A touch of madness (+1 subtle re-edit)

With some of the changes suggested by Diane & Ed -

More of the ankle-wrecking trail on the Grandfather Falls IAT segment. You really have to watch your feet here, but it’s so cool. You can find other shots in the series here and here.

I think it was @Ed_McGuirk who commented about how some of the trees weren’t straight and this is a good example to show how tilted they are, part of what makes the trail here a bit unsettling and eerie. I’m not sure what makes them lean - maybe the fact that the earth is almost always wet here.

I did some distraction removal in the field here by hauling a stray branch out of the scene. There’s enough chaos here already.

Specific Feedback Requested

I worked pretty hard with Luminosity masking, dodging & burning and some other things to really focus attention and manage the subtle tonalities in the image. How did I do? Can it be improved? I might want to print this one someday and hang it. I have two large vertical frames that I use for shots like this.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
Tripod and probably a polarizer


Lr for initial lens correction, sharpening and white and black points. Ps to use the TK8 panel to create some masks to manage the mid tones better. I really like that you can paint right on the masks with a black or white brush to make sure adjustments are where you want them. I also reduced the overall saturation, especially in the greens.

1 Like

A well made image of a special place. A shot of the beauty in the forest if you have an eye for it.

I love the roots, Kris. This type of image is always hard for me to get right. I like how the eye can move through the scene, settling on the roots and then moving back in the scene. Trees tilt for no other reason than they want to. :smirk:

This is a great image. I might possibly crop on either side so that the left tree comes out in the upper corner and the right side eliminates that one narrow tree behind the foreground tree…just my own framing technique of forests…

The next one where you have me stumbling (happily) through a magic forest! I love the tangle of roots and would hate to lose any on the sides. Small points to think about – darken the small lighter area in the UL corner and the one between the two trunks on the right edge, and the 2 bright leaves on the left edge.

The forest floor seems a bit too red. I tried a Hue-Sat adj layer and chose the Red Hue slider and moved it to +7 and got a result I like.

This would make an awesome print!

I get this now, after seeing the wider view. One good wind storm, and some of these trees may not be around much longer. And that trail looks like it’s not much fun to hike on either. I think you did a pretty good job with finding a comp that creates order here, the leaning trees help pull my eye down the path. My suggestions would mirror those of @Diane_Miller, to burn down some of the bright spots she mentioned.

Thanks for the input @Ben_van_der_Sande, @David_Bostock, @Diane_Miller & @Ed_McGuirk - I put another version in the OP for comparison. Small changes, but good ones. I couldn’t bring myself to crop it though, David. I think it’s got a feeling of constraint already and didn’t want to compound it. Especially if I print it - the edges will be tight already.

While it isn’t as easy as some long trails, you can through hike the IAT. Last year elite runner Coree Woltering broke the fastest time with 21 days, 13 hours, 35 minutes beating the previous record by less than five hours. The total trail is about 1200 miles. This article in Runner’s World says he rolled his ankle at some point and it swelled up like crazy. Could have been here!

This is indeed a magical place. And I think the leaning trees help convey that feeling as well as the roots. The roots and leaning trees are a good combination. I recall a comment you made earlier that leading lines were drummed into you by your teachers. Well, this certainly has lines and S curves galore. I think this is the best of the 3 recent images you made. Everything holds together very nicely. This image also has a ‘creep factor’ with suggestive snakes crawling about. Good job.

I’ve enjoyed walking this hazardous track, watching every foot fall. I think your RP is wonderful and I can see the track more clearly now. Love those slanting trees on either side that push me back onto the track.

The image does have a lovely creepiness about it!

Thanks @Igor_Doncov & @glennie - I’m glad the rework is more effective. Although I’ve walked here many times, this was my first attempt to photograph it with any seriousness or thought. Downriver the trail is less fraught and congested, but here is where a lot of the atmosphere is.