The Abandoned Campsite

I came across this scene as the sun was receding behind a cloud bank so I had to work fast. Made several composition before settling on the last one which I felt was the strongest.

I don’t know if you would call this a grand landscape of intimate. It’s really not very grand at all but the sky is featured prominently.


Dick’s rework


Igor, I loved this from the thumbnail, and it only got better looking at it large. The light is subtle and spectacular at the same time, and the separation of foreground trees to background mountain is quite nice. There is a lot of character in that stand of trees.

The only thing I might suggest, if you’re willing, is to clone out that thing in the lower left corner (stump? rock?). It pulls my eye away from all the beauty in this scene. If not, perhaps lightening it a bit to match the surrounding land would minimize it just enough.

Glad this struck a chord for you Craig. I don’t know if that’s a stump or firewood someone left behind. I’m not entirely sure if content aware fill will clean it up smoothly. I’ll try to remove it. I just don’t want to make it worse in the process as it doesn’t really stand out very much.

I have looked at this image several times and it keeps drawing me back, but I wasn’t sure why. I personally would probably not have been drawn to this scene but that what is interesting about photography, our own personal vision. There is a starkness to the scene and the light gives softens it. The composition is interesting my eye keeps exploring it. The drab fall color, the shape of the trees and the lack of leaves on several of them gives me a feeling of loss as I look at the image. That is what makes a successful image is if it evokes a feeling as you look at it. Well scene and photographed.

It’s the light in this scene that captivates me. The spotlight effect on the sides of the aspen, and the land in the mid-ground adds a lot of depth and dimension to this scene. Your processing of this light is excellent as well.

What I also love about this scene is how different each of the aspens look. Many times aspen images have trees that are so uniform looking. However this image is something different, the quirky shapes of the aspens creates a lot of visual interest. This is a really interesting grand landscape Igor, not everyone would have seen the potential here, but you capitalized on it.

This looks like Colorado instead of Oregon, did you take a fall trip ?

Yes I did. This is Utah. My previous images starting with ‘Slot Canyon’ are all from Utah. I went to shoot images of canyons and pinnacles and came back with aspens. Go figure.

Oh, and ‘Autumn Grass’ was taken during that trip as well:

You nailed it! It’s always gratifying to a photographer when the viewer understands what he’s trying to get across.

This is a very engaging image, Igor. The lighting and color are both subtle and it makes me slow down and let my eye wander and enjoy all the nuances of the scene. The aspens are all different shapes and sizes and each seems to have it’s own character as some are straight, some are bent, some are short and some are tall, some have leaves and some don’t. Even though this has a stark late season fall look to it the light still makes it inviting.This also has a nice depth to it with alternating bands of shadow and light. Beautifully done.

This conveys an end-of-the-season feeling. I can feel the chill in the air, with the wan sunlight barely peeping through. The personality of each of the trees, though, lends it a touch of life.

I had considered titling it ‘Approaching Winter’. Therefore you’re on the mark.

Later I changed my mind because I didn’t want it to be just a comment on the seasons.

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Igor, this is a great look at a world that’s often overlooked because it’s not spectacular (it’s just comforting and comfortable, which is special). The story you tell here is outstanding, with the ancient aspens, a campfire ring, sage and ridge. The stories those tree tell…

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Thank you, Mark. I’m now n a phase of photography where I’m trying to use landscapes to comment on other aspects of life rather than the landscape itself. I passed you spectacular scenes in lower Utah that I would have drooled over a few years ago to concentrate on subjects which personally moved me. I wasn’t always successful because you can’t plan on such compositions. As a result I didn’t come back with many keepers and I’m still evaluating whether this approach is a good one.

When an image brings forth so many articulate, emotion-filled comment from fine photographers, I am very appreciative of seeing the image and for NPN.
I too enjoyed the end-of-season feel conveyed by the elements of the image as well as the subdued presentation, with brushes of yellow from aspen and distant rabbitbrush.
That said, to me there is a lot of bland foreground, so I was tempted to add a little contrast in that area, and to the sagebrush.

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@Craig_Moreau, @Mark_Seaver, @Ed_McGuirk, @Dick_Knudson, @Ed_Lowe, @Bonnie_Lampley, @Richard_Teller

Thank you for your comments. They are much appreciated. Yes, the image could be cropped from top and bottom but to my mind that doesn’t significantly alter the composition. The stump should probably be removed. I’ll do so when a print is made.

I quite like this one, Igor. Beautiful comp and light. The trees are starkly elegant. I would not crop it or even get rid of the stump. I find it adds nicely to the scene. Excellent.

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Actually I like the stump. It fills what would otherwise be more foreground and to my eye balances with the gnarly trunk on the far right. Makes the near part of the image not just a row of interesting trees. … Hmmm “does it take away from them?” is apparently the question others have.

My apologies, Dick. I had to place the images side by side to see the changes you made. Now that I see your edits better I do think the improve the foreground a bit. The shadow at the bottom becomes more prominent, thus adding a measure of contrast. Thank you.