October Wonderland

I just shot this image this morning here in Rocky Mountain National Park following an October snowstorm. I would like to improve it before I print it. My primary area of need is input on post-processing. So far I’ve just done a quick edit, but need a little help seeing what to do before I really work on it.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

This was a little hard to process as the mountains in the distance were in the fog and a little bit hard to bring out without making them look too fake. What processing ideas do you folks have for this? How would you process it differently?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I’m open, let me know if you have suggestions.

Any pertinent technical details:

D850, ISO 64, 45mm, F13, 1/20. I also cropped off some of the right side and made this into a 4x5 image as the right side of the image was distracting. I knew that I would have to do that crop when I took it but couldn’t get around it.

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

this is an interesting shot with lots of fine details, some sweet soft light and a beautiful palette of colours!
i think the patchy light gives you a lot to work with in the sense of creating some depth. i like the high-key presentation and i guess you’d have to be careful with adding contrasts (keep them subtle). atm i do notice some inconsistency in luminance levels.

Eric, I’m loving the snow covered view from front to back and the mixture of light and shadow. I’m also enjoy the few touches of very subtle color scattered throughout, the two yellow young trees (center left, young aspens??), the green shrubbery below the 2nd tree and the touch of orange rock in the upper right quarter. Although I usually limit my post processing to dodging and burning, I’d try adding just a touch of extra color especially to those two aspens. I’d also clone out the road sign since it’s a major dot of color in this mostly monochromatic scene. The mountains and clouds look good. In the larger view, it looks like there are a couple of Elk down by the creek, which will be a neat extra in a large print. I’ll be in Estes next week (17 - 19), can you arrange another snow like this for me? :grin:

Thank you Joerg. You are certainly correct that there are some issues with the luminance levels. This was too quick of an edit. I’ll try and adjust those so they are more balanced. I also like your idea of using the patchy light to give great depth to the image. I’ll spend some time with that as well. Thank you!

Mark, thanks so much for your input! I’ll give your ideas of adding a bit more color to those spots and see how that works. I debated about cloning out the road sign or not. Generally I automatically clone those out, but I wondered if it didn’t give the image a bit more authenticity, but if it is distracting, I’ll remove it.

As for weather, who knows what you’ll get it. Was summer last week and it might be summer conditions when you arrive again, or it might be blizzard like conditions. Autumn in the mountains is so very unpredictable.

I really love the tones and hues in this shot. If this were my image I’d work on toning down the two brightest spots on the diagonal background ridge that starts in the top right of the frame. Another thing I would investigate whether cropping more off the right hand side to make the foreground tree fully centered would improve the image. As is the lower right triangle of snow seems a bit large. and empty compared to the cool left hand side with the big boulder in it.

Regardless this is going to be a killer print.

Great input Thorston! Thank you!

I can see this being a good seller for you Eric. Very peaceful. If there is anything to critique I’d perhaps look at taming down the highlights a bit on the upper right. It’s already great as is though.

I looked at this a bit and it feels to me like the shadow world doesn’t mix well with the sunlit parts. Also I felt that the image calls for a soft hightone consistency throughout. So I very crudely, using the lasso tool, warmed up the frontal area and dropped it’s clarity a bit.

Thank you Igor! I appreciate your helpful input.