Pacific Northwest Greens

This is a scene I stumbled upon in the Hoh rainforest. There are a lot of PNW photographers that really excel at dialing in these mossy forest shots, but it’s somehow really hard for me.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I’m interested in what people think about the color in this shot, and whether the composition and dodging and burning worked to create a bit of order in the chaos.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

I think this is a composite of three images – one for manually focus stacking to get more sharpness in the distant mossy branches and one to blend in some leaves that were motion blurred in the main image.
A good amount of dodging/burning (sometimes using color) to separate moss from other foliage and to provide lighter areas to guide the eye towards the center.

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Hi Thorsten,
I think the colors are just about perfect here. As a PNW near-native, I recognize the glow of ultra green rainforest on a cloudy day.

As for the composition, I’m struggling a little with it. I guess the real question is whether you want the image to provide order in chaos or just show the green chaos of this area?

I might be inclined to crop just a tiny bit off the top and bottom from the right edge to keep the same aspect ratio. I think that crop would provide more order than chaos. I tried to download to demonstrate, but couldn’t save it, so it might be protected somehow.


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Hi Thorsten. I love the colors and work you did to help create separation. I like Marylynne’s suggestion of some cropping. That tree limb to me creates a great leading line. To my eye a symmetrical leading line is those light colored ( vine maple? ) leaves above the ferns draws my eye upward in unison. Where those ferns in the right corner draw my eye back down. Or another suggestion - possible darkening them just a touch, taking down the highlights etc. But that may just be nit picking.

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@Marylynne_Diggs & @Greg_Stokesbury, thanks for your thoughtful replies. I briefly played with cropping from the bottom right a bit and it seems promising, I’ll probably go with that. I purposely brightened the ferns on the bottom right with the intent of creating a brighter line to lead the eye towards the center but it seems like that might not work too well. I’ll try darkening it to see how it compares. Thanks again.

It’s not easy to achieve compelling compositions in the rainforest, but you did a great job with this one. I think this one feels very cohesive, and well put together. I also like how you included a variety of flora here, maple, sorrel, ferns, moss, it makes the image more dynamic visually. The saturation looks little too strong to my eye, but within the bounds of subjective personal taste. But overall, I like this image very much.

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Thanks Ed, the diversity of plants was definitely one aspect that attracted me to this scene.

This is exquisite, Thorsten. I really like the composition - you did well to make some order out of rainforest chaos. A feat not easily achieved. Processing looks good to me. Yeah the greens are strong but believable and a matter of personal taste.


As you and others have experienced, it’s pretty dang tough to pull order out of chaos in these forests. And I think you’ve come real close (I have a crop in mind.) But first, I think the colors and processing are excellent; as presented I might be inclined to burn down the brightest yellow/greens up top middle, but that’s minor.

I do like the framing here and how the eye gets drawn in to the scene. I think though there’s a LOT to take in and explore - which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. My thought is NOT to crop the bottom; I think the forest floor is a wonderful and strong element here. I do think a little off the left and about 10% or so off the top and right will help condense all the elements in to more order. I like the main branch and hanging moss, but it’s a little dominant, almost awkward. The crop from top to eliminate the bright branch up top (and might have to clone out some of the bright leaves. And on the right is a bit of extra space not really contributing. There’s a natural flow towards the center and I think that cropping doesn’t really change that much, just brings more emphasis to fewer elements, I think.


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I like it. editing is great. the trees lead my eye but the leaves on the right dont however it showcases the plant diversity. it breaks up the symmetry. I like it. ferns bottom layer then trees and on the left vine leaves.

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Excellent job of capturing the chaos of a PNW forest. I think your processing looks wonderful.