First Landscape post of '23 - been a couple months, but hope to crawl back out of my hole again.

This was from a dreary trip for fall color in Yosemite early last November. I say dreary, cause it basically was rainy and wet for 3 days. Never saw blue sky. But alas, we will not be deterred!

On my drive in I took the route that brought be thru some higher elevation where had hoped I could find some dogwoods and nice fall color. It had snowed a day or two earlier.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I had stopped and was looking for fall color, but this turned out to be more than that. The “transitions” are not only seasonal, but I was attracted to the fire/recovery transition as well.

I’m going to try and post more images that aren’t necessarily my favorite or my best, but ones that I hope will provide a chance for feedback and room for improvement.

My concern or question might be what you think about two things. The messy bottom and/or the snow-covered logs. I thought there were enough of them that helped with the seasonal transition part of the story (fall to winter), but wondering if just the white lines are more distracting than helpful.

Your thoughts, reactions and suggestions always appreciated!

Technical Details

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @42mm, f/20 1s, 2-image focus stack (near/far)


I have to say, Lon, my first reaction was, “this isn’t for me”. But I kept looking and realized there is something that not only draws my eye, but holds it. The image has a very graphic, almost abstracted feel to it, that in the end, I find very attractive. The whole upper portion is all rigidly straight, dark verticals and that transitions through a field of colour (which itself transitions to green) to the bright, horizontal lines in the lower portion of the frame. To my mind, the lower bright horizontals offer a nice balance to the upper, dark verticals. I find it really works and is a very strong image that, the more I look at it, the more I want to look at it. Well seen and, with response to your technical question - very well executed.
PS. Personally, I love this kind of diffuse light. Brighter, more directed light and this picture never happens.
PPS. Looking at this image yet again, the brightest whites lower centre may be a bit too strong, especially when I look at the image full size. I might be tempted to bring those areas down a tad.

Hi Lon,

I don’t know if you have read about my personal process for giving feedback or not so I’ll give you the short version.
I always open an image and study it without paying any attention to the title, the story or any other comments just to form my own honest opinion and interpretation, then of course I read the story, title and comments.

My first observation was the burnt bark, stripped or missing bark and the fallen trees.
From there it was fairly easy to tell that the fire wasn’t too recent and that the undergrowth is fresh because of the height and girth.
This all says transition to me because the forest is transitioning from being devastated by fire to new growth.

The snow on the fallen trees is a little less obvious though, it took me a few seconds to realize that it was snow but the yellow and orange colors were what tipped me that this is a fall scene with a recent snowfall with lingering snow on the fallen trees.

So, the snow on the fallen trees is an important part of the scene in my opinion because it tells me that it’s late fall but not quite winter yet because the leaves are still hanging on, so this is probably be in a high elevation somewhere.

The “Transition” message only applied to the forest transitioning from a devastating fire to fresh growth but the theme of transition from fall to winter didn’t strike me until I read your title :slight_smile:
It all works and… fits the title very well in my opinion. :slight_smile:

Titles by the photographer are always a must and the backstory is equally as important.

I just enjoy taking the time to figure things out, kind of odd I suppose but I enjoy it regardless.

BTW, I’m curious about how your last name is pronounced, is it Over-acker? or Ove-racker? or different altogether?

Thanks for posting such a fine image.

P.S. I almost forgot to say that I don’t have any suggestions for making this better, it works “as is” in my opinion.

Lon, you are out doing yourself since your return. I love everything about this image, even the frame. I think the logs at the bottom of the frame actually help to tell the story. They are the fallen trees that are decaying to bring back the beautiful growth that is repairing the destruction. The snow lets the viewer know that the season is transitioning from fall to winter. This is a wonderful image. I can’t wait to see some of your non favorites.

Lon, the lighting and muted colours are really nice, and I see the bright snow on the fallen logs as another dimension that adds just a pleasant little bit of contrast. What makes it work for me though are the lines of the fallen logs that lead me into the centre of the image, and the standing trunks in the background then keep me there. The title and story associated with it are spot on. Cheers.

I don’t know if you remember this Lon, but I’m a sucker for scenes like this and this is yet another example of a truly spectacular photograph. The downed trees in the foreground bring me in and then my eye wanders all around the frame, taking in those sumptuous colors. Outstanding!

Thank you all so much for your comments and kind words, @Kerry_Gordon , @Merv , @Donna_Callais , @Phil_G and @Bret_Edge !

Kerry - thank you for taking the time. I think perfect illustration what some of our conversations have been around - I know I have learned and I too am starting to take more time absorbing what the image is about and what the photographer is trying to say - before I make any comments.

Merv, this seems to be a common thread recently. Thank you for this. I think we can all learn and grow along this train of thought.

Thanks for asking and no worries. It’s pronounced with the “Over” - Name predates Prussian rule and the name supposedly means “Overseer of the land”.

Thank you all!

Thank you for that! Now I don’t have to wonder anymore :slight_smile:

Thanks, Lon

My first reaction is that the composition is solid. I actually don’t remember a Lon image where it wasn’t. I see this as an image that tells a story. The story being death and renewal in broader terms and fire and growth in specific terms. There is a conflict here in emotions as one of joy and sadness. I guess that’s the emotional response to this image. Although I have to say that the sad doesn’t really look that sad and the joy is not overly joyful. Another words there is restraint in interpretation and that affects the emotional response. Maybe stronger yellows and reds would help make the point. I’m thinking off the top of my head. In fact, everything I’ve written has been like that. There is little to say about it technically except that I would burn the bright areas of the reclining logs.

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Lon,Your image tell’s a good story about transition, what is new to me. But it gives me the reason to look out for it. It’s a great composition where I can follow the logs into the story.
To describe in words what I like to say about this image is a bit difficult to me. So I made a rework where I made the burned trees just a little bit lighter. And the black tree between the trees the logs are pointing at. I replaced it for some branches. I find that black distracting . The snow is not snow , just white on my monitor , not distracting but pointing the direction.
I hope that you like the rework


Ben, thank you so much for taking the time to demonstrate your suggestions. Yes, I like what you did and appreciate it. I especially like the removal/replacement of the black trunk; it’s something that I didn’t pay attention to - which shows how we all can get lost in our own images and quite literally, “can’t see the forest for the trees…” :slight_smile:

I do like that the burned trees are slightly lighter. I tend to like contrast for “pop” See my quote above about the forest…

Thank you so much for your comments and edits!

Hi Lon, I’ve been looking at this image for some time and I think I’m finally ready to write down my thoughts. I absolutely love the pattern of tree trunks at the very top of the frame and I love all of the fall colour in the middle of the frame too. The bottom I wasn’t sure about in the beginning. It just felt so hectic and chaotic and I wasn’t sure about the snow on the logs because it’s really the only snow in the image and I felt that it didn’t really connect to the rest of the frame.

However, after studying the image for some time I’m now of the opinion that the fallen trees with snow add to the image and to the whole transitions story. Also, I think that the snow really helps to nicely highlight them because if I imagine the fallen trees without the white snow, I think they would kind of get lost but not so lost that they wouldn’t be distracting (if that makes any sense).