Searching (rework)

New Version:


There was little light in this slot canyon but what there was of it made objects glow. That and the silence is what impressed me. The trees that grew here were thin and struggled due to lack of light. I found the place solemn and mysterious somehow.

Oh, and one more thing. During all this filming there was an owl sitting right over my head which I wasn’t aware of. I only found out when two visitors passed by and told me. She said it was a Barred Owl. That’s right, not a Barn Owl. Apparently the darkness of the canyon suited the bird just fine. It was calm as good be. Not even a ‘squirt’, which they do when they’re nervous.

Let me know what you think. I hope I captured the sense of it all.

GFX50R, 32-64mm, f/11


Igor, it’s a small drama to me . A lost feeling. Well made!

Definitely a “wish I was there to enjoy it” image, Igor. The soft lighting and gentle path is so inviting. Very nicely seen and captured.

Hey Igor, I really like the shot. I love how the trees catch the soft light in the right side of the frame and kind of lean over to the left side. My only critique would be include more of the tree on the left side because it kind of gets cut off and that’s where the trees on the right or leaning so in my eye goes there I get kind of stuck in the frame. Again, great use of light and I can tell that you really have an eye for photography.

I love this kind of light, Igor, for the reasons you’ve demonstrated here - because it is diffuse, it gives everything it touches not only dimensionality but an almost numinous glow, as though lit from within. In that regard, you have been entirely successful with this image. But there is another aspect of this kind of lighting which I think you’ve missed here - that it has the capacity to hide as much as it reveals. In this scene everything is seen and for me, it undermines the sense of mystery that you’re trying to achieve. I think more could have been made of the tree over to the left of the frame with its highlighted leaves, both in composing the picture in the field and, possibly, in post. I could imagine those leaves in this light kind of coming out of shadow, both hidden and seen, framed by the those elegantly crossed bare branches. Do you have other compositions from this location in this light?

Love the warm glow and the crossed trees. What @David_Johnston said about the tree in the upper left. I would have either given it more space or composed it out entirely.

Yes, I have several other compositions - some with less of the tree and some without the tree at all. But I decided on this one for it’s implication. I don’t want to write anything further except to say that the tree is cut off purposely. It is not an oversight. @Sean_Bagshaw, @David_Johnston

I found this image of a Barred Owl. It looks like it belongs near my trees, doesn’t it?

Hey Igor,
I like this - I was wondering what your thoughts would be on creating a bit more separation between the trees and the canyon walls? Perhaps a slight color balance shift for the trees? Just a thought!

That’s good insight. Intention is one of the most essential components of the creative process in my opinion.

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Are you referring to the crossing trees or the ones near the frame? I guess I could raise the saturation of the leaves on the distant trees, and maybe the luminosity as well. But I suspect that you mean the crossing trunks. I suppose even the leaves on the ground could be made to pop as well.

I was referring to the trunks of the near trees.

RE: background tree cut off. Looks like the foreground trees are driving it out of the picture.

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Going with your title, I’m guessing that the trees are searching for the light. The large trunks seem to be reaching out and that little tree has just enough brightness to show us there is light off that way. That being said, my first reaction was that the large trunks were chasing the small tree. The orientation of the large tree feels ominous, looming over that small tree. The placement of the small tree at the edge of the frame enhances the tension - it has almost gotten away from the large tree.

I’d love to hear what your intention was.

You pretty much have it Bonnie. The light takes you from the darkness towards the leafed tree and out of the frame. It’s about navigating and finding your way in life towards the light.

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Both of these concepts completely change the way I’m experiencing this photo now. Love it. I’m just not conceptual enough :smiley:

This is a very interesting scene. With how soft the light is I would expect it to be cooler though. I know reflected light in these red canyons can be very warm, but I am seeing all these shadows and hardly any cool tones. I think you’d get more separation if you just slightly cooled down the white balance.

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@Eric_Bennett, @Matt_Payne, @Kerry_Gordon

Thank you for your suggestions. I have incorporated them. There is now a color shift that’s closer to the. cooler colors. I think this might be an improvement although I had processed it purposely to be warmer. I have to be with this for a while to be sure that I don’t like this more now just because it’s different. I decided to not emphasize the colors of the leaves more in order that that does not pull attention from the crossing tree, which remains the main attraction. I’ve added it above to allow comparison.

Since I am late here I have the unfair advantage of knowing why you composed this image the way you did. I completely see your intention here and I admire the thought process you put into the composition. I see that life force of light in the ULC and the little tree bathing in it while the larger crossed trees trunks are leaning towards it as if drawn to it by some mystical force. I also prefer the newer version which is darker overall but also lighter near the trail exiting the frame so there is more contrast and tension and I also feel like the color works better. The original is too yellow for me. Well done!

Where (general region) was this taken Igor? Slot canyons always make me think of the desert southwest where Barred Owls really uncommon; that’s a cool sighting if that’s where you were.

I prefer your new version, although I could see just a tad less saturation.

@Ben_van_der_Sande, @linda_mellor, @Matt_Payne, @Kerry_Gordon, @David_Haynes, @Eric_Bennett, @John_Williams, @Sean_Bagshaw, @Jim_Gavin, @David_Johnston

Thank you for your helpful comments. They were instrumental in improving the color and luminosity.