Splash of Aspen Color

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Not sure of any technical things aside from the focus being more shallow than a typical landscape image. A slight falloff behind the subject.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

The splash of color and trunks of aspen trees are what I mainly enjoyed when walking around these forests. I was happy to find something that showed both! Let me know if you see any compositional issues pop out at you.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Shot on a tripod with a long focal length.

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Lots to enjoy about this image. Compositionally, I appreciate the bright trunks on left and right forming an edge boundary. Normally bright edges take me out of the scene, but not here, maybe because the trees are inside the edge, or because center trunks are also bright. The foliage is in two cascades, the left sparser than the right, which adds interest. Funny, the leaf bunches in lower half of the right hang like bunches of gold grapes.
I think the near-white highlights of some leaves are distracting. They could use color brushed with a mode of Darker Color or Soft Light, brushed on the subject layer or on a Dodge/Burn 50% gray layer.

Thanks for spotting and conveying the tree/leaf combo.

Thank you for the very thorough feedback! Those do look like grapes I never noticed that before. Thank you for the suggestion on the painting in color again to those leafs that are near blowing a color channel. I noticed that while processing but never thought of the solution you came up with! I will have to try that this evening on the computer and share the result on here.

Hi Kyle, you’ve caught a very pleasing image here and I’m enjoying the contrast of yellow leaves against the white bark of the aspens. Our white birch, here in New England, look just like them. I’m glad you composed the large splash of color slightly off center, which adds to the interest and creates a sense of depth.

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Nice image @Kyle_Kephart
I love back lit leafs.
I do however think that the photo is a bit on the brighter side and some highlights on the leafs are clipped probably.
I downloaded the image and darkness the shadows pulled the highlights and added some saturation to yellow and shifted them ever so slightly to the orange side
I think that highlights them more and make them the emphasis of the image while keeping the structure of the aspen truncks
I hope you like it


Hey @Kyle_Kephart,

Beautiful image. Those yellow leafs such are photographic gold.
I enjoy the bright feeling of your image, the more ethereal feel of it.
I do agree with has been said about the highlights clipping. I would also clone out that ULC leafs creeping on the edge.

Thanks for sharing,

Thanks for sharing your edit! The highlights were very close to clipping and I added a image above where I painted in a bit to pull those down. I prefer a brighter image especially when the background is already fading into black. I do like the way that you approached the darker side as it feels completely different!

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Kyle: When I first started doing serious landscape work I thought that aspen images ought to be easy. I quickly found out they are not. I think you composed this very well and the overall processing is good. I do like Aref’s rework as well. Nicely seen and captured. >=))>


Thank you Bill! I took walked into those forests in Colorado think it would be simple, but that was certainly not the case. I was also there past peak color so many of the leafs had fallen already.