Green Eyes

I’ve been looking at compositions of this nature by some of the current photographers and saw that opportunity when I came across these flowering plant growing from the side of a cliff. The idea was to have contrasting colors and then increase their tonal difference to make one color jump from the other. I don’t know how I feel entirely about this approach so I thought I would offer it here to see what you think or how it can be improved. I’m usually not into heavy processing so this is an exception for me.


As soon as I saw the thumbnails I love this. What a treat to see it in a bigger size. The color contrast is successful and I am very pleased to see the flower. The texture of the cliff is contrasted very nicely with the “softness” of the leaves. The “heavier” cliff right above and to the right of the plant is a nice balance to the plant. It bears no signs of a heavily processed image. I can only think of this image in the superlatives, Igor. Congratulations on this image!

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This looks entirely natural, if that was one of your worries. It’s beautiful. Your treatment of the light on the plant is super, and that little pop of purple is perfect.

This is real nice, Igor. The color looks very natural, and the contrast between the plant and the rock is spot-on. If I had one minor nit, you might look at burning down the rectangular rock at top center. I like that there is the small group of blossoms for a spot of very different color.

Well done!


What strikes me immediately is this plant flourishing in such a stark environment; there’s literally no other life forms or indication anything else could survive here (although, ok, I would clone out the tiny bits of green/plant up top)

Your processing is top notch and the term “heavy processing” would never have crossed my mind.

Beautifully seen, captured and processed. No other nits or suggestions.


Here is a copy of the ACR converted raw. I’ve never modified anything so drastically.

My final decision last night to go that dark was due to this image of Michael Gordon:

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Thanks for including the RAW Igor. And there ya go… you have the distinct honor and privileged of having witnessed the scene. We would have no idea the exact color or brightness of the plant and rock and so can only judge what’s posted. The color you posted is perfectly plausible, perhaps if anything I suppose your posted version could be deemed slightly under exposed?

So, but clearly understand your point of view that it’s a pretty significant difference between the two. It’s just not a difference that a viewer would ever even consider.

Only the Shadow knows…


Love this Igor! The tiny pink surrounded by the green surrounded by the dark works oh so well, as does your composition. I love your processing. Creating an image that exactly duplicates what the eye saw is a different goal then creating beautiful art. I think you have created beautiful art here.

This was shot along the John Day River which I believe is not too far from you.

I’m in Battle Ground, WA, north of Portland. Not too close, but reachable!

This is quite well done, Igor. I like it a lot. While you may have done some heavy processing from the raw file, it does not look heavily processed at all. For my own work, I try to achieve a realistic look, no matter how much I depart from the captured file. I would agree with Preston about burning the small triangle along the top edge. Beautifully done.

Igor, It’s a feast to my eyes. I agree with the others about the processing . Great work !

Love the image! This is very well processed and your crop is spot on. I’m not a big fan of the white frame, however. I find it competes with the plant. Online, I’d use no frame at all, and were I hanging this on a wall, I’d want to use a dark frame to really bring out the plant. So it’d look something like:


I don’t see this as heavily processed at all. I just see a well thought out and executed photograph. Its composed well, the plant is placed perfectly, the exposure is spot on giving the highlights in the leaves their proper brightness while giving the shaded regions their boldness without losing detail there either. I think its really well done.

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I almost didn’t comment on this Igor because I have nothing to add. I usually at least like to have something to contribute, but in this case, I got nothing. This is very pleasing and enjoyable to view. The fall line of rocks is heavily pushing my eyes down, but the levity of the bright colored plant and the lines that lift it up halt any downward weightiness and lift me right up. Very inspiring image. Please print and hang on a wall for others to enjoy!

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I really like this, Igor. I think the decision on color/tone was a good one. The reds in the rock now bring out the greens in the foliage in a way that the more tannish rock wouldn’t have created.

Whether it looks overly processed? Not to me. The raw, of course, looks underprocessed, and even after seeing the raw file, I can imagine the scene looked more like this to a viewer. The beaut of it is we each get to define what amount of alteration we feel okay with.


@Marylynne_Diggs, @Harley_Goldman, @Lon_Overacker, @Preston_Birdwell, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @Jim_McGovern, @Marylynne_Diggs, @Youssef_Ismail , @John_Williams, @Bonnie_Lampley,

Thank you all for commenting on this image. It seems to be unanimous that this image has not been processed to the point of looking too unnatural.

@fwolanski, I have never used a black border with anything and don’t feel comfortable with it. I did grey the border this time though because the white just burned the eyes here.

This has been a ‘different’ image for me and I still don’t know how I feel about this direction. It’s good to try new things but ultimately things aren’t good just because they’re different.

There are a few tweaks to be made. The mask used to darken the earth also picked up those yellow bud and darkened them. I’ll have to adjust the mask at the pixel level, something I was putting off until I felt it was worth the effort.