Natures First Green is Gold

Where I live it has been a very cold April this year, and spring has not really sprung yet. So I went back to the archives to dig out this image in the hopes of prodding Mother Nature along. This image was taken in mid-May several years ago, at the that time of year when the first flowers and leaves on the trees are a golden yellow for a week or so.

I had gone to a location in Maine to photograph osprey diving into a small creek that contains thousands of alewives (herring) that swim upstream to spawn. This day was the first really hot day of the year, and mid-afternoon I took a break from standing out in the sun by getting under some trees. After a while I glanced up, and noticed this composition.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I would appreciate any comments or critique.

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

Fantastic! Wonderful composition and processing. I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking at this image trying to think of ways to improve it, but I’m coming up short. I love the colors, the deep shadows, the angles of the branches, and the placement of the sun in the lower center. Well done.

This is really cool Ed! Those spring leaves, just like in the fall, represent a fleeting moment. I like the bold yellow/green leaves set against the deep blue sky, and the sun star is a nice touch. I wouldn’t mind a bit more detail in the shadows just to give a hint at the bark texture. The super dark trunk set against the sky and the leaves feels almost 2 dimensional, like a stained glass window — which is a very interesting effect, but I would be curious if the nuance of some subtle light and texture on the trunk would give the image even more dimension.

This is a really fine modern art composition. The gold on blue is a winning color combination (that;s why so many professional sports teams use it) and the jet black tree gives holds it all together. The composition of lines and colors within the frame is really excellent. I liked the leaves at the lower half particularly so I tried various. It was then that I realized the importance of the star burst quality of the black branches, their central location, and that they needed space from the center to show that aspect of the comp. I really can’t come up with any meaningful suggestions. This is really well done.

Wow Ed, I think you have captured stunning detail. The sunburst pulls it together nicely. The silhouetted branches against the blue sky and the green leaves has the composition situated nicely. I really like the soft side-lighting on the trunk close to the branches. Beautifully captured. I cannot think of any other suggestions. I think you have caught this well!

This is a beauty, Ed. No suggestions here, just really enjoying the image.

Ed, I can only echo the other’s comments. This is a very inspiring scene! Thankfully you took a break and looked up!
Well done!!

@Igor_Doncov @Cameron_Miller @Alan_Kreyger @Todd_Grivetti @Harley_Goldman @Ben_Horne
As always, thank you for your comments and insights, they are much appreciated. @Ben_Horne, I will have to play around with trying for shadow detail in the trunk of the tree, I think you are onto something. However, I want to keep the deep silhouette in the branches to retain the “stained glass” look that you mentioned.


Bold and beautiful! I guess you’re a day late and a dollar short for last week’s WC… :roll_eyes: :smiley:

As mentioned, the classic color combination is strikingly beautiful here. Just love both the blue sky and the yellow/gold leaves. Also really like the silhouetted tree and as someone mentioned, this kinda has a stained glass window look to it.

The main trunk is bold and prominent - perhaps too much? But I don’t see any clean crop to change anything and this is a case where I think the silhouette is the way to go rather than trying to squeeze any detail here.


This is very, very nice and I think that the sun star creates a really awesome focal point. Of course the warm and cool colour combination is always a winner in my mind.

I really don’t know what to criticize in this image because it all works so well together.

Such a strong comp and colors. The sun star makes it over the top. Just a wonderful, unique take on a spring tree. And I love that poem in the title…one of my favorites.

Ed, That sun makes the image and the image gives a nice spring-feeling. No comment !

Ed, this is a great view of these first leaves, with the sunstar as an outstanding bonus.

No nits from me Ed; this comes together perfectly and I really enjoy it.

Truly excellent - very original, the warm/cool color contrast is beautiful, and the sunstar brings it all together.