Threading the Needles

I spotted this on a hike in the Trinity Alps, on a damp spring day (last year). The thread of something (anyone know what it is?) weaving through the pine needles and moss was quite striking.

Specific Feedback Requested

As usual, one of the corners is soft (lower right; I often spy these scenes while hiking, without tripod). Is that a deal killer?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
a7r3, 105mm, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 800.


This image is so you Bonnie. Playing with our minds by offering outlines that could suggest a number of things. I see a man kneeling right now. A praying mantis? But the white outline is beautiful on its own as it dips and curves diagonally from corner to corner. Great vision to see an image here. As I looked at this I wondered how much the white was whitened to stand out so well against the colored surface. It’s an unusual image for NPN and very creative. I like it a lot. It’s hard to critique this because it’s really an intellectual image rather than emotional and much of processing is to enhance the emotion your trying to get across.

I am a sucker for stuff like moss, so I like this image for that factor alone. And given how chaotic the strands are, it does a surprisingly good job of adding some cohesion to the overall composition. I think that’s because it’s diagonal flow is so strong, it organizes the chaos of the strands. And teh neat shapes of the moss draws your eye across the rest of the image.

The ULC is a bit soft too. But I think in scenes like this, softness is more of an issue in the bottom foreground corners than it is in the top/background corners, I think it’s just what our eyes expect to see in photographs. I think the LRC is somewhat salvageable via darkening or adding clarity locally. And even handheld, focus stacking could have helped here, something to remember for future tripod-less hikes.

Thanks, @Igor_Doncov and @Ed_McGuirk for your thoughts.

Igor, the white-ish thread really was that bright against the moss and needles. That’s what caught my eye initially. I actually toned down the greens and yellows of the moss, especially the yellows. The moss on the left was really yellow, so in addition to darkening it, I adjusted the tone to be more green, so the orange pine needles would stand out more.

Ed, that’s a good point about softness in the corners (upper corners are less noticeable) - good thing to remember. One of these days, I will get on board the focus stacking train - ha ha.

This is lovely. I really like your compositions - so well placed.
Maybe not technically perfect - but who’s counting? - and that too, ads to your work

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