Stately Aspens

Green Creek, Sierra

I was taken by the stately, naked aspen snags along with the fall color.

Any technical, or artistic comments are welcomed.

Nikon D7100
Nikkor 70-200 @ 70mm
F-16 @ 1/20, ISO 640
ACR, PS-CC, and TK’s v4 Actions panel

Your thoughts are always appreciated. :smile:

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Preston, late fall after some of the trees have lost their leaves is my favorite part of the season, and your image is a good example of that. Composing this to place the hillside behind the trees really makes them pop out. The one tall, bare tree has an outstanding shape, and is the star of this image. I might consider cropping the bare tree at the right away, in my opinion a crop like this makes the tall bare tree even more prominent in the image.

Preston, the white trunks are quite striking (and as you say stately), especially with the nice mix of golden leaves. I’m also a big fan of the subtle colors in the foreground. I’m finding the hillside behind distracting and think that a crop from the top to a panorama looks really good.

@Mark_Seaver , thanks for your comment. The background on this one drove me nuts from a processing standpoint. I thought about a crop, but did not want to cut off the top of the tallest tree.

I suppose I could try a soft blur of the background, but I am not sure it would work.

If anyone wants to play around with the background, please feel free.

Preston, I can relate to wanting to keep the tallest trees, they are a fine change of pace with respect to the colored leaves and add to the stately effect. My crop suggestion results in a very different feeling.


You found some great stands of aspen in sage country. While I think I like your first of the series best, this is still excellent. I particularly like your treatment of the fore and background. I think you nailed the colors all the way around. I think the bare trees extending above are wonderful and I think the bg works well to make them stand out.

As far as a crop, I don’t see one. I am wishing for more on either side but I suspect there’s good reasons why you cropped/framed on the sides. So I think this is quite nice as presented.


Works for me as is. I can’t see a crop I like and processing looks good. No suggestions here.

@Preston_Birdwell Man Preston… I like this a lot.

I really, really like the background. I may have passed this by as just another Fall tree shot if not for that interesting, textured backdrop. Standing ovation from me for that.

I’m questioning the reason to crop this to a 5X7 as I assume that it was shot in a 4x6.

Very nice work. I love the thought that you obviously put into this one. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for your comments, everyone! They are truly appreciated.

@Gary_Randall Due to a couple of distracting elements on the left and right sides, I decided to crop, rather than attempt some complex cloning.

There are many locales on the Sierra East Side where high desert plant, such as sage, rabbit brush, and creosote bush cover hillsides adjacent to riparian habitat where the aspens thrive. These backgrounds can be challenging to work with.

1 Like

This is a beauty, Preston. What a great find. Compositions works for me and processing looks spot-on. I can’t think of any way to improve.

This image has a wonderful feeling to it. The tall , bare tree is placed just right and the background hill provides interesting texture. The golden aspen are the stars of the show.

Wow, the colors really pop off the screen, especially when they’re surrounded by the beautiful silver/gray/white tree trunks! I love the “frosty looking” FG, whether that’s actual frost or just the color of the plants. The BG is somewhat problematic because it introduces a high level of “busy” to the image. The BG is interesting in itself IF this was an image of just the BG, but it really detracts from the beauty of the main elements IMHO. I know there are ways of both blurring and darkening that could hide the BG a little but I don’t know that I would be talented enough to successfully do it, but perhaps your post processing skills are at that level. Might be worth a try though. The main subject matter is just gorgeous though!

Preston: wonderful composition to have the band of color layered between two bands of near black and white. It’s a wall hanger. Richard

This is beautiful Preston! I love how the trees interact with the foreground and the background. I only wish there was a tiny bit more room up top to give the big tree a tiny bit more space up there.

Very nicely seen, photographed, and processed here, Preston. Sometimes us “old snags” are still useful…:crazy_face:
Only minor thought for change was the point Ben made. Easy enough to make that room on top with extra canvas and a CA fill.
Regardless, a very clean and simple autumn seen overall…:sunglasses: