The Enigma + new version



I took this rather mysterious image on the last day of my Utah trip this fall. My question has to do with the leaf. Should it be brighter?

GFX50R, 45-100mm, f/11, focus stacked


Amazing image! I am not sure what it actually is but the face of a troll or something is really cool. No, I do not think you should have a brighter leave.

Igor, To me there is a lot possible with a different feel.
Leave the leaf out
Or make it sharper
Or make it bigger
Or put the leaf more down to the right.
It’s all about personal feel at an image.
I like this image because of what is possible. And the experiment in it.

A very cool image. The color contrast between leaf and the rock, I suppose it is (or mud?), and the shape of this rock, is the strength of the image. And your name of the image is well chosen, as this image is an enigma. I keep wondering what exactly it is, and why it has this color.
I would like to see the leaf a bit brighter. If you want to manipulate more, you could move the (brighter) leaf to a different position. If you want to give it maximum attention, you should probably move it to a position exactly on the angle bisector of the ULC.

Igor, the mystery stand out well here. I think the leaf and the needles are about right. I would try a touch of dodging in the upper right to brighten slightly the blue area to the right of the leaf and to bring out just a hint more detail in the darkness of the upper right corner.

Very different image, Igor. I like the colors and luminosity. I keep being drawn to the left half with the vertical creases. The overall scene feels a bit busy…simply my impression. In any case, it’s a very cool scene that leaves me feeling peaceful, probably because of the colors.

Quite mysterious, Igor, as others have said. Clearly endless possibilities. As to the leaf, I would leave it as it is, brighter would be too distracting, at least for me. Love being lost in this world you’ve captured.

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Outstanding imagery here Igor. Your vision is masterful along with your execution.

Second the comments about the mystery here - even though there’s no mystery about leaves and pine needles… :slight_smile: … I don’t find this busy or too much. The space provided between the elements, shapes, tones, etc. all combine in great harmony.

I can’t speak to the color or saturation simply because I wasn’t there to experience this. But I do get the impression that this is deep in a cave, or perhaps in the deep, dark depths of the ocean - but then the leaf brings me back.

I think the darkness is part of the mystery, but agree with Mark in slightly dodging the UR - just for easier eye on the detail, but not so much you throw the light out of balance. As to the leaf, I think it’s luminosity is just right.

I must say this impresses me - right up to how much your “Untitled” image did - although that one stands up to a elevated standard.

Great vision and presentation! Love this!


ps. ONLY nit/suggestion I have would be to clone out the tiny leaf at the bottom edge. It’s not that it’s distracting, but is the tension being so close to the edge that is the draw. Minor nit

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A part of the enigma for me is: are we looking at the subject from above or from the side or a bit of both? Not that it matters - as Ole hinted, there is a distinctly Nordic feel to this, and I see it on the front cover of a book of fairy tales.

Hi Igor, this is really great. I like it a lot and I think the blues here are really beautiful. In regards to your question, I do feel that the leaf would benefit from a boost in brightness. I think that if you did that it would better act as a counterpoint to the rest of the image.

Awesome, the leaf is perfect in the shadow. My only critique is the white border.

Igor, I like this image very much. I think the beautiful blues and the soft creases in the mud make it a very peaceful, moody image that draws me right in and keeps me there wondering what the surrounding area looks like. If you keep the leaf, I think it’s fine as is, however, I feel that the image could stand alone without it. For me, it draws attention and doesn’t fit in with the story. Leaf or not, this is a wonderful photo that stands out and is unique.

Definitely enigmatic - looking at the thumbnail I thought this was a rock face. It took me a minute to figure out it was mud. The leaf could be the teeniest bit brighter, IMO, but not too much. I agree with the others about the URC, also - maybe raise the shadows just a tad.

What I love about your presentation is that you didn’t clone out all the little bits to make it “perfect”. Great vision.

This image was the culmination of a 2 week trip I took in the American Southwest. It took me that long to break through seeing things in a way that tried to make sense of what was there. This was the last image of a long day and I think the exhaustion finally broke down my defenses and let me explore intuitively. I think it’s getting harder as I get older to reach this state but I’ve already forgotten how it used to be.

I’m on the fence a bit as well. Here’s another version without the leaf I like it’s simplicity.

@Ola_Jovall, @David_Bostock, @Donna_Callais, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @linda_mellor, @Han_Schutten, @Bonnie_Lampley, @Dan_Kearl, @Tom_Nevesely, @Mike_Friel, @Lon_Overacker, @Mark_Seaver

Thank you for your comments. I suppose Ben is right. There are endless possibilities even with so few objects. I posted as it looked without any changes. I do remember thinking I might remove the leaf in post processing when I was taking the image. So I’m posting that as well. Let me know what you think. I’ll give it some time to see how I feel about it.

Thank you for the editor’s pick as well.

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Thanks for posting your image without the leaf. I like the idea of the leaf, but I find that without the leaf my eye explores the entire subject. With the leaf, my eye keeps being attracted to it and I don’t tend to stay in the photo as long. I think I have to vote for taking out the leaf. It’s still a gorgeous photo either way and I’m very happy it was the editors pick.

Beautiful Image Igor. I personally love the image both with and without the leaf, but personal bias is on the image with the leaf of course. I was thinking how the image would look if you would rotate so that the bright leaf is at the bottom, I think if you want to emphasize the leaf more, and make it the subject, it could fare better on a flipped version. I tried it mzself and I think I prefer this version, but that is just my opinion. What do you think? Beautiful small scene. Kudos.

Yes I like that too. It looks more like and eruption than a cascade. It has upward movement. Energy going from down to up. The only problem is reality that is the pebbles are hanging from above. And pine needles hanging without falling.

Ohhh hahaa, I actually thought this is not a slope but a flat surface. I got it now. But I still prefer it with the leaf.