Rolling Hills

Rework-1 Brightened the whites as a suggestion by @Matt_Payne


I’ve been waiting for a good snowfall all winter. We had a snow storm around the holidays, but the high winds blew the snow off the trees and the feel like temps. were way below zero. By the time the fringed temperatures left, we had temps. in the 50s which turned the snow to ice and then quickly melted it. I spent the entire day out driving around the country side to areas I knew would be wonderful for taking photos. I also discovered a few back roads I have never driven on. This was a dead end road I discovered and where I took this image. The snow stayed on the trees the entire day. It was a great time whether I got any good photos or not.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I loved this view because of all the rolling hills and layers. The snow was rolling and had two layers. The middle trees were rolling. The BG had two rolling hills and made two layers. I wanted to include the entire scene, so I thought a panorama would work well.

Technical Details

Sony a7r v 70-200mm @ 70mm
ss/1/80 handheld
ISO 500


Donna, Luckey you with all that snow. I like the image because it shows the gray of winter. And the trees at the left side with more contrast pushing my eye in that gray. Well made.

This is really nice.
I would like to see a bit more white in the snow… and not so much grey. This is a common problem in photographing snowy scenes. Easy to fix though - in LR just pull your corner of the curves to the left from the top right, like this (from one of my own photos for illustration purposes only).

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I love the aesthetics of this image very much – it almost feels like a line drawing with all of the dark tree trunks and such. I also like the shapes and flow of the two white hills in the bottom and how they come in like waves from the left.

Overall this perfectly conveys the feeling of a cold, dreary winter day. The kind I love going out for a walk on and then coming home to a nice hot cup of tea and some cookies. :blush:

This image really gives me the feel of standing in the middle of the scene on a cold winter day. I enjoy the diverse layers with their gentle curves. Finally the group of trees at the left makes for an interesting focal point and a place for my eyes to rest after exploring the whole composition. The tonal range works perfectly for me conveying the serene atmosphere of this place and moment.


I love this. A wonderful winter landscape. This has such a great winter mood. And just thinking about this now, this is a barren, winter landscape - much like someone might describe a barren desert. Not sure if that makes any sense.

I think one could argue the composition is a bit awkward with the stand of trees all the way to the left, but the more I’ve viewed this, the more brilliant I think the composition is. There’s not really a tension or dynamic per se, but the relationship is clear and the stand of trees to me, are simply repeated endlessly in the layers going way back to the far hills. And the foreground snow-covered mounds are repeated in the tree-covered hills.

Just wonderful as presented. I wouldn’t change a thing.


ps. Oh, and a followup from your last post and my comments around color profile, camera data, etc. Thank you! this image has both included, camera/EXIF data and the srgb profile. Kudos!

@Ben_van_der_Sande @Tom_Nevesely @Peter_Richter Thanks for your nice remarks about my image. These reviews always give me incentives to improve my compositions and techniques. Thank you.

One small tweak, one big difference! Thank you Matt for taking the time to critique several of my images. I appreciate your expertise help making me a better photographer. I was working on another snow image today that I’ll post soon and at the very end, I brought up the curves tool in PS and brightened the snow. Yes, it made a difference :grin:.

I see that your going to be a guest on the Out of Chicago webinar “A-Ha Moments”. I have registered, but I’m not sure I’ll be at home to attend. I’ll catch the rerun. Sounds like a fun webinar.

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Oh Lon, this made my heart sing :open_mouth:. Now comes the challenge to not disappoint. Thank you for the nice review. It gives me encouragement.

Awesome - yeah, that snow pops now! =)
Great -hope to see you at OOC!

Donna, this view does a great job of capturing the feeling of winter and setting it up as a panorama fits the scene perfectly. The brighter version really lets the foreground grab attention and it improves the separation from the more distant ridges. The snow blasted sides of the trees on the left and in the first valley help those areas get attention also.

Really simple and beautiful scene you’ve captured Donna. I really like the re-work with the snow now coming alive!

Great tip Matt. Thanks. Now I need to get out and find some snow. :crazy_face:

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@Mark_Seaver @Mark_Muller Thanks guys. I was thrilled to find this shot down a dead end road I turned on. Not often that happens. It really was an exciting day to be out looking for scenes to photograph. I think winter snows have become my favorite time to get out and take photos. The snow covers up so much clutter.

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Hey, glad you found it helpful!

Well, I stand corrected! Love the rework! Thanks for taking the time to consider the suggestions. The added brightness takes this up a notch! Well done Donna!