Redwood Rhodies 3

Full Frame

Cropped image and slightly different processing

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

I am uncertain about what could be distractions on this full size image and would love to hear your thoughts. I’ve also included a cropped version.

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

Do you prefer the full frame image or the slightly cropped image? In the full size image does the darkness of the LRC bother you? Does the moss covered log in the ULC bother you? How about the brightly lit Rhodie leaves in the URC? The cropped version deals with most of these issues but I am unsettled if it goes too far. Anything else catch your eye?

Technical Details

Z9, 100-400mm lens @ 140mm, ISO 2000, f/8, 1/100, Hand Held, Manual

Specific Feedback

Aesthetic and Emotional feedback.


These are both wonderful, David. I don’t know which one I like more. I think it’s the first. I like the way they glow in the darkness and seem to come out. Yes, I think the processing of the first I like more than the second. This, it seems to me, is also a fairly original treatment of these plants up there. Usually they are presented in lime green colors with a fairly low contrast treatment of tones. But here they seem to just pop out of the darkness. The flowers are less interesting than the fresh new leaves. Very nice indeed.

You must’ve taken this fairly early in the summer to get such young growth and still green moss. A small recommendation would be to clone out the small bright leaf at the bottom of the frame in the original. The original is better is because there is more darkness around the plant and that in my opinion is the point of this image.

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I go with the full-frame; it gives more breathing room around the bush. You could easily darken the bright leaves in the the URC and maybe darken the LLC to better match the darkness in the LRC.

Maybe it’s my tendency to zoom into a scene, but I prefer the second version. In the first, that angled branch in the ULC strikes a discordant note for me, as do the bright leaves just below the URC. The second feels to me like the essence of the scene. Those new leaves on the rhodie almost steal the show from the flowers themselves. That being said, either one works - well done.

…off to read your comments… I think I answered your questions! In the full frame, the darkness in the LRC didn’t bother me at all.

@Igor_Doncov , @Ronald_Murphy , @Bonnie_Lampley , thanks so much for your comments and suggestions.

Igor, I was there in very early June. The new growth of the rhodie leaves were, in most cases, more striking than the actual flowers. Most of the flowers in this image were well spent except for the very deep colored blossom in the upper middle portion of the plant. That bud has not opened yet and is dark and richly colored. I like the first image slightly better which is why it’s at the top of the sequence and is the thumbnail image but my wife likes the second image better. That’s why I thought I’d throw it out for discussion. I’ll post the un edited shot tonight so you can see what I did to this. Thanks as always for your comments/suggestions.

Ronald, Thanks for your suggestion. I’ll take that into consideration and see what we get with it. Good thoughts.

Bonnie, You nailed it. You hit on all of my concerns before you opened my comments. Well done for sure. I agree about the new growth leaves steeling the show on this. Thanks for your comment. I appreciate it.

My favorite is the original full frame version, David. I like seeing that little bit extra around the edges of the frame as I think that showcases the surrounding forest a bit more without stealing any thunder from the beautiful rhodie. I get to enjoy those ferns along the bottom as well as a bit more of the redwood trunk along with that sublime light in the URC.

You certainly made the most of your four hours while you were there. Keep them coming!

Thanks very much, Ed. It was a whirlwind 4 hours but the conditions were just incredible so I was a little a kid in a candy store. I agree with your assesment too. Thanks again.

This rhody is a splendid subject, and your treatment of it and its surroundings work nicely for me. Sure, the colors are a bit Fujified, but the result is a very impactful photo. By punching up the colors a bit, the different colors of pink and of green convey the stages of growth that the rhody is going through. So, to me, the photo suggests not just an instant in time, but a part of a springtime progression. I am a fan of the full frame version, as the space around the rhody lets it “breathe” and shows the quiet context of the terrific plant. The bright leaves in the URC draw one’s attention, but to me any distracting effect is balanced by its suggestion that more of the light and color of this scene is available if one walks deeper into the forest.

Thanks, Dick. I appreciate your comments and your taking the time to give me your thoughts on this. Love Fujified.


This is absolutely beautiful! As noted by others, the vibrance of the emerging greens really stand out; but it’s more than that; the few blossoms are lovely accents and the inclusion of the ancient redwood trunks really give this scene substance.

I think both versions have certain merit. I love the original because it’s more about the forest - the environment capture; context and the bigger picture; and it’s wonderfully composed. The prominence of the redwood and the inclusion of the surrounding background complete this.

On the other hand, the tighter crop really showcases the rhododendron and the emerging greens. The only nitpick on the crop is the small gap between the two redwood trunks. You might consider cloning/addressing that little sliver.

As others have mentioned, the one element in the original frame is the diagonal moss-branch in the ULC. It’s simply a minor eye-magnet drawing me to that corner. Not sure what the solution is - but certainly your crop was a good choice.

Beautiful image David! Would love to have this in my files!


Dang it, David! This isn’t helping me stave off a trip one bit! I prefer the second tighter crop for one main reason, the space behind the trees doesn’t really add to the image, in my opinion, and contains some brighter spots that pulls my eye. Those branches, moss, blooms, and leaves are just stunning and I’d want to keep the viewer locked into those.

This is special in my opinion. Love it!

Thanks for your comment and your suggestions, Lon. I didn’t even notice that sliver of light between the two tree trunks. Great catch and and easy fix. That branch sticking out on the left edge is a problem though. I can probably clone it out but I generally don’t like to clone that much out of a scene but it believe it would be easy enough to do. Also, thanks so much for the EP. I appreciate it very much!

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Thanks, David. I appreciate your comments. If you have time and still want to come out in March, just let me know and we can meet up for a couple of days. Just be prepared to get wet. This is not a dry place. In fact, if others want to come out it would be a fun meet up for a small group.

The rhododendron leaves and blossoms look more striking in the full frame version. The darker background trunk just makes them pop.

Great shot, David! Both iterations are beautiful, but I think I prefer the first version. I think the surrounding environment is a large part of the story. I might darken the BG a LITTLE just to make the plant stand out a little more, but it’s gorgeous as is also.

Thank you so much @Bill_Chambers , & @Eva_McDermott. Your comments mean the world to me. I’m glad you like the original and top post on this sequence. I prefer it too. Thanks again for your comments.

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I’m late to reply, David. This caught my eye right away. I think it’s just the general darkness that appeals, highlighted by the beautiful new growth. The second, cropped image appeals the most to me, just for the simplicity.
Congrats on the EP!

Thanks very much Mark. I appreciate your thoughts.

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