As good as gone (+1 re-work plus a color version)

With the crop suggestion from Ed -

And a color version for comparison - the dehaze slider is at 0 -

Working through some of my winter hike images. I liked this scene because it curves so nicely up the hill. When I came by it fresh, it didn’t grab me, but my own footprints in the scene did so I stopped. The sun was breaking through the trees from time to time and added some much needed texture. To me it’s a quietly dynamic shot, nothing dramatic, just winter. And if you live up this way, it’s like this a lot so it’s important to like it. Not just tolerate it. Get out and enjoy it.

Specific Feedback Requested

Too static?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No


Lightroom for b&w conversion and the usual things snow pictures need - reduced highlights and blacks, boosted shadows and whites. Texture and clarity. A little crop. Sharpening. Dehaze brought up the texture in the snow really well.

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An interesting scene, but I wonder if it would be nice with some color, to show off the snow a bit more. I like the amount of texture you brought out but the detail in the trees compete with it.

You keep making my feet cold. I had to get up and go find my house shoes.

I agree, your footprints are a large part of what makes this work. I also like how you have the sky luminosity so bright in the trees at the end of your footprints, it’s like a magnet that pulls me down the trail. The B&W processing is very effective here, I love the tonalities you have in the near tree trunks. Nice job on this one Kris.

My only suggested tweak would be a very slight crop from the bottom and the right. The Y -shaped little tree in the sort of LRC grabs my attention, and I would crop away just at the junction of that Y.

Thanks @Diane_Miller & @Ed_McGuirk - I put a color version in the OP for you, Diane. I also pulled the dehaze back to 0. It’s a different image altogether, but maybe one that works.

Funny about the crop suggestion Ed, I went back and forth on it, deciding to leave it in because the visual balance seemed off without that dark little V. But maybe it’s ok that the vegetation peters out there.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am a stickler for edge issues, sometimes perhaps too much so. If you want to retain the space on the right, some cloning away of the Y might work too, I think you could do so realistically.

The color doesn’t work as well as I thought it would, so I definitely vote for the B/W. The dehaze made a big difference in the snow.

The crop works for me, but cloning that branch might be worth the trouble for the slightly cleaner edge it would allow.

I have to agree that the B&W version is the one to go with. I like the original post just fine. Nicely seen, Kris.

Thanks @Ed_McGuirk, @Diane_Miller & @David_Bostock - black and white for the win!

Edges are tough, Ed. Agreed. Your critiques and advice here have made me more aware of them so thanks for that. After looking at it a while, I think the crop works ok. It helps emphasize the path and tracks even more than they did on their own.