What makes this image expressive?

I lived for 7 years in the Yukon (Canada) but never drove the Dempster highway until nearly 40 years later. And on our first night at Tombstone park the late afternoon sun slanted over the autumn hillside in stripes of color with the evergreens sticking up sharp and dark against them. The spot of light with the rest of the mountain already in shadow flooded my heart with an overwhelming feeling of being home.

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I am wondering if the blue upper left is overwhelming, but if I crop tighter I lose some of the narrow light streaks on the top right.


Hi Mary, and thank you for posting this striking image. I envy the time you got to spend in Alaska, I never made it there, but love the starkness of the landscape and the fragility of everything that exists there.

In answer to your direct question: yes, a little. I don’t however think the image needs cropped, rather the blue’s can just be reduced a little using the Blue Saturation slider.

Blue’s and greens are two of the easiest colours to get over saturated. If you think about it, most of the light we see is blue, which means it is reflecting off everything we see (except at sunset of course in direct red light!)

Using cool blues in shadows is an excellent way to convey depth, mystery and add a colour transition in a photograph. It works here in yours. This shadows seem further away and mysterious, but yes: too blue!

I think in this one I would also rotate it a little anti-clockwise to steepen some of the lines in the composition.

I’ve done a little with it, but it’s limiting with just then jpeg. Just toning everything down a little as it feels just a bit too intense all over.

Hope that helps?

Thanks so much for your observations. I will try your suggestions. ml