I drove up to the lake to look for rising trout. There were none. The day was too nice to go back home so I decided to hike at the base of the rim of the caldera. There were a lot of spooky pine trees along the trail but what caught my interest was the forest litter. It lay in piles in small depressions everywhere. But what really god me excited were the semi circles. Most of the branches had the same peculiar shape and their patterns were really intriguing. Creating a composition, however, was easier said than done. Although they were everywhere finding a good combination that emphasized the arcs was hard. I wandered around looking and made several images and, as usual, the last was best (read the article ‘FLOW’).
Let me know what you think. I also have one that’s more chaotic than this but somehow it holds together.
I’m adding a couple of more images taken during the same outing because I need your feedback. These were what I thought as not quite as good but who knows. I am particularly interested in your opinion of the last one because it’s just different.
Your composition with the thicker straight branch as placed together with the arcs and the gentle colors on the ground makes up a very good image. I like it a lot. Your composition is very well thought out, I have no proposals for improvement.
Wonderful find, Igor. The balance of the curved twigs, along with the larger branch work to create a very harmonious composition, for me. It is quite intriguing and keeps my eyes wandering around in a peaceful sort of way. Nice find.
As usual, Igor, a very compelling image. Quite an interesting collection of decaying fractals. I enjoy the rusty and green colors of the needles and the gray tones in short stubby cones. The diagonal is a nice strong anchor for the scene. This one would be on my office wall. 5 stars!
This is subtle and lovely. The curvy sticks scattered around the straight log make for nice visual interest. I could see increasing the exposure about half a stop, just to lighten the mood of this a bit. Although maybe you want a dark mood.
None the less, you ended up with a pretty good catch on this day after all. Does catch and release photography mean you have to delete your images after you take them ?
You are right, finding these comps is easier said than done, I’m glad that you kept at it until you got this one. To met this image works because it strongly emphasizes repeating visual design elements, arcs, and circles. And then you play off that repetition with one very strong diagonal line, to me that diagonal branch is what really makes this image work so well. I love how you placed the branch off-center like this too, it place more emphasis on the arcs in the LLC.
Very enjoyable to view this, and also to hear the story of your search for the composition that sings to you. I have tried forest litter and should have kept looking and feeling my way along. I agree with all others’ thoughtful comments. To me, this the dead wood and cones are a little cooler than I expected, which gives it a bit of a deathly feel, contrasted by the lodgepole needles. By the way, I like the cluster of needles intruding on the right; it tells me that there is more to the story on the next page.
As you said, finding compositions amidst tree chaos is so hard, and I think you’ve got a great one here. The arcs and big branch all tie together for a complete and balanced image. Congrats on your process and going to “plan B” and narrowing down more and more to find this gem!
Here you go. In my opinion the image is starting to look busy now. That may seem a funny thing to say about a comp such as this but that’s how I see it. I felt that it was important that the pine cones, pine needles, etc be darker than the branches. Otherwise the point of the image is lost.
Reworked it using LAB levels to lighten it and warm it up. Despite the comments I persisted with the blue version but this does look more realistic and the light really was too flat in the original . See above.
The original composition is head and shoulders above the other two comps, it is just so well thought out and executed.
Color is subjective as we know. In your rework, I like what the warming does to the fallen needles and ground, but I would prefer to see the arcs and tree limb not go so warm, and instead retain some coolness in them. Rework, starting from your warm version and cooling the highlights.