Vertical Lines

The image was taken on a foggy day during an autumn trip to Shenandoah NP, VA. I had been trying to find a scene that emphasized the vertical lines of the tree trunks and was not having a lot of luck finding any kind of separation due to the abundance of trees. At the time there was a light fog so I decided to place the focus on the four FG trees and let the rest go a little soft with the focus and the fog. Just wondering if this works for anyone or just chalk it up to a learning experience.

As always thanks for taking a moment to leave your thoughts as they are always appreciated.

Specific Feedback Requested

All C&C welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Nikon D800, Nikon 80-200 @ 200mm, f 14 @ 0.4 sec, ISO 100, CPL, cable release & tripod.


It works for me – wonderfully!! This is one where I definitely don’t want to see the bases of the trees! You isolated an unusual view in a busy forest, and the fog really helped separate the trees.

Small nit but I wonder if the brightest leaves could be pulled down a bit, and maybe the dark trunks be given even more contrast. Maybe that translates to just a slightly lower exposure? Or maybe it would spoil the mood.

This definitely works for me as well. I like how you used the tonal values in the arrangement of shapes in this composition. I also like the sense of darkness in the fg but the promise of something special behind the dark trees. It’s almost like a suggestion of something special waiting for the viewer as he steps forward. I also like that crack of light between those close trees. Imagine how this would look without that.

Looking at this again, I’m wondering about a slightly different interpretation. Especially because you used a polarizer (extra points for that!) I think there may be some wonderful tonal details in the leaves, and I’m wondering if slightly more contrast can be brought out and still retain the foggy look. The scene should be low contrast but I have the feeling that somehow detail has been lost. That sounds strange, but I was curious to try it. I could only get a rough idea from the JPEG, but the raw file would have a lot more possibilities.

I first tried a simple curve to increase contrast, but it wasn’t very successful. I felt I needed to work on the darks and lights separately. So I did simple TK masks for Lights 2 and then Darks 3, and did a curve for each. It’s far from perfect and I don’t know if this is a hint of any possibilities or not, but FWIW I’ll toss it out.

This works for me Ed. My favorite part of this image though is when I zoom in tight and get a close up look at all of the lichen on the bark of the trees and how sharp it is with all of the splashing yellow leaves in low contrast poking through. I think there is a second image in there cropped into a landscape, maybe. Just food for thought.
Anyway, you’ve got tremendous mood here. I would consider negative dehaze or clarity in the background to make it look even foggier and increasing contrast in the foreground like @Diane_Miller did in her redo. In any case, I really am enjoying this scene.

I think I prefer the initial “hazy” interpretation. Makes it feel more abstract, maybe. I like all the great textures here in both the highlights and shadows and how the fog separates out the trunks so nicely.