Northern Woods Birch in Autumn

One of my experimental ICM photos from a trip to Michigan’s UP. I photographed this same grove of trees a number of ways. The spacing of the trees didn’t work well compositionally in landscape. For me, this is the best of the group.

Specific Feedback Requested

All thoughts are welcomed.

Technical Details

Canon 5D IV | EF70-200 @ 116mm | f32 | 1.6s | ISO 100
Processed using ACR and Photoshop


Hi David – Thank you for sharing another of your ICM photos. It is fun to see multiple photos from your project.

I like this except for one thing: the right edge. I wish the tree on the right had more breathing room. With the tightness there, especially since the tree is leaning to the right, it feels a little unbalanced. I am sure there were other things right outside the frame that made you decide on this composition but an equal amount of room from the tree on the left to the left edge and the tree on the right to the right edge would make it feel more balanced for me.

With ICM photos, I also find that cleaning up some of the strange details can make them feel more harmonious. We are already departing from reality so I personally feel fine with doing some cloning for such photos. So, for this photo, you could consider going back and cleaning up some of the spots that stick out as more textured, strange hints of light, things that look like duplicated branches, etc. You could also consider desaturating the green on the lower left side to make the colors a bit more consistent across the frame. Otherwise, I think the processing works well in helping the trees stand out and giving the scene a bit of dimensionality.

Thank you for taking the time to review my photo. I understand what you’re saying about the tree on the right. After focusing and setting the shutter speed, etc. I took this photo at chest height without looking through the view finder. Literally point and shoot.