Framing Divide Meadow at Point Reyes National Seashore

Greetings! My name is Austin Castrucci and I am a hobbyist photographer seeking to advance my skills in photography to be a professional photographer. For about 8 years now, I have been photographing various subjects that include trains, landscape, wildlife, and sports. I have not done much with submitting photos to the Nature Photographers Network and I wanted to share a photo that I did back in September 2017 at Divide Meadow at Point Reyes National Seashore. I noticed an oak branch that had streaks of Spanish moss hanging around it and saw a natural frame that captured the meadows near the forest line. I am looking for critiques on how I could do a better job at detecting natural frames, how I should edit the photo to bring out more dramatic effects with Photo Affinity, and how I can stay active outside. Look forward to everyone’s feedback. Thank you.


Please list any pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)


First, welcome to NPN! Or at least welcome to your first post! Glad you decided to jump in and share an image.

Good vision here and a good job framing the seen with the oak - and I see a bit of Spanish Moss. This works well.

With your permission though, if you want a bit more constructive criticism, we should place this in the Landscape Critique area. That way folks are free to critique, offer suggestions, etc.

I can move this for you, but I believe you could edit this yourslef and change the category.

Welcome, and let me know if you would like this moved.


Hi Lon,
Thank you for the quick response. I am not seeing that I can move the topic to the critique section for landscapes. Can you please move it?


No worries Austin. Wasn’t quite sure what permissions you had vs. the mods. I moved it to the critique gallery.

Ok, so now I can rip in to it… just kidding. we’re all nice here as you may know if you’ve been watching the forums for a while.

Actually just a couple of additional comments to the ones I made previously. First for me, and I think this applies generally, but maybe just as much with framing like you’re doing here. And that would be the brighter areas of distraction. Not terribly distracting here - and it’s easy for one to back seat drive here… but somehow changing your vantage point you might find a more uniform backdrop and not have to include the sky. I realize with this one that you weren’t carrying a ladder with you… but just the suggestion to keep in mind when looking for comps.

Very minor and what we call being “nitpicky”, but I’m wishing the one small branch wasn’t broken off. Not much you could do about it. The good news is that it likely left the middle open for you to frame this to start with!

One thing I hadn’t mentioned yet that I like very much is the back lighting; the glow of the leaves and even a little bit in the hanging moss. I think the arching of the branches and the light on leaves makes for a pleasing view.

Look forward to more images and your participation.


Welcome to NPN Austin, and thank you for sharing this image with us. I think you will find the folks here will provide very constructive comments and suggestions. I think the concept of this image is a great one. Those branched make a wonderful frame around the tree and fence in the meadow. The branches really pull your eye into the scene, creating a wonderful sense of depth.

I’m glad you were able to see how to use the branches this way. My only suggestion is about including the bald white sky at the top. Bright objects near the edge of the frame can be distracting, and pull the viewers eye away from where the action is in the center of the image. I would suggest cropping this to a panoramic aspect ratio to eliminate the sky, and focus the viewer on the tree in the meadow. Something like this.

Welcome to NPN, Austin, and this is a fine first post. I like your framing a lot, and I think @Ed_McGuirk’s crop suggestion works great. I might even go a little further suggest cropping a little off the right side as well. I also dodged the limbs just a bit, but I’m not sure if that helped or hurt. Excellent first post; can’t wait for you to post additional shots.