Shimmering Branches

My eye was caught yesterday by reflections of light from the low evening sun on the river, seen through some trees. So I tried an ICM approach.

Specific Feedback Requested

All comments welcome.

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
D500 + 150-600mm (@320mm) 1/160 f22 ISO 320 (-0.33EV)

I lowered the White Balance from 4500 to 3500 in ACR. In PS, Topaz Denoise, Levels and Shadows/Highlights.


Interesting and intriguing. I felt the due to the high contrast some of the basic structure was getting lost. I thought the frame of the tree was not being shown strongly enough. I played with levels adjustments and came up with the following. It’s not as dark as the original so it might be what you had in mind. I’m actually not quite clear what you’re trying to get across with this image. Perhaps this is a night sky?


Thank you @Igor_Doncov . I think your lightening has definitely moved this in the right direction. To clarify, I was looking down (in the early evening) from a road onto the river some 30 feet below, with the trees beside the river forming an interesting web of branches directly in front of the shimmering reflections in the river. I liked that the whole of each tree was backed by these reflections because of the angle I was observing the scene at.

Oh, wow, this is very cool! I like Igor’s brightening of it. When it’s brightened, that farthest left dark branch in the LLC is a bit distracting - it could be cropped out without losing anything important. Well done!

This is very nice. I love your vision here , as well Igor’s perspective.

Many thanks @Igor_Doncov , @Bonnie_Lampley and @joaoquintela for your advice. I have cropped Igor’s version as Bonnie suggested; the result is below:

Fantastic vision, Mike. What a wonderful and unexpected composition. I think your original interpretation is a bit more subtle and intriguing. Maybe a little lighter would work, but the revision seems to go to far.

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Hi Mike,

That is beautifully seen. These streaks of light are totally painterly (I immediately think “knife painting” and “Van Gogh-ish”)and I really like that the tree branches are easily identifiable whilst the light is stylized. This is a very original and artistic image.

At first, I liked the brighter edit but looking again, I’m thinking that the eye is more drawn to the streaks of light in the darker original. The darker original feels a bit calmer, more contemplative to me, which I prefer.

Yes! I think this is a vast improvement over the original and certainly provides the viewer with painterly thoughts. A “trippy” abstract photograph but a lovely one.

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I like this a lot. I like the colors and the subtle shapes of the branches wending their way thru the sparkles. Very cool.