Where Trolls Be + Rework

REWORK (per Kris’ suggestion):


Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


There is a patch of forest in MacKerricher State Park (Mendocino County, CA) where the pines (Bishop pines?) are simply falling apart. It is a creepy place at dusk. I can imagine the trolls coming out to way lay unwary hikers.

Specific Feedback

Any comments welcome. This is one of those scenes where I ask myself, Why Did I Point My Camera At That? The balance isn’t the best (too much space in the lower right quadrant, I think), but maybe that adds to the unease.

Technical Details

Screen Shot 2023-09-10 at 5.21.41 PM
Processed in ACR & LR; basic targeted exposure and color adjustments. Slight Orton effect using an edge mask (@_Kris have I thanked you before for passing on that excellent tip about using edge masks with the Orton effect? If not - thanks!).

I really need to get that 35mm Zeiss fixed lens out more often - the detail in this is so good (well, at least for me - ha).

1 Like

Doesn’t that work a treat? I like it applied that way.

This is one mysterious and wonderful tree. All crazy angles and moss. Probably been dead a long time and from the look of things, life was a struggle all the way. I wonder if some shadow darkening might work here in the background. It would be fiddly to do since I don’t know how well subject select will do with this one. What a find. I would have been all over it.

Thanks, @_Kris. I tried darkening the shadows, but as you though, it didn’t go well. I’d run a darks triple play from the TK panel, so I dialed that back a bit and brought down the midtones, also. It definitely looks ominous now.

That is one spooky looking tree, Bonnie! The darkened shadows are subtle in the rework and I think that works rather nicely. I could see a little crop from the right side to take care of the LRC. I hope you don’t mind, but this is what I was thinking. Very nicely done.