Walking on a local lake and the texture of the rock and cedar and trail of snow back into the woods caught my eye. I immediately saw it in B&W.
Type of Critique Requested
Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
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 dodged and burned a little in lightroom with multiple masks and then took into PS for the conversion to B&W so that I could lighten and darken the green yellow blue and red channels separately. I was aiming for a moderate contrast that could bring out the detail in different elements without forcing it - how does it look to you? I considered a tighter crop from the top as well but I liked the branches of the dead cedar and felt it didn’t detract too much from the “tunnel” and trail of snow into the woods. All comments welcomed, thank for looking and reading.
A very mysterious and engaging image! The leaning cedar almost beckons the viewer to enter the tunnel into the dark woods, at their peril. It’s so well suited to B&W and you’ve done an excellent job balancing the contrast level IMO. You might try burning the two light tree trunks on the right side a tad, but that’s minor. You’ve made a very appealing image!
I really like the scene here and hope that I would have also seen it. There’s a lot of excellent framing elements in addition to the main leaning tree - the snow at the bottom and the large rock work well, but I don’t know about the two light trees on the right. Stepping to the right may have been a way to eliminate those and emphasize the larger leaning tree. It’s possible cropping could do the same, but only if you have a bit more room on the left. Forest landscapes are so challenging to manage, but this is a nice start. The “path” of snow leading away into the woods is a great through line. Have you experimented with adding clarity? Sometimes local contrast can help with modeling and definition and I think that could benefit this photo quite a bit. Oh and if you do decide to crop out the trees to the right, some off the top wouldn’t go amiss either. It’s a bit bright there. A tiny pop in exposure in the center could help add depth as well. Oh jeez this was all over the place and I’m sorry for that. Just such a cool little slice of woods that ideas just kept coming to me.
This is very nice, Charles. I think monochrome is an excellent choice for this one. This image has a lot of depth in the way the path of snow leading into the forest draws my eye and with the slight bit of light penetration back in there, stimulates my imagination. The foreground stones have a wonderful texture so, I’d say your dodging and burning has worked to good effect. I don’t know if you use Tony Kuyper’s luminosity panel. But if you do, there is something he calls “Paint Contrast”, which is a kind of dodging and burning where it is set up using a “pass through” filter which, basically, chooses a dividing line between darks and lights. So its really good for selectively and more subtly creating contrast, which I find especially useful when working with textured surfaces, like stone. If you have the TK8 panel, you might want to try it on some of the foreground stones. I would also suggest one of two things for the top of the frame. Either clone out all the openings in the trees along the top of the frame and the ulc and urc or you might see how you feel about cropping from the top to about where the leaning tree trunk turns into branches. I’m not sure if all those light branches up there on top don’t become more of distraction than a help with this image. You could check it out and see how you feel about it. But all in all, a very nicely composed winter scene.
Thanks @Steve_Layman@Kris_Smith and @Kerry_Gordon for the comments. I cropped a little off the top and darkened the trees on the right and it does look better. Always get good advice on NPN. Kerry I found some of the photos in Ned Pratt’s “One Wave” book, which you had recommended. They really are stunning and a great study in the power of simplicity and light in photography! I’ll pass on the recommendation here to Steve and Kristen :).