Tehachapi Oak

I was driving through the Tehachapi mountains last winter and came across this lone oak right off the road just begging to be shot. I liked the oak so much that I came back 3 hours later during sunset and captured this image. Any and all critiques are welcome.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Anything constructive

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

You guys give great advice. How can I make this better?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon z7, ISO 200, 24-70mm z lens, 1/50 @ f
F/9, 70mm

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1 Like

The oak tree is wonderful but without that great sky it would be less impressive. Simple, straightforward, yet pretty strong image.

It’s not very noticeable but the branches above the horizon line are darker than below it, a result of darkening the sky and catching the branches with it. You can create masks to prevent this.

This is a simple, but effective image, aided by the nice clouds and sky, as Igor noted, and the wonderful shape of that tree. I also like how you have some green / yellow color contrast on the grass at the base of the tree. It it also looks like you did some effective dodging and burning here, the light in the scene looks well controlled.

In terms of suggestions, my only thought is about color, which of course is very personal and subjective. I offer it not as an improvement, but rather an alternate interpretation. I though tit might be interesting to cool down some of the darker tones here (especially the darker grey clouds), to create a little warm/cool contrast. This changes the mood a bit though.

Actually this is a deceptively really good image. The more I look at it the more I appreciate it. Aside from the green grass beneath the oak the rolling hill has various shades of tonality that adds subtle complexity to a simple picture of a lone tree on a hill. These tones add volume to the land. The bright yellows in the sky might be just a tad too strong though.


I know this tree! Well, not really, but I say that because I’m always watching the hills when driving for scenes just like this - and this is a GREAT tree! And then finding the scene when the sky and conditions all come together.

The composition is wonderful and I’m quite enjoying this as presented. Sure, one can interpret colors, contrasts, etc. all based on personal preferences - and I may chose differently (only slightly) but that’s not to say this isn’t processed beautifully. well done.


Thank you all for your feedback. Ed, I do like the cooler version you presented here. Igor, thanks for suggesting to tone down the yellows in the sky. Lon, I believe you may be surrounded by these trees where you live. Western Slope of the Sierra?? Thanks for your feedback.

Thanks Lon! I appreciate your input.

Thanks Igor! I will look at toning down the yellows in the sky. Much Appreciated!

Excellent image, David. I love this type of image, especially with the gentle diagonal running through it and somewhat dappled light on the hill. I do agree with Igor on the yellow in the sky, but I wouldn’t tone it down too much. The only suggestion I have to perhaps dodge the dark LLC just a wee bit so that it doesn’t grab the eye. Beautiful.