Time with the Firns

Have always wanted to photograph what is a very large dense patch of firns. I spent most of my time on the larger patch to no avail and then saw this intimate scene. The dappling of light attracted me to the composition.

Specific Feedback Requested

Composition and exposure

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
65 mm, f/33, 0.6 sec, iso 100


This is a most excellent composition. I really love this image; the thought that went into it; the careful arrangement of elements within the frame. I also like the darkness in the lrc and how it plays against the lighter areas in other parts. I guess that’s what you meant by dappled light. It looks as though you had a small breeze and the 0.6 secs was not fast enough. There are places where the ferns are a bit blurry due to movement. But they’re not in the critical areas where the viewer’s attention will go - such the fg ferns in the bottom left. A fine image. Don’t know what to suggest. There are a couple of hot ferns but in a way that’s a good thing.

Your great composition makes this a really good image. I agree with Igor’s more detailed evaluation. Very well done!

They look like ostrich ferns - very photogenic and contrasted with the dead tree, very evocative of life, change and renewal. The blurry waving ferns add to that in my opinion and given the breeze I might have opted for an even longer shutter speed, but it’s not critical. The hot spots look tamed, but natural and so do the shadows. The LRC looks a tad dark, but it is counterpoint so it is a supporting element I wouldn’t change much … maybe play with it a little and see what you think. Nicely worked and presented. Forest slices help harness creativity and skill so well.

Thank you @Igor_Doncov @Kris_Smith @Ola_Jovall for your comments and feedback. My intent was to have no motion in the shot but it was quite windy. Kristin, the suggestion for an even longer speed is interesting. I may go back to re-shoot both ways as it is in between now.

Mario, it does seem like you and I have been shooting the same subjects recently (except for Great Sand Dunes). Not surprising since we are both in the Northeast. I have been out a lot this spring shooting waterfalls, streams, moss, spring foliage etc. But out in the forest I keep noticing how gorgeous the ferns are at this time of year. Their shapes and colors are just magnificent.

But ferns are harder to work into compositions than one might think, I have been struggling with how to present them effectively. I think you hit on the same conclusion that I have, which is that the ferns can work well as complementary elements that enhance the overall scene. Here the stump and log add some structure to the composition, while allowing the other-wise chaotic ferns to add some color and texture to the overall scene. Very nicely seen on your part in this image, it works well.