Trees at The Painted Hills w/repost

Crop suggested by @Igor_Doncov:

I was inspired by @Igor_Doncov’s image from The Painted Hills here in Oregon. I can’t compete with his image, but I dredged this one up from 2013. Same hill, just different trees. The light was definitely different too. I never have much luck with this style of image. I always feel like it will be a good pic when I’m there, but they’re usually too boring when I see them on the screen.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any comments appreciated.

Technical Details

Canon 5D III, 24-70mm f/2.8, 1/60 sec @ f/11, ISO 100, Tripod, Polarizer.


I think this works David but in a very different way than @Igor_Doncov’s image. His image was asymmetrical where the hill and the tree were playing off each other in an inverse nature. Here, you have the hill being less of the subject and more just a background for the two trees in the foreground. The hill provides much less interest than the trees do. This could be an image about rejuvenation and recovery after a burn since you’ve got some green shrubs coming up around the trees and that one little tree at the base of the left tree starting it’s new life. I think this is framed nicely centering the two trees and I like that you have a large tree and a small tree.

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A truly excellent image from this area in the Painted Hills, David. The juxtaposition of the two trees provides some interesting thoughts of relationship or at least some companionship out there… :+1:
btw: I recall we often saw posts from this area from NPN #1 long time member and Oregon state resident Marc Adamus years ago… :smiley:

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I really like this image as well from the area. The colors are more natural than mine but I think this image is very expressive. The tree on the left, in particular, is quite a find and I like it’s form. I think the large bush on the right hurts the composition of two trees on a background. However, a vertical of the left half of the image shows off that left tree nicely. These painted hills form great backdrops because they aren’t busy yet they have gentle gradients of color.

Painted Hills is an area where I personally don’t try to be faithful to reality. From what I’ve seen many shoot natural scenes and saturate them to enhance them and emphasize the ‘paint’ in Painted Hills. I prefer abstracts from selected forms. This tree has a wonderful form.

@David_Haynes, @Paul_Breitkreuz, and @Igor_Doncov thank you for the nice comments and suggestions. Igor, I know what you mean about over saturation on the Painted Hills images. The area is normally so lacking in contrast then I pull them into a raw processor and adjust the levels to add some dynamic range, they usually do start to look more saturated than I remember seeing. On the other hand, leaving them as shot they look rather boring. So there’s a balance I guess.

Paul, I remember many shots from Marc Adamus long ago on NPN #1. He also had some terrific super-wide Oregon coast shots. I’ve lost track of him now days…

David, thank you for your thoughtful comparison to Igor’s image. I appreciate it.

@David_Bostock , Like you I had lost complete contact with Marc years back now. Marc, Mike Dawson, and John Benway all met at a image selling site called “Shutter Point” back when digital gear first hit the market. We all moved to NPN #1 back then as Shutter Point was running in the background for us by that time.
I was fortunate to have met Mike Dawson in Carsbad, CA. for a lunch and Marc for a few days photographing the Alabama Hills. John and I have only exchanged emails and phone calls since the move to the present NPN.
I took a quick look on line and although Marc has traveled the world many times to date doing workshops apparently in 2021 on a trip he received a very bad shoulder injury and is on the mend still overall. I wish him the best in recovery.



Wonderful take from the Painted hills and agree, quite different from Igor’s rendition (Had to take a second, closer look thinking the taller tree was the same tree! but, it’s not. - must be quite the area!)

While the tree is very expressive and is isolated nicely in the vertical crop, I think it becomes a bit more static and I prefer the original. I really like the two trees together, especially the receeding distance and size between the two. Yeah, that bush is a little problematic, but not an image-killer IMHO.

Colors and processing are quite excellent. No nits there.

The ONLY minor thought would be a little more room up top. Seems rather insignificant, but that upper branch just feels a bit tight. At least relative to the room for the trees left and right. Again, no biggie at all.


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