Back Modifications (4)
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Spring contrasts

By Emilpix
I attempted to overcome the problem of photographing a dark subject, the trunk, branches and foliage of a Yew tree standing in the shade of other trees against a background of grass in the diffused light of a heavily overcast sky. I also wanted to capture the texture of the tree and its contorted shape and to experiment with b&w processing of the image.

Tags: Flowers and plants Shade Yew tree

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pamelajean Plus
15 1.5k 2214 United Kingdom
8 May 2015 9:48PM
You did very well, Mick.
The tree has definition and the background isn't burnt out. There is a good balance. You do need the trees to be fairly dark, as a contrast to the bright background, but not so dark that their detail is lost.

Your composition is good, highlighting the shapes of the branches.

It's a pity you put such a large frame around your picture because it makes it more difficult for us to see detail. When the frame is removed, it's quite a small file. Although your picture, including the frame, is 1000pixels on the largest side, the frame takes up a lot of that space. Better without it for critique purposes.

You say you were considering black and white, and I've done a modification with that, but I really like the colour version and feel that the mono gives it a completely different atmosphere, a little spooky perhaps, so I've tried to keep it as light as possible.

My first modification is a coloured one. I removed your frame, then did a small crop to the right side in order to remove the lamp post. It doesn't add anything to the image because it's so near to the frame edge.
I brightened the image, slightly lifted the shadows and reduced the highlights before doing a Levels adjustment, and then I desaturated the colours a little, which I feel are a little unnatural, especially the grass.
I filled in a few bright areas within the foliage because white spots draw the eye, and removed the light-coloured diagonal branch bottom left, which I felt distracted from the lovely long sweep of the other branches.

It's an attractive scene, and including some background gives the image depth and added interest.

8 May 2015 10:17PM
Thank you Pamela. That is most encouraging. I will remember not to frame any future submissions.

banehawi Plus
16 2.4k 4233 Canada
8 May 2015 11:08PM
A few comments to add based on your RAW adjustments, which are embedded with the exif.

The vibrance setting is quite aggressive, - it can cause the colours to glow, which you have some of here.

Leave a little more shadow, and allow a little more brightness using the highlight adjustment. It is normal to expect the far area by the wall to be noticeably brighter.

I adjusted these parameters, and also set clarity back to where it was.

I uploaded the result in the two mods.

Frames are nice, but as mentioned use all the space for the imae so we can assess it better. Use a smaller frame if you think it adds to the overall image, - which is sometimes the case.


8 May 2015 11:52PM
Thank you also Willie.

paulbroad 13 131 1293 United Kingdom
9 May 2015 2:42PM
Technically well managed and well exposed indeed. I'm not naturally a pictorialist and I thus find this lacking a bit in both content and compositional content. That is purely a personal thing. I like a specific subject with composition depending on the subject.

dudler Plus
17 1.6k 1841 England
9 May 2015 11:41PM
Just one thing to add on the frame: apart from diminishing the size of the picture itself, the frame is very bright, and that takes away, a bit, from a picture which is quite dark.

A less bright background makes more of the shot.

On the other hand, a frame of some sort often enhances a picture. Choosing the frame is a matter of trying out a few options, and seeing which you like, and which go well in terms of other people's responses.
10 May 2015 12:09AM
Thank you Paul and 'Dudler' for your input which I will bear in mind in future.


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