The Expanse

What makes this image expressive?

When looking at this image, I’m instantly transported back to this vast wheat field in Tuscany. It gives me a sense of scale, of how small people are in comparison to the big and open landscape. In my mind one could walk for miles and not see another person or sign of civilization. I could spend days there just watching this field moving in the wind while clouds go by. It is a place where one can just exist in peace.

Your videos have inspired me to go back to some older images of mine and process them from scratch in black and white. So I couldn’t pass on the opportunity to submit one of those for feedback.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is welcome, really.


Firstly Martin, thanks for another beautiful image and your very kind words. I appreciate that and it’s nice to have a positive influence on other artist’s creative growth.

What a beautiful scene, I have no idea where this is, but it screams Southern Europe, Italy maybe? The trees seem to awesome and majestic. The wheat fields are luminous and I get that feeling of expansiveness. I think you have processed this image really well, almost!

The top seems too dark to me to convey your intention.

What are the attributes of expansiveness?

Openness, infinite, uplifting, emotionally high.

Capping the top of the frame with a really black band makes it feel like heaven is falling in!

It is too easy to listen to camera club judges who tell you that you should contain an image, vignette it to stop the viewer wanting to leave the frame! Is that expansive?

If you put intention before processing mantra’s your images will reflect more accurately your emotional intention. If you religiously follow guidelines written by people who do not understand emotional articulation then you’re going to limit yourself.

Thanks again for the kind words.


Thank you very much @Alister_Benn :pray: Keeping these mantras out of your head while processing your images is harder than I thought. I will try to go more with the flow and not limit myself to what is deemed best practice.

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Yeah, it can be so hard! We really do get sucked into the concept of repetitious behaviour and external expectation.

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Hey this is really nice work, Martin! I like how the dark sky holds down the top and the same with the grass at the bottom. Really nicely processed here.

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Wonderful, wonderful image.

Alister writes of framing, or bounding an image as being a limiter - or something to that effect. I don’t disagree, but wanted to comment that I think that the darkness of the blue sky (aka Ansel-like sky…) and the gradation of dark at the bottom of the wheat field - work together to “frame” the image quite nicely. Certainly no limits capped here as your impression of the grand landscape and scale still comes through as presented.

Great choice on the b&w, although my mind does wonder what the color version is like with the combo of blue, golden fields of wheat and a splash of greens in the trees.

Well done. Terrific image.


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Thank you so much @Matt_Payne @Lon_Overacker :raised_hands: This framing only really works in black & white though. The color version is much more bright and vibrant in comparison. I also didn’t really like the amount of green in the wheat field so maybe this is a location to come back to in autumn :thinking:

I would have to agree with Alister that the top, and even the bottom, of the frame are a touch too dark - especially if you keep your expansive intent in mind. Though the sky does not bother me as much as bottom of the frame does. I would prefer to see a bit more detail in the lowest section of the grasses, to help better lead the eye upward to the trees.

Otherwise, the framing is wonderfully done, and the clouds could be no better, as they follow the curvature of the landscape.

You have some beautiful tones in this image and I also like your composition. I especially like that single tree on the horizon on the left side as it really balances out the whole scene.