Riparian Woods

I’ve been critiquing much and posting little recently. I feel a bit guilty about that so I decided to post this today.

There is a stretch of highway 58 between Eugene and highway 97 that’s all lush evergreens. But periodically the highway will cross a bridge and open to some riparian woods that were all gold in November. The color change was so dramatic that I was drawn to it. I later processed this to emphasize my feelings about this warmth.

Nikon D810, Tamron 24-70@56mm, iso 64, 0.5 sec, f/16

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

This is lovely, Igor. The subdued light is perfect and showcases the subtle autumn color in the brush rather nicely and the wealth of details in the large version is amazing. Wonderful image.

This is excellent work, Igor. Very well composed and the subtle color palette is beautiful. Your thoughtful approach to composition is clearly evident. I’m on my iPad so hard to critically evaluate the processing but at least on the iPad it looks spot-on. Thanks for sharing.

I love the luminosity. The image has this wonderful glow about it. The color palette is soothing and along with the soft contrast works well to show off all of the detail.

The complexity of this woodland scene is by far the star here. A beautiful composition that goes a long way to highlight this.

Tremendous job here Igor.

I like this image a lot Igor, the subtle, muted, warm colors create a nice sense of late autumn in a forest. It also has a very delicate feeling, I think due to the the interesting shapes of the bare aspen branches, as well as to the lower contrast, warm processing. The composition works very well, the lack of leaves allows the viewer to see deep into the is grove, and i like all the trees receding into the background. Nicely done.

I’m afraid I’m just the opposite - I haven’t posted or critiqued anything in a long time; just been too busy.

Very few people possess the skill to effectively see and compose a scene such as this, but that’s just one of the reasons I like this so much. I study these images of yours in order to better learn that process of first seeing this, and then composing it. It’s a struggle for me that I seldom win. You seem to do it with ease.

This is very attractive, and by that, I mean it actually attracts your eye and invites you to explore further. The lightness, texture, and detail of the trunks first grab your eye, and the outreaching branches are like welcoming arms, but then your eye starts floating around to check everything else out. For me, my eye next went immediately to the darker brown at the base of the second tree to explore the details there, then outward to the lighter browns and then to the yellows both in front and back, everything being in balance. Then, to my one negative, my eye was drawn to the clearing in the top left, where it looks like there might be a dirt road or just a clearing. That is a real eye magnet for me. I might consider working with that by either burning that area or cloning in some surrounding vegetation.

Take this next critique with a large grain of salt because I’m viewing this on my cheap, old, crappy, uncalibrated laptop at work, but the contrast appears to need a slight boost; nothing dramatic, just a slight boost.

All in all this is the type of image that really warms my heart because it not only displays the true beauty of the wilderness, but also the true skill of the artist. Well done, my friend.

Igor, I echo Bill’s praise and compliment you on seeing and composing such complex scenes and you do it often! I have no nits…Beautifully done!


Such a quiet, understated… yet brilliant image. What is most striking to me are the subtle colors and variety of color of the underbrush. So often it’s the trees/leaves themselves that are the stars, but here it’s the backdrop of the undergrowth. The boles and branches add a positive element (a reversal it seems in most forest landscapes.) Beautifully seen and captured.


I am all by myself on this, but this image is not really grabbing me at all. I find my eye wandering around and not really gripping anything. Go figure, as the image is getting a really good reception.

It’s all right Harley. I value your honest judgment. I have noticed that sometimes will often make the same comment as the previous commenter resulting in a chain of like comments, until someone makes a different type of comment and another chain begins. It makes it difficult to appraise your own work. Perhaps you’ve just started a new chain. lol.

PS and the other thing is that people are being particularly kind and generous with their comments recently. Or so it appears to me.

@Ed_Lowe , I am glad you enjoyed the subtle autumn beauty here.

@Dave_Dillemuth, I am glad you appreciated the loose composition here.

@Anil_Rao, I believe I shared this with you by email a couple of months ago. Yes, I worked on the luminosity of this scene because that’s how it felt to me. There was a golden glow to the scene which I tried to impart. I believe I raised the exposure and reduced some of contrast and I remember raising the presence of the browns here as well.

@Ed_McGuirk, Yes, I did want the eye to wander through the undergrowth from near to far.

@Bill_Chambers. I’m glad that you like my work. We seem to appreciate the same things in photography.

That’s a good observation, @Lon_Overacker and @Ed_McGuirk. Most tree images are artistic creations of lines and patterns. This one is an ‘invitation’.

@Igor_Doncov, thanks for quoting that line - because it made me realize the typo. I’m guessing the typo is obvious, but potentially could be a different meaning? rather than “holes and branches…” I meant to write “boles and branches…” Hopefully no one went looking for “holes” in the composition. Ha ha! :roll_eyes:

Good job finding such a nice comp amid such chaos. Very nicely captures a true sense of the natural world. Light looks perfect on my monitor.

Wow, the large version is impressive! Stunning details throughout and lovely understated colors.

Igor (and all)

This is my first critique so please take this with a very very small grain of salt.

First, this is a wonderful composition and I really like it. I think you really have something here. Well done. My only nit is that perceptually overall it feels a little muddy and a little too muted - mostly in the midtones. Despite all the layers in the attached file, all I’ve really done is added a touch of contrast to the midtones, adjusted the color on the trunks a bit, and added a touch more yellow to the 3/4 tones and highlights to bring out the golden light you wanted to emphasize in the composition - all in service of opening things up just a bit. Again, this is only my take, so please take it with a very small grain of salt.

You have a wonderful image here. Thank you for sharing.

Thank you for your suggested modification, William. It’s actually closer to what the camera produced originally.

This is wonderful!! One of those images I just love looking at.