Sea of Ferns

A shot taken yesterday in the Quabbin region of Massachusetts. In a recent post of ferns by @Mario_Cornacchione, I remarked how he and I seem to be shooting similar subjects recently. Not surprising given we both live in the northeast. This spring I have been shooting a lot of waterfalls, moss, wildflowers and spring foliage. But the one thing I kept noticing was how gorgeous the ferns looked at this time of year. In some places it seemed like there was a sea of ferns on the forest floor. I elected to go with a relatively simple composition that emphasized the “sea of ferns”, with only enough trees to add a little structure to the composition. I’m also a big fan of symmetry in case you hadn’t noticed :grin:

Specific Feedback Requested

any critique or comments are welcome

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Canon 5D MK4, Canon 70-200mm f4lens, at 96 mm, ISO 400, 1/6 sec at f16

Rework with better tonal balancing of the tree


A beauty Ed. I agree structure is needed as seductive as the symmetries within an individual fern or as a group growing in the same angle/direction is. I spent an hour trying to focus just on the ferns without one image that seemed to work. The symmetry of the 3 trees mirrors that in an individual fern TME. I wouldn’t change a thing.

A stunner, Ed. The textures and shapes are so complementary and there’s nothing extra here. Amazing that the undergrowth is so dominated by the ferns. A lot of the time when I try this, there’s some odd bush or something that breaks up the ‘sea’. The darkness beyond them adds a little sinister note that makes the bright, open area with the ferns seem friendlier; safer. Well done.

I love the “experience” of getting lost in the ferns, Ed. Very beautifully processed. I enjoy the greens a lot. Glad that you place the trunks without any overlaps and I really like the two different green hues here. I am partial towards cropping a little bit on the right, but that’s probably just my relationship with 3:2 AR.

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Ed, although the ferns are the main highlight or attraction here the symmetry of the tree(s) is or are excellent. As a result of the balance in the trees it minimizes our eye wander.
As a desert dweller I’m envious of such lush vegetation… :+1:

This is an interesting image. On the one hand it’s a very simple composition and on the other the central tree does seem to have a metaphorical presence about (dare I say it has ‘meaning’). The way it seems to float in the ferns and be apart from the background gives it a presence and allows the mind to make associations. Therefore it is the most interesting component. The ferns, even though they are brighter, are the chorus in the play.

Regarding the tree. (1) There is a rather abrupt tonal boundary between the bright left side and the shadier side that looks artificial. I would look to see why that is. (2) It would be nice if the right side of the tree had greater tonal separation from the background. There is some already but suspect the tree would have a greater presence if that side was a tad lighter.

Enjoy peace as found in a forest on a quiet morning. Easy colors in a simple image-frame. Well made, Ed

@Igor_Doncov @Ben_van_der_Sande @Mario_Cornacchione @Kris_Smith @Paul_Breitkreuz @Adhika_Lie thank you all for your comment’s I appreciate you taking the time to give me yuor thoughts.

Mario, when I left comments on your fern image this morning, it struck me how much it reminded me of the fern image that I took yesterday while out trying to photograph Mountain Laurel. So I decided to post this. The ferns do look great in June, no wonder we both got fascinated with them.

  1. it was overcast yesterday morning, and to my left there was a small open meadow, but on all 3 other sides there was dense forest relatively close to the main tree. The forest was very dark, and the only light was coming from my left. I actually did very minimal processing here, this is the way the light hit the tree. It had also rained the night before, perhaps one side is wetter/darker than the other too based on wind direction.
  2. as usual, you are right Igor. Some dodge/burn does increase the presence of the tree. I have posted a rework back up top next to he original. Thanks for spotting this, I think it helps.

What a simple and beautiful image. I just love all the ferns. I can’t add any more than what everyone else has said. Just want to say how much I enjoy this, Ed.

My, those ferns are dense and deep. The more I look at the image, the more I appreciate its simplicity. Of the two images, I prefer the first because it puts less emphasis on the tree . The three trees create a nice triangular comp too. The foreground ferns tend to point the eye left, which is fine. Wonderful intimate landscape.

I think I like the original better. The added contrast between the brightness of the different trunks works nicely. The centeredness of the composition probably breaks a variety of different rules, but it totally works here.

Ferns are always interesting to photograph, and give many opportunities combining them with other things like in this image or as recently shown by @Mario_Cornacchione, and/or having them backlit.

This is such a great composition including the tree trunks. I like best the first posting. I could not find any important to improve.

I will be the outlier on this one, as the comp is not really working for me. I find the ferns and the trunk compete rather than compliment and I find myself drawn to the trunk like it was a magnet, yet I want to explore the ferns. The greens and grays work great. But as said, I am out there by myself on this one.