Reflections of Summer

Repost after considering everyone’s comments below:

It’s not often that we get such brilliant greens around here, but with these trees growing within the high water zone of the reservoir, they get plenty of water. Backlit by the early morning sun, the trees just glowed and engulfed the entire area in green light - not something I am used to photographing (or processing)!

Specific Feedback Requested

Any and all feedback is welcome, though I have some specific questions:

  1. Does the green hue look natural? I did enhance it some, but I’m hoping I didn’t go too far. Obviously this is personal preference, but I’m curious how it sits with others.
  2. Do the scraggly branches at the base of the left tree detract from the photo? I’ve already toned them down quite a bit - the next step would be to remove them through cloning. I’m not opposed to that, but not looking forward to it.
  3. There was quite a bit of cottonwood “cotton” floating in the water. I’ve already cloned out hundreds of the brightest white dots that I found distracting in the darker areas of the water. Are the remaining white dots distracting at all?

Technical Details

Canon 5Div with Sigma 150-600mm lens (at 283mm). f/11, 1/500, ISO 1600, handheld. DXO PhotoLab to remove noise and correct lens aberrations. Photoshop to dodge/burn, clone distractions and add a slight Orton glow.



This is beautiful! That back lighting is gorgeous and the reflection is just icing on the cake. I think you’ve handled the highlights and that lighting beautifully as well. Excellent processing!

The only suggestion I have might be to eliminate the URC and the brown rock/slope. It’s not bright or distracting that way, but the different color of the rock I think is what’s pulling the eye over. Not a huge deal and maybe not an issue with anyone else, so take it with a grain of salt…

To your questions, 1. the colors and hue look great! I look to the nuetral colors of the gray tree trunks to judge the hue and it looks pretty good - at least it’s not glaring to me any excess hue/color.
2. scraggly branches don’t bother me at all. I think they’re far enough away that visually they’re just one element, and not just a bunch of ugly sticks. In fact, I think as an element to the image, those scraggly’s are a positive addition
3. I think those tiny little dots which we learn are the cottonwood seeds - actually give the reflection some very cool texture - almost like I think it was Linda who posted the rainy scene thru a window screen. You’ve got the same kinda texture here. I think the reflection is wonderful here!

So other than the rock in the UR, I think this is a wonderful image!


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A lovely, peaceful scene! I agree with @Lon_Overacker about the rocks. I did a slight crop from the right and did a global Hue-Sat and desaturated reds. Then did a slight rotation to level the distant hints of ripples. The trunks feel a bit too blue and I used the neutral eyedropper in Curves to neutralize them. Maybe they could be even warmer, though.


This is well seen and photographed Jeanie. The greens look very natural so no, you did not go too far. AS far as the scraggly branches, I actually kind of like them so for sure no big deal to me. Had you not mentioned the floating cottonwood “cotton” I would never have guessed. The water looks terrific.
The one thing that immediately caught my eye though and has already been mentioned by both @Lon_Overacker, and @Diane_Miller is the brownish section in the URC as well as the reflection in the water. It’s not a make of break deal but it is the first thing that I noticed and immediately pulled my eye. It could either be cropped out or reduced like Diane did in her rework or maybe the tones could be worked on.
Regardless, this is a very nice image.

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Nice one here Jeanie!
I think the green is perfect. Don’t change this.
Those branches don’t bother me at all, but the dull brown lower right does a little. =)
The white dots add a lot and wish you would have left them in haha.

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@Lon_Overacker @Diane_Miller @David_Haynes @Matt_Payne

Thanks so much for your detailed comments everyone! I’ve considered all of them and made the following changes. (RP above)

  • I cloned over the red rocks in the URC. I chose cloning because the rocks are part of a road grade (just above the frame) and not natural hillside vegetation, so I cloned in more natural scrub brush and grasses.
  • I adjusted the color in the LRC to match the hillside I had just cloned.
  • I cropped a little off the right and bottom. I kept the aspect ratio as-is because I preferred having a little room to the right of the trees.
  • I brought back most of the white dots from the cottonwood cotton - I only removed those that were clearly in shadow and stood out like a sore thumb.
  • I rotated CCW ever so slightly.

I did not change the WB because I prefer the cooler tones - for me it makes the shade feel more inviting as a respite from the summer heat. The trunks that are being lit by the sun (the ones on the right) seem to be correctly color balanced and therefore, the bluer tones of the trunks on the left make sense to me since they are in shadow.


Looks great! Good work on the corner!

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