Morning Glow

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Captured on a Fuji walk in Washing Park, Portland, Oregon. I was attracted to the sunlight in the trees.

Specific Feedback


Technical Details

Fuji XT-2, 55mm , 1/125 sec @ f/11, ISO 640

Hi Ray,
that looks like a wonderful day in the woodlands. The tree trunks are beautifully illuminated by the sun. I can very well imagine why the scene caught your attention.

There is a very bright patch of sky that distracts my eye at the top edge of the frame. I would crop the image to remove the distraction.

Additionally, the image looks quite noisy. I assume that your shot was quite dark and you pulled up the shadows to show details in the tree bark. So the image could benefit from noise reduction, at least in the dark tree trunks.

Your picture definitely makes you want to take a walk in the woods. Well done!

Hi Ray,

I too would have been compelled to get a shot of this scene!
The way the light is coming through is gorgeous!

In general terms, and it’s mostly just me but I try to eliminate any bright spots at the edges of the frame, preferably while taking the shot but they can also be dealt with in post if needed. The reason is that bright spots at the edge of the frame tend to be attention grabbers, so ideally, tone them down or eliminate them to keep the attention directed at the main subject.
In the above comment I’m referring to the bright patch of sky at the top and the bright patches of light at the bottom.

In the example edit below, I cropped it from a 2x3 to a 5x7, not much difference but it seemed to eliminate some of the distractions (for me).

The amount of saturation and contrast was almost to the level of being ‘Hot’, they seem to be taking away from the idea of wanting to be there in person.

Of course all of the things mentioned are subjective, it’s mostly just me and my own personal preference. The reason for pointing them out is for general awareness for things that might become a distraction to the average viewer (in general).

Below is a slightly toned down example edit for your consideration. I run this through noise reduction in Topaz Denoise but Lr and ACR has a good denoise feature now as well.

BTW, the 5x7 ratio does lose a bit of that nice tall 2x3 vertical feel, if you want to keep the 2x3, you could do some cloning at the sky opening at the top and the bottom at the road.

As a side note: Try to pay attention to the histogram in Lr or ACR or even PS to make sure the highlights aren’t reaching the right side (showing pure whites) and the shadows aren’t too far to the left (showing pure blacks). You can click on the little checkboxes at the top right and left of the histogram window so those blacks and whites are shown in blue and red in the image while you’re editing (they can be turned on and off as needed of course).

Anyway, have a look at the example edit and if it doesn’t align with what you want, don’t be concerned about agreeing with my take, it’s your image and your experience.
Just trying to be helpful. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Merv, thank you again for your extensive critique. I do have topaz noise reduction and DXO PureRaw. I did not notice the noise in the shadows. I am familiar with the white/black points and the histogram with the blowout warnings on both sides of the histogram. This photo was taken with a Fujifilm XT-2 which I purchased (because of weight issues) before Nikon produced the Z series cameras. The reason I got rid of my Fuji cameras was the fact that the dynamic range tolerance on their sensor is far inferior, in my opinion, to the D8XX and the Z7 series cameras. Both me and my wife have gone back to Z series cameras. I also find that Lightroom and Photoshop have issues with the Fuji matrix and profiles. They never seem to process correctly from the RAW file. I tried the X-tran development system but found it to be an inefficient workflow. Unfortunately, for several years, I captured images exclusively with the fuji when weight was an issue. I will take a detailed look at your suggestions and repost either later tonight or tomorrow. Thanks again for your interest.

Here is my stab at reprocessing. I was able to run it through DxO DeepPrime to remove the noise. I also balanced the highlights and shadows more precisely in Photoshop. I cloned the highlights in the sky (not crop) and in the road. What do you think? Any issues?

Hi Ray,

This looks MUCH better! Much better than the one I did too! :slight_smile:

Now all of my attention is on those gorgeous trees, and the greens look much better too!

I’m glad that you chose to clone rather than crop because I really liked the 2x3 ratio, that ratio accents the tall trees much better!

Of course, none of this is about what I like, it’s all about helping you to get the most out of it for you.

I’d be very proud of it if it were mine! :slight_smile:

It really is gorgeous!

I hope this helps you with processing all of the other images that were taken with the Fuji XT-2 as well.

Wonderful! :slight_smile:

Yes, the DxO pureRAW really did a nice job. It seems as if it actually separated and enhanced the color depth as well. Thanks for the help and encouragement. Ray

My Pleasure, Ray :slight_smile:

Hi Ray,
I like how you re-processed the image. Nicely done.
I agree with you that PS does NOT handle the raw Fuji files. I have been using RAW THERAPEE to turn the raw into a tif file, and then I use PS to do anything else, since I feel most comfortable with that. But I have heard good things about DxO pureRAW, and I’m happy to hear about your experience with it, so I am going to get it!!!
I have had my Fuji X-T1 for quite a few years, and I really like it for being light and easy to carry, but I agree that the dynamic range on it seems to be less than on my big Canons. I have always had to do more work to the Fuji images.
Anyway, I can see why you took the photo. It makes you feel like you’re actually there. I think it would have been better if there had not been a road in the FG, because for me it distracts from the vertical-ness of those great trees, but that’s just me!!! Great job when you re-worked the image. It still has the play of light and dark, but it’s a bit more subdued, and it works well.

Thank you. I am so pleased to be back at NPN. Everyone here provide such thoughtful comments. I appreciate your point of view. I agree about the trail. There was no angle that eliminated it, so I captured the smallest part of the trail that still provided balance.