Friends and lovers + 1 subtle rework

Worked on the main tree trunk and the ones behind - separated better??

I wandered up into the woods near the Prairie River for a while and found this lovely scene that just says spring to me. The forest is varied, but this section is hemlock-heavy and quite shaded. It needs the right light to bring up depth or mystery so I’ll have to keep my eye out for the right conditions. Carpets of wildflowers here, too, mostly Clintonia (Bluebead lily), Canada mayflower and White Trillium. The rest of the forest floor is quite sparse though, with just a few small trees and ferns.

Specific Feedback Requested

I really liked the light in this scene and spent a lot of time moving the tripod to get the trees separated right and eliminate some dark areas of rock and crevice. Thoughts? I have a couple other views if suggestions lead toward those compositions. Too little contrast?

Technical Details

Tripod and CPL


Lightroom for most everything - a bit of a crop, evening tonalities because it’s quite restful under that canopy and I wanted to convey that. Photoshop for some distraction removal and some luminosity masking to darken the tree trunks against that sunny green.


Oh this is very nice. I like the composition you’ve come up with and all those individual green leaves on a brown background. You’ve found order in the chaos of a forest. One minor suggestion would be to experiment with dodging the tree behind the main tree to get more tonal separation between the two. This says Spring to me as did your previous image. Both are wonderful.

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Thanks @Igor_Doncov - I’m thinking about heading back over today for a quick look through these same woods. With the Clintonia blooming it could be pretty great.

I was wondering if the trees needed more work…looks like they do. I’ll mess with it.

Excellent forest scene, Kris. I like the colors and tonality. And as @Igor_Doncov said, you have some order to the chaos of a forest. Well done. I feel I could walk right into the picture.

Thanks @David_Bostock - the colors and luminosity made me a bit anxious with this one so I’m glad things look good. The woods are very cool right around this bit. No trails or anything so you just have to walk around stuff. I visited again today and will post in a sec.

Rework in the OP.

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Most lovely spring scene. So very inviting and peaceful. I don’t see chaos here at all (and you didn’t claim so…) but as Igor points out, great job in creating order from what is almost always chaos in the forest.

If I cycle thru the two versions I can see the change you made, but honestly I don’t think it changes the image much, if at all. Any changes really are a matter of personal preference, but I could see a slight boost in contrast - and even brightness/glow in the bg foliage; but not so much that too much attention is drawn away from the foreground.

I really like the moss covered rock with the leaves and pine straw and it’s relationship with the dominant tree. No nits or other suggestions really. Beautifully seen and captured.


Thanks @Lon_Overacker - the contrast was bugging me, too, but you know when you’ve looked at your photo for so long you can’t really see it anymore? So I said enough is enough and called it quits, but as @Diane_Miller says - the paint never dries so I can always play with it more.

This forest is completely wild and unmanaged so there is windfall and other evidence of our wicked weather all over. But it’s the way forests have always lived and dealt with the world so it won’t be the thing to wreck them. My other shot shows more of this action than this one, but I was intrigued by the shapes and the light. I’ll mess with it a little and also explore the other side of the river where the boulders are even thicker on the ground. Thanks Wisconsin Glaciation!