"Sometimes imagination is no more than randomness applied." —Piet Francke

― Scapes CritiqueA Timid Firetree

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minniev
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Re: A Timid Firetree

Post by minniev » Sun Dec 03, 2017 1:07 am

Duck wrote:I wanted to respond when I first saw this photo but work kept me away.

I really like this particular image. It is one of those serendipitous scenes that if you didn't photograph it you would disappoint the photography gods.]...

There are, however, two points that caught my eye. First is a minor one, the colors need to be more vibrant. They feel a touch too muted for such a fiery tree. Saturation and contrast boost easily solves that issue. The other is with the angles of the trees in relation to the landscape. The image looks unlevel. It may not be the physical truth but because of the angle of the surrounding trees, the angle of the main subject and the angle of the background hill it makes if feel out of balance.

You have one singular tree in the foreground that is level in the frame and, I assume here, is what you framed against. I marked that with lavender and orange arrows. The thing is, that front tree isn't the subject, just a foreground element. I have marked the angle of the surrounding trees (blue lines) in relation to the dark of the 'shoreline' and the hill running in the background (yellow arrows). You can see they are perpendicular to each other and that adds to the illusion the photo is tilted. I don't think the solution is in correcting the trees in the background and making them upright. The solution is probably a balance somewhere in the middle.


Thank you Duck, for this detailed review. I agree with your excellent points about the leveling quandary. I have always had trouble with figuring out how to deal with photos that are physically level but don't look it, I will do some adjusting and think it will help. It really doesn't matter whether it's truly level or not, all that matters is how it looks! As for the color and contrast, I already did some fairly significant adjusting there, and was worried that going any further would look odd given how much fog is visible. I was afraid I'd already done more than I oughta. So I'll proceed with some caution.
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Post by Duck » Sun Dec 03, 2017 2:32 am

minniev wrote:Thank you Duck, for this detailed review. I agree with your excellent points about the leveling quandary. I have always had trouble with figuring out how to deal with photos that are physically level but don't look it, I will do some adjusting and think it will help. It really doesn't matter whether it's truly level or not, all that matters is how it looks!

Yep, everyone stumbles across that issue every now and then. Since there are no elements to guide you by, in this case, it's just a matter of taste. If you feel like it's going down hill (even though you know it's not) then it's going down hill. Correct it.

minniev wrote:As for the color and contrast, I already did some fairly significant adjusting there, and was worried that going any further would look odd given how much fog is visible. I was afraid I'd already done more than I oughta. So I'll proceed with some caution.

One trick that I use is to push the sliders (Lightroom) until the image looks disgustingly gross and then pull back until it looks good to my eyes. Also, stepping away from the monitor and giving your eyes a rest helps pick out issues in an otherwise "looks okay" image. ;)
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Post by minniev » Sun Dec 03, 2017 4:44 pm

For anyone still hanging around the firetree, here is an edit based on Duck's thoughts. Tried to keep the swamp from running downhill to the right, and tinkered a little with reds and yellows. Had to let the foreground tree lean a bit leftward but few of the swamp trees are totally straight so it's OK.

Extra Note: I went back there again this morning. She's lost some of her color already, in just 3 days, but I was successful in getting to her, took a longer hike north to get a spot where I could get down into the slough and follow the treeline back south.Pictures weren't as great from close up so I just sat a while with her, and enjoyed our visit. I took a leaf to confirm my suspicions and indeed she is a red maple, an extreme rarity anywhere in Mississippi. I've never seen another here in the wild. I worry for her future as she has a fierce eastward lean into the swamp proper, and the ground is very mushy, often submerged, and trees often slip over in this direction.
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Post by Duck » Sun Dec 03, 2017 5:11 pm

I love how you refer to that little tree as 'she', as the living thing that she is. :clap: Far too many people dismiss trees as a nuisance.

Yes, the image 'feels' level now. I don't get that down hill effect. :thumbup: :win:
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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:17 pm

minniev wrote:For anyone still hanging around the firetree, here is an edit based on Duck's thoughts...
I can barely discern the difference, even side by side. But I know once something is pointed out, or "bugging," it demands a fix :)
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:26 pm

minniev wrote:This tree has exhibited an entirely new behavior this year. For 10 years, it has quietly dropped its leaves before they changed any color other than green. Something has persuaded our trees to show off little more this year, but this one has outdone herself. Still she is elusive. I could not approach her closely enough from any side to get a clear shot, and she seemed to move away from me as I trudged through the foggy swamp this morning, hiding behind cypress and tupelo. I made some shots of her travels, here's one developed in a somewhat unorthodox way. You may see more of her later. All suggestions appreciated, I have shots from every side but alas none where I got her to come out from behind her friends. I couldn't even get a leaf to identify her, so I made up a name for her.


Minnie, Linda wrote Asian. I see the same. "Modest" and "shy" Japanese geisha behind her fan. To be admired only from afar. Behind her guardian trees. Superb. Thank you. Matt
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Post by LindaShorey » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:34 pm

Matt Quinn wrote:Minnie, Linda wrote Asian. I see the same. "Modest" and "shy" Japanese geisha behind her fan. To be admired only from afar. Behind her guardian trees. Superb. Thank you. Matt


Piet wrote "Asian" :) He's a much better speaker than I!
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:36 pm

LindaShorey wrote:
Matt Quinn wrote:Minnie, Linda wrote Asian. I see the same. "Modest" and "shy" Japanese geisha behind her fan. To be admired only from afar. Behind her guardian trees. Superb. Thank you. Matt


Piet wrote "Asian" :) He's a much better speaker than I!


Ooops. I noticed that too late. I'll go back and apologize.
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Post by Matt Quinn » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:38 pm

PietFrancke wrote:peaceful, mystical and Asian.


My apologies for referencing Linda as the source of the Asian comment. Matt
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Post by minniev » Sun Dec 03, 2017 10:14 pm

Duck wrote:I love how you refer to that little tree as 'she', as the living thing that she is. :clap: Far too many people dismiss trees as a nuisance.

Yes, the image 'feels' level now. I don't get that down hill effect. :thumbup: :win:

I am an incurable tree hugger, but I also tend to anthropomorphize lots of stuff. But especially trees.
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