In the ancient forest

And with the UL darkened a bit:

The scenery at Point Reyes is varied, and the moist sea air nurtures some interesting trees in several areas. This was the start of the second day, heading out from Inverness toward Pierce Point. Tony only had time for the first day, but Lon and I were still greedy for pictures. It was very foggy and we stopped about every 50 feet on the road.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome!

Technical Details

Screen Shot 2022-09-20 at 7.40.52 PM

Minimal tonal tweaks in LR and PS, very minor cloning of some very small distractions. Tiny crop from the left.


I love the fog and atmosphere in these types of images. There is a real sense of depth from front to back. What I struggle with here is there isn’t as much flow from front to back as I would like. The foreground overlaps awkwardly with the background and there is too much empty space in the upper left corner for my lacking making the forest in the PNW seem empty compared to how busy it can be. I love the processing and way that you handled the image, and admittedly the forests in the PNW are impossibly difficult! Well done!

I really like bush photos…just as well as there is bush above where we live, and most of pour holidays are spent either in the mountainous areas or in bush. The textures and lichen colours in your image are lovely, but I agree with Kyle that the large tree in the foreground does tend to be a bit of a block to the rest of the image that seems just as interesting. I find that the brighter patch of sky top left draws my attention away from the trees a wee bit. Maybe toning it down a bit to match with the other foggy sky areas would help. Maybe.

Lovely contrast between the green and yellow lichen covered trees and the cool fog. Picking up on what others have said I wonder how a square crop by eliminating some on the left side of the image would look?

Thanks, @Kyle_Kephart, @DeanRoyer and @Phil_G! There was very little leeway in my shooting position here and I couldn’t get what I hoped for so settled for the chaos. I loved the soft light on the lichen and texture on the big tree, set against the foggy BG, way too much to let the scene pass. That small branch on the left was broken off from a higher limb and hanging too far out of reach to try to pull it down, so I decided to incorporate it with the other two trunks. I tried to darken the UL but had little success. I could resort to cloning… I’ve posted an attempt above but it’s hardly enough.

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It is so tough in forests! Always compromises and I really like what you ended up capturing. It definitely has a fantastic mood! Darkening it helps I believe as it pulls less of my attention away.


Ahhh, so that’s what you were up to! You know as we chatted, photography is a “loner sport” and as we often do, venture out on our own and find our own images… it’s amazing though, when we do photograph with other photographers how quickly we learn how we all “see” differently and are attracted to different things… It’s a wonderful thing.

To me this is making “order out of chaos,” and seen beautifully. Yeah, a little chaotic, but the main tree with that gorgeous orange lichen really anchors this scene. that’s a wonderful looking tree - and I missed it! :slight_smile:

Would agree with the others about darkening the UL, and if anything, especially the tree trunk/branch. I think your edited version works very well to mitigate and keep the eye in the frame.

the only other nitpicky thing for me is the green/moss in the LRC that is out of focus. It’s drawing my eye. I think an easy fix as I might desaturate that as the vibrant green is what draws the eye, and then we see that it’s fuzzy. Not a huge deal, but my observation.

Thank you for sharing your “eye” from our trip! More to come!


Hey Diane! Really cool scene. You can’t go wrong with fog and depth with forests. A+ conditions in my book! One of the things I’m working on myself is separation of subjects. I almost wonder if the composition would be stronger wit a couple of steps to the right so that each trunk would stand in its own space and not overlap or intersect one another. Just a thought!

This has a Pt Lobos look to it and it also has some of the sense of Weston’s work with those cypresses. As others have stated this has some composition issues. One issue that hasn’t been mention is how the long thin vertical branch crosses over and overlaps the snag coming up from below. Well, you were confined and did the best you could with what was available to you. I guess all landscape photography is like that. I think the fog is rendered really well in both tonal value and color. It’s the arrangement of the closer branches that could be a bit better.

Thanks @Lon_Overacker, @David_Johnston and @Igor_Doncov! Lon, I definitely should have lowered saturation on the OOF leaves on the right. And Igor, thanks, I hadn’t noticed the hanging branch touching the snag coming up from below – and now I can’t unsee it! Probably could have moved enough to fix that.

I shot a vertical from a slightly different position – I’ll see if it’s worth posting.