Manti–La Sal National Forest Colors

Although the Aspens didn’t put on much of a show this year, the Big Tooth Maple sure did.

Canon 5D MK IV, 24-105 @ 70mm, 1/4sec, f16, ISO 100

Any comments are appreciated.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Quite a fine show of color and trunk lines. Really minor, but I might burn or clone the bright spots in the very LLC and near middle on the bottom edge.

Don, I’m really enjoying the mixture of color here, it almost looks like an autumn scene from New England rather than the American West. I really like how maples co-mingle with the aspen trunks

To me this image is primarily about the interplay of the aspen stand with the maples around it. I agree with @Harley_Goldman that there are some minor distractions along the bottom edge of the frame that distract from that story. Instead of cloning them away, you may also want to consider cropping them away, and going to more of a panoramic presentation. With the strong horizontal of the aspen stand, I think a pano might work well.

I would also consider increasing the luminosity slightly, it looks a little dark on my monitor. and while this gets into personal taste, and creative choice, i would consider warming this up a little ot make the maples pop more, but still retaining some of the blue cast on the aspen trunks for color contrast. If you don’t mind, I did a rework reflecting my comments.


Well seen and beautifully done. I like those horizontal color layers intersected by all the thin vertical white lines. It works quite well as a composition. I also like the secondary part in the upper left corner in a supportive role. I do agree with @Ed_McGuirk’s crop in that it does improve the composition significantly. Nicely done.

I have seen a number of images from this area and would like to get out there myself sometime. Until then I will enjoy your version. This is beautifully done. I like the variation of color and you have arranged the scene very nicely in your composition. No nits from me.


What a grand and beautiful autumn scenic. The mix of aspens and their white trunks along with the green/yellow canopy mixed among the orange and reds.

I really like Ed’s edits and I too was thinking about an edge clean up along the bottom; not a big deal but I think Ed’s crop does improve the overall presentation. Bringing up the luminosity was a good call as well.

Another alternative - and this may be sacrilege… would be an even further crop for a solid pano look; this would enhance the long horizontal of the aspen’s canopy and still maintain a good mix of color. But no doubt, you’ve got a beautiful autumn image working here.


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Thanks for your comments. I like Ed’s crop and modified my master image. I also am posting another crop, suggested by Lon. I think I like it as well as Ed’s suggestion. It is a theme and variations study with a rich subject.

I did raise the luminosity on my original (from the original capture) somewhat, but the hillside was in deep (and cold) shade. I wanted to try and convey what it was to look at the hillside in the early morning. That said, recreating those conditions doesn’t always make a better photograph. I did raise the luminosity again, but I do like the way the blue mixes with the other colors.