Secret Places + new version

New Version:


Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

My desire is to show mystery through light and shadow. There is a lot of texture here as well which makes it complex.

Creative direction

I am looking for the Rembrandt look in both tonality and usage of color. Emotionally I am trying to arouse the viewer without necessarily an interest in the subject matter (wood and stone).

Specific Feedback

I am interested in all feedback on this one. Well, I don’t think there is a conceptual content here actually.

Does anyone find this image unsettling? It strikes me that some may find it so.

Technical Details

GFX50R, 45-100mm, f/11, focus stacked


This is a part of an uprooted tree in the Hoh Rain Forest State Park on a rainy day. Fortunately, or not, none of the roots were wet.

Igor, I see an image great in color and form. There is so much to see in it. A tribute to photography !!
As you called one of mine. The same for this of you " Deification of nature"!

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This is a case where I ‘improved’ it to the point where I destroyed it’s original intent.

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What I am loving about this image, Igor, is how the various textures, forms and colors all work in harmony. For me at least, creating a fascinating photo to enjoy for hours. Must admit, I do prefer the lighter original version.


Thank you Linda. The image was made lighter because I expected that to be the reaction from the darker image. So you’re right on.

I find myself a little twisted here. I prefer the composition of the darker image, but wish it were slightly lighter (not as much as the lighter version). I love the variety of tones, hues, and textures as it gives the viewer so much to explore. Excellent eye to recognize the value of the scene!

Here is yet another version. Is that bright area too bright compared to the rest?

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IMO, this is the best iteration yet. I’m liking this.

Yup, the third one seems the most balanced in terms of what we can see and a darker mystery that makes us wonder.

Of the three, the last one has the best brightness (not too much, not too little). That being said, I’m finding it relatively flat in terms of light vs. dark. You said you want to show mystery through light and shadow. I’m not seeing much difference between light and shadow in this one. In light (ha ha) of your initial comment, I’d see something more along these lines, although I know you prefer more evenly lit scenes (I couldn’t really tell where the light was on anything other than the main root, so my edit may not be the best depiction).

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@_Kris, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @linda_mellor, @Bill_Chambers.

Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Thank you for the rework, @Bonnie_Lampley . I like your version as well. You’ve basically highlighted 3 areas and allowed the rest to go dark. It gives me the idea that the main root could go lighter than it is by a tad. I like the texture in the lower right quadrant and don’t want it to go dark. I am aware that all the attention is drawn to that area, which I consider a weakness.