Too small in the frame?

This is an image of Cold Mountain - same mountain named after the famous Civil War novel. I’ve not read the story, but the concept inspires me and I thought this small house at the base of Cold Mtn in early Spring was a welcoming scene. Please let me know if you think this shot works or not. I’m OK either way.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

I’m thinking this shot only works if printed large…what do you think? Is the house too small to be appreciated? Please enlarge in order to assess image. Thanks!

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Compositional advice would be great.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
1/30sec; f/8.0; ISO50 130mm; Single shot

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For me the image is all about the beautiful light and the layering with the various ridgelines. I like your idea, but I personally think the house is to small in the frame and it does tug at my eye so I would probably be inclined to clone it out. The varying shades of green are lovely and the clouds in the sky help finish the scene for me. Beautiful image.

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Ed summarized exactly what I was going to say. I find the house too small , but the light, color, ridge lines and depth are real nice.


Wonderful landscape. I think the vertical capture/presentation works perfectly here.

The house? Actually I’ll rock the boat a little and say that I like it! Ok, sure, it’s pretty small in the frame - but it’s pretty clear what it is. And for me, it tells a story! Can you imagine living there? The expansive, dense woods all around you? Maybe it’s a moonshiners shack? :wink: PLUS, the dappled light draws attention to it directly.

This would be excellent without the house of course too. The layers of ridges and the dappled light, as well as the misty clouds up top combine for a terrific image.

The only suggestion I have would be to warm the color balance. Very minor, but it looks a little blue, especially the foggy mountain side up top.


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Thanks @Ed_Lowe, @Harley_Goldman and @Lon_Overacker! I figured the only way to “sell” the house would be to print large and make it more obvious as part of a larger scene. I’m in the process of collecting images for large print at my office in hopes of relieving stress in a physician office. I’m still undecided myself and it wouldn’t be in my top finalist list of images. Anyway, thanks again and Lon, agree with the color balance issue - thanks for your eye.

Jim, my comments mirror those from the others, the house is too small to be the main subject, the image is more about the light, colors, and ridgelines. Even with the house being sunlit, it still gets dominated by the mountain. I agree with Lon about warming it up a bit too. I think this works either with or with out the house. But in my view, printing it large is not going to make the house more prominent, because everything else gets larger too !!!

To me the only way to get the house more prominent is to change the composition, by either cropping away a lot of the top half, or preferably by using a longer focal length in the field to zoom in tighter on the house. This really changes the image a lot though, and may not be effective because the best ridge lines are in the top half of the image.

Thanks Ed…I appreciate your comments on printing large and on considering a crop. I think you’re all right…that the shot with the house is not going to be successful in conveying the intended message. Thanks everyone!

The layers of light on the hillsides really stood out to me as well. I think the size of the house is fine, but I would’ve worked on a different placement (left or right in the frame), especially if moving left and recomposing would’ve eliminated the dark green hillside from view. That’s the biggest distraction to my eye.


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It is very small in the frame, Jim, and I can see the case for arguing against it. My own feeling is that it’s rather nice - it somehow suggests to me our human frailty in the vastness of the natural world ( though that may not be what you had in mind !!! ). Beautifully composed image.