Twisted Sisters (+ Rework)

A third attempt to restore some of the saturation lost in the second edit.

This was the original image.

[The second photo is a re-edit with less BG saturation and luminosity.]

In one of my last assignments in the photography challenge group last year, we were asked to remain in one place for at least an hour and photograph whatever we could. The challenge was appropriately named “stuck in place.” Probably, that was the most valuable challenge in the year-long group. I chose our backyard because it would offer me good opportunities for macros and ICM and the flexibility to use zoom, ultra wide, and macro lenses. Furthermore, it was a location that would extend my creativity to come up with subjects I often did not think of photographing.

The assignment was simple: pick any place and spend an hour making photos there. It was eye-opening to realize that after the first thirty minutes of obvious shots, my creativity grew and allowed me to see beyond the obvious choices. Out of the forty-five photos I created, the one here was one of my favorites.

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.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of 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 am always tuned in and drawn to vertical lines that stand out from the environment they are in. In this case, the bark colors were much brighter than the dark vegetation behind it. The contrast between the trunks and vegetation was obvious to my eyes, but with ICM, one can never predict with absolute certainty what the result will be.

Technical Details

Screen Shot 2023-01-20 at 16.01.18


Great use and result of the ICM. And great idea on the challenge. Something to think about - even for a self initiated, personal Project. Gives me ideas, thanks!

I too like the vertical subject and motion and the subject here worked beautifully for that. I especially like the contrast and color contrast that separates the “twisted” trunks. Very cool.

As with any of these abstracts, colors and processing are as they say, “there are no rules” So it’s all subjective. I’m wondering about slightly turning down the yellow/green sat and even luminosity of the bg just to make the verticals stand out even more. Of course a personal preference.

As presented, an excellent ICM.




First off, thanks for the feedback. It’s very much appreciated. As I wrote in my self-critique section (I am not sure I know how to hide it), I tend to look for things that already show some contrast when I think of ICM. Well, on to your specific comment.

When I posted this today, the thought did come to my mind to try and reduce the BG saturation. I thought that was a bit intense. Now, you reinforce the idea of a re-edit to work on the BG saturation and luminosity. I wonder if the second version here is too muted. I like the pastel-like result.

Thanks again, Lon. I do appreciate the feedback and the time you took to provide it.

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Good morning. I think Lon covered the salient points well. The reworked image looks good Egidio. It’s interesting how the trunks come together at the bottom. I would like to encourage you to experiment with different movements and if your camera supports it, try in camera multiple exposure with ICM.

I also like the challenge idea of just being still and truly observing.

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Alfredo, I was really looking forward to your assessment. The trunks come together at the bottom because this is a Yaupon holly. That’s how they grow. We have two of those in our backyard.

In the same “stuck in place” experiment, I did try some horizontal movement that same day. I have been working on the development of that photo and will eventually post it here. For now, I’ll need to pay forward and look at some photos that have received no comment.

I’d be curious to hear from others after they try the “stuck in place” experiment. For me, the best shots came up after I’d exhausted the obvious compositions in the first 30 minutes. Maybe @David_Kingham could suggest that idea for a weekly challenge.

Thanks, Alfredo, for your valuable feedback, too. I’ll have to see if my Sony can do multiple exposure in camera.

No problem at all! I’m happy that you’re using a mindful and slow approach to photography. Keep up the good work.

Unfortunately Sony cameras do not natively support multi exposure in camera. It’s a real shame.

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Thank you for taking the time to consider the suggestions. As often happens, some times the edits are too much and I think there’s something in between. this is all of course your own personal choice. So while I think the original green/yellow is a bit saturated (again, not rule for abstracts!), but I think the repost looks like the colors are a little muddled or washed - not quite sure how to describe it. In the end, you have an original that is quite successful!


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Lon, I know what you mean. I’m still trying to find the right edit between the first and second versions. I probably need to take a break from it and come back with fresh eyes. Thanks for the valuable input.

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Lon, after a long while, I revisited the image and tried to address the muddled colors. There is a third edit. When looking at the three versions, the last one is a mid-point between the original and second repost. In all honesty, I still think it’s a bit washed out. Perhaps that is due to the fact I enjoy strong saturation, which is something I’m trying to move away from slowly.