In the last weeks i’ve been reading “The Hidden Life of Trees” by Peter Wohlleben, its a very interesting book and has made me see some different things when looking at trees.
One of the chapters of this book talk about the mother like relations between elder trees and saplings, and when i saw this composition the book came to my mind.
The bigger and larger tree protecting the smaller sapling on a stormy morning.

The image was made under a umbrella and heavy rain, not a ideal situation to compose, but i kind liked the final result.

I went with a PP to make it moody and give emphasis to the trees. Also to create separation from the background.

Thanks in advance.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any as always.

Is the PP to heavy?
Are those white parts of the rock to distracting?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
0.8s, f/11 ISO 50 at 46mm
Tripod shot with polarizer filter.
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Looks like you achieved all you set out to. I would burn down that bright bit of lichen on the rock, though and maybe the smaller ones too,

Hello @João_Ferrão. I love this image, and the story you tell goes great with it! The one large white patch did catch my eye immediately after the large tree, and before the smaller one which kind of pulls away from the story you seem to be trying to tell. It would be interesting to see if PS can clone that out and make it look believable or if you would have to burn it down to reduce its effect. The other thing I would consider is maybe adding a touch of contrast into the ULC. With the way that it is now, the tree, to me, starts to blend into that part a bit.

I love this image and it is interesting how this book has opened your eyes to images you may not have seen before…has me thinking what I should be reading…

Hi Joao, thanks for sharing this image and your thoughts on trees! I have read this book two years ago and I recommend reading it whenever possible. As there are extended forested areas close to our home in Vienna, my wife and I try to spend there as much time as possible. This way also helped us to forget the pandemics for some hours each time.
The image is compelling to my eye, and I would only try to darken that single bright spot.

I love hearing people talk about their relationship with trees. I think many photographers find them to be excellent subjects that speak to us on many levels.

Oh, and I’ll be the guy who doesn’t know what “PP” is beyond post-processing. Please explain. I do see the dodging of the “parent” tree and the significant vignetting of the remainder of the image. This is very effective in drawing the eye towards your primary and secondary subjects. It is beautifully demonstrated and well managed to my eye.

Others have commented on the bright areas of rock in the stream and I agree with them as these areas are significant distractions to my eye.

Finally…and this took me a few days of looking at your image to identify, but to my eye there is a significant leftward weight to the image. I suspect that is the way the scene truly looked, but to my eye the image is struggling with balance. Interestingly, I also see the leftward energy of your other excellent image (Flood).


Beautiful photograph!

I agree with your commentary concerning “The Hidden Life of Trees”. The other two books in the “The Mysteries of Nature Trilogy” are equally compelling.

As the Portuguese Moderator I’ll add this, even if I get some push-back for not sticking to photographic matters, but of the 70+ countries I’ve explored, the one place that I enjoy most is Madeira.

Thank you @Ronald_Murphy, @davewallace, @Ronald_Murphy, @Jim_McGovern and @paul_g_wiegman.

I’ll have to clone out those spots as you said, the more I look the more they disturbe me.

@Jim_McGovern PP is a little vague indeed, but its referring to post-processing, and your eye is spot on the processing I did. I just added also a layer to decrease clarity on the background. And I have to agree that “Flood” is a gorgeous image but it’s from @joaoquintela not me. But I wouldn’t mind to have it in my portfolio. :smile:

@paul_g_wiegman I’m a little suspect by ill have to agree and I’m glad you enjoyed it., Madeira is a paradise to photograph, I have been there on vacation two times, and sadly I never had the time to proper explore and photograph, vacations with my wife not to photograph. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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The tree does have a presence. There is a spirit about it which you have shown rather well. Would a small crop off the left reduce the leaning problem? I can see that as a more balanced composition but I like it as is also.

I’ll have to read the suggested book. As a trained biologist I believe there is strong competition for light among all trees and no ‘relationship’ between trees. I also wonder if there is any value in suggestive anthropomorphic images. I know some members seem to enjoy such implications. I think it’s a nuanced topic that relates to what is being conveyed.

The book under discussion here has been on my radar, but I’ve heard about its anthropomorphic leanings and I have avoided it for that reason. I think that ‘intelligence’ and ‘purpose’ in nature goes deeper than we understand, but I have yet to see evidence for those qualities as we see them in ourselves. A forest is nothing but a raised meadow and growing those wasteful trunks is just an outgrowth of the competition you mention, Igor. Bah…I don’t know where I was going with this, the shot is truly a paean to trees and the improvements suggested will make it even stronger.

I agree that looking at the natural world strictly from a Darwinian point of view is very limiting. It’s one of the reasons I turned away from science to art. But that approach has been very useful to mankind. The whole conservation movement is based upon it. But as you say, well probably never understand plants at their level. So we try to understand them at our level. But perhaps this image is about our motherhood and they are just actors.


This conversation is going from a Darwinian point of view to a Freudian one. :rofl:

The tittle of this image is based on a mere anthropomorphic connection. To me, to book can create some very interesting underlaying concepts that can aid to view some metaphoric (and of course anthropomorphic) imagens, to me it can aid to see some scenes in the chaos of a woodland.

@Kris_Smith the book is interesting and to me it stops there, is not absolute true or fact I don’t seek to understand plant on such a deep level and if I did I maybe had to get more time per day and search more about it. :smiley:

The discution on the value of anthropomorphic images is a very interesting one, to say the true never thought to much about it, but you sure made me wonder my position is on that @Igor_Doncov.

On the crop, it can make a diference indeed, didn’t see the unbalance until you mentioned it. Another correction in the ‘to try’ list.

Beautiful light on the trees and love the way you have showcased it. The bright spot has already been covered and no other nits here. Quite a lovely and impactful image.

So i did eliminate the bigger white areas and burned down the others, not to loose those spots that were on the rocks but to tone them down.
Also i added a bit more contrast on the ULC and reduced the vignette a bit on the right side, it was a bit heavy to me on that area.
And finished with cropping a smudge on the left and it too helps to center the main subjects and create harmony.

Thank you all for the feedback and kind words, hope the rework made justice to your opinions.

This is a very expressive image Joao, and the subtle changes in the rework definitely enhance the image. Part of the appeal of this image to me is the strong leaning of the top tree . Maybe I a pessimist by nature, but I see the Darwinism here more than the maternal protective interpretation. with it’s stronger, warmer color, the top tree seems to be thriving over the bottom tree that it is crowding out. But independent of interpretation, the image works very well for me, nicely done.

Funny how interpretation can be so relative when an image is the same.
Seeing the Darwinism in it, and i can absolutely see it too, the underlaying message here could be very different.
Maybe i went with the “optimistic” (if it can be called like that) message because when i saw these trees i saw the gloomy and more “mystical” light that i tried to convey on the processing.
The brain, as the trees, works in very mysterious ways. :smiley:

Not to stray off point too much, but Darwinism and evolution isn’t optimistic? I think it is.

To me it is, hence the quotation marks. But (to shake things a bit more) to me, it is realistic too.

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Olá João,

This is a very powerful image. I love the processing you did here.

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