit under the definition of abstract but I am still happy to provide some feedback. If the composition focused more on just the repetition in the leaves, for example, it might feel a little more abstract. Here, I think it feels more like a portrait of the fern.

Overall, I think you did a nice job of finding an interesting subject. The rolled part of the fern plus the spike sticking out of the top together create something unexpected, and I like that about this photo. I also love all the little details in the individual fern leaves. While I usually have no issue with centered compositions, I think taking a bit off the left here helps emphasize the flow of the spike at the top by giving it some room to flow from left to right.

My main point of feedback is about the processing. It is too dark to see all of the interesting details in the curl. I didn’t notice them until I brought the photo into Photoshop and brightened it up. I think you could keep the darker presentation overall but might want to brighten the fern itself to help it stand out more from the background. This subject would also work really nicely in black and white, as I share below with an alternative crop and some brighter processing.

Also, thank you for sharing the details about rolled ferns in your description!

@Sarah_Marino Thank you for the feedback! Greatly appreciated. I have been wrestling with this images direction Ha!