Meadow Lodging

Ok, back to Yosemite and more grass… I’m not sure that I’ve captured and presented what I intended and why I photographed this scene. I’ll let you be the judge. It doesn’t take a naturalist or wildlife biologist to know that deer like to bed down at night in the meadows. It’s pretty obvious most of the time where an animal has taken rest; hence the title of this image. I’m just not sure if that comes through with this image. I was certainly attracted to the variety of grasses surrounding this spot and extracted what I could in post in terms of dodging/burning and trying to get the contrasts, colors and luminosity good. (Even a pre-preemptive strike on the cyan and blue in the lights.) Just not sure this stands alone without the back story.

Oh, and I have to mention two recent writings that really resonated with me and how I relate it to my own photography and images like this one. And that would be the recent articles by Eric Bennett’s “colors of life” blog post and Colleen Miniuk-Sperry recent article here on NPN, “Keep it Fresh,”

Eric wrote, "Through seeing nature on a more intimate level and smaller scale, paying attention to the subtler details, the spaces between things, and being able to see the beautiful designs, patterns, and shapes that their outlines form, has undoubtedly brought me closer to Mother Earth. There is so much more to her than meets the eye at first glance, and for those that take a closer look, there is always great wisdom to be gained. "

Exactly. Nothing more intense and spectacular than a sunset on fire… but there is so much more at our feet, even at eye level - to be seen, learned and valued.

And Colleen’s experience in Acadia rings true for me as well. I can safely say I’ve not and probably will never get to 450 days in Yosemite… but I’ve gotten to the point of asking, what images haven’t I already done, or what can I do differently. Yet I return over and over again… and I will continue. Colleen writes:

“.…as my knowledge of this magical park increases, my relationship deepens, and my connection intensifies, the portfolio of images I bring home from each trip gets better.”

I even wrote about myself a number of years ago that “Familiarity breeds creativity.” So thanks go out to @Eric_Bennett and @Colleen_Miniuk for their inspiring and resonating words.

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any and all regarding processing.

What artistic feedback would you like if any? See above - does this stand alone?

Any pertinent technical details:

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @38mm f/9. This is a 9-image focus stack. Not sure why I went that many, maybe just cause I could?

Thanks for any and all comments.

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

Hey Lon! So glad to hear we inspired you in someway, @Colleen_Miniuk is awesome so I can totally see that! I loved her article as well.

Way to go and try to create something different, most people would just avoid grass like this and not even think to shoot it. I myself would be intimidated, since this is a tough subject to shoot and one i have tried several times but never been able to come away with anything compelling. I think this has a nice feel as far as the processing and subject matter, but I cant help but feel that the center of the image feels a bit empty with that part being kind of smashed down and all. The edges have a lot of nice details but the center is lacking to me. Like I said, kudos for trying but I would have a lot of trouble with this so I admire you.

Your friend,

1 Like

Way to go with pushing yourself to try new things. I also found those articles resonated with my style of photography and photo adventures. In terms of the image, I would echo what Eric said. I could quite readily identify the bedding area, but I find my attention drawn to the void it creates and it pretty much sticks there.

Lon, very fine image based upon your comments with regard to trying “new” or “different” ways of seeing or photographing scenes. In fact, I think it was a comment I made on one of Preston’s images recently where I stated his diagonal composition brought to mind me not viewing things in that perspective much at all. I’m sure in my 35mm days I might have by accident, but once moving to MF & LF much less if at all. So, yes the articles can stir up possibly some dormant, stagnant, or even some new brain cells…:+1:

Lon, I sort of agree with some of the comments you’ve already received about the viewers attention being drawn to the void created by the deer pattern, and the eye sticking there and not moving to the rest of the meadow. A more outside the box idea would be to embrace the void, and make it larger and less centered in the image, even if it is at the expense of of the texture and patterns in the rest of the meadow. I tried a crop like this.

1 Like

I applaud you for experimenting and finding subtle details I would not even give a second look. The void in the center does not bother me and I find the composition pleasing as presented. I would suggest burning down the bright areas along the edges of the frame. Maybe add a slight vignette?

I love this one. The grace and sense of movement are really nice to see. The depression looks natural and works very nicely with your composition (and if you hadn’t mentioned it I would never have guessed it was due to an animal laying down).

Good call on the crop @Ed_McGuirk. I like it! Thanks for the suggestion!

Lon, While I like the original version I think Ed’s crop suggestion works beautifully and still retains all the lovely earth tones along with the textures and details of the meadow grass. I absolutely agree with the articles you linked to by @Eric_Bennett and @Colleen_Miniuk.

1 Like

While this image has the depression where a deer may have slept, it does not have the color range or graceful movement of your previous similar post. Perhaps an increase in saturation may bring out the varying degree in colors. I do agree with your comments on taking the time to “see” things not usually seen by others. There is such beauty in the details.

Hi @Lon_Overacker! Sorry I’m a bit late to the party here (story of my life)…but thanks so much for the feedback on my recent article (and to @Eric_Bennett and @Ed_Lowe as well). So glad you enjoyed it. I’d love to read a copy of your article someday!

I have a little different opinion about that “empty” space… It falls in near the center of the image, which research has shown humans will perceive as static or not moving. Which is exactly what happens when deer bed down to sleep. Which is exactly what, I think based on your write-up, you were trying to convey. So in that sense, you were successful by placing the empty space in the middle. :smiley:

It has a subtle difference in tonality from the surrounding grasses, but it’s not dark enough to stand out and it’s not light enough to blend in. To key off your intended message “animal at rest,” and to serve as a contrast and juxtaposition to the rest of the image, I’d try to darken it to make it stand out from the surrounding lighter tones, while preserving the lighter, airy feel you’ve conveyed well.

The darker tones, while not too dark to be distracting on their own, at the top and bottom serve to keep my eye in the frame well. By darkening the bed, the alternating effect of dark-light-dark-light-dark (from bottom to top of the frame) will increase the appearance of depth and layers a little more.

Overall though, I love the soft feel and the elegant moving and swaying of the grasses around this bed. It’s a lovely story about what happens behind the scenes at Yosemite. A quiet moment I’m glad you experienced there–and shared with us.