Little Sister

The Monday of a recent stay-cation (we were actually supposed to be in Yosemite but canceled due to the pandemic) brought rare mix of fog we don’t usually get this high above the river valley and clear skies allowing the sun to poke through the mist. Waking up to these unexpected conditions, I jumped out of bed and grabbed my camera. I found this composition on the way to a little area where our nearby dogwoods were blooming. We’re expecting our second daughter in June, and—with this in mind—this stand of trees reminded me of older siblings shielding their younger sister.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any is welcome.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any is welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

50 mm on my X-T2. f/8. 1/8 sec.

Initial processing in Capture 1 to darken and brush in a little clarity and structure to the foreground trees. Then in photoshop, I removed distracting branch jutting in from the top before working in some mid tone contrast, adjusting the color balance for the background, and dodging up the light on the foreground trees. Wrapping up, I added a slight Orton, primarily to the background, and a vignette.

Here’s my final crop. Went for a 5x7 to cut the top and bottom off a little. Thanks again for the feedback!

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram (@NaturePhotoNet), add the tag ‘ig’ and leave your Instagram username below.

I like the soft, ethereal mood here, fog is definitely the landscape photographers best friend. The way you have processed enhances the soft mood, the Orton is subtle and tastefully done. I also like the way the light is hitting the trees, that creates a lot of impact in this scene for me. The light on those trunks grabs my eye initially, but then my eye drifts up to the subtle green colors of the leaves above. A minor nit is that I would suggest cloning away the bright green leaf in the LLC, it’s bright enough to be an eye magnet.

After watching the webinar from @Alister_Benn this morning (BTW it was very well done) I could see taking his recommendation and using an alternate presentation here of a 4:5 aspect ratio of the top part of the image which you presented as a 3:2. I could also see a square crop of the bottom part of the image that emphasizes the fog and the light on the trunks, rather than the leaves. You have several interesting ways you could go with this image, in addition to the way it was originally presented.

First off congratulations on the impending birth of your second daughter. The image is a fitting tribute to such a joyous occasion. The image is wonderful with the fog providing some lovely atmospherics and the subtle soft lighting showcasing the forest beautifully. The greens are very nice and I like those couple of dogwood flowers.

I could see a little crop from the top and bottom, but that is more of a personal preference rather than a critique as this works just fine as is. I hope you don’t mind, but here is a rework with what I was thinking. This image is very inviting

Congratulations Adam, you are a lucky man. A child coming, and having the gift of an eye to see such an image.
I learned from your processing notes, and agree with Ed’s praise of them. I might be pushing a bit away from where you want to take this, but I can see an opportunity to vignette your image ( my ver 1). Also, as is typical with a splendid scene, other scenes and crops exist. I focused on the dogwood coming in from the right in my version 2 … maybe flip it to let the branch come toward the right …

@Ed_McGuirk, @Ed_Lowe, and @Dick_Knudson, thank you for your kind words and suggestions. I appreciate very much the input you gave. And by all means, I enjoy seeing your reworking of the image.

@Ed_McGuirk, thanks for catching that leaf at the bottom. Not sure how I missed that one. :crazy_face: Also, I’m with you and Alister on preferring 4:5 aspect in most cases. I did find it difficult to leave enough room to crop in this way when shooting and opted to fill the frame with the trees more to avoid additional distractions at the edges. This kind of pigeon holed the aspect more to the shot version. Looking back, I find the a 5:7 works nicely. This crops out that leaf at the LL and is close to what @Ed_Lowe’s crop from the top and bottom ends up being. I also really like the horizontal crop that Dick proposed. Loses about 1/2 the pixels but is a nice frame. It really emphasizes the bloomless spindly dogwood at the center.

Thanks again guys! I appreciate the feedback. Cheers,

I love the mood of this image - misty and soft and taking the eye right into the trees. I might just agree with Ed Lowe about a slight crop from the top which for me would make this a slightly stronger composition, but it really is a lovely shot as is.