The indication

Lately I haven’t been doing a lot of landscape photography, but this bit of trail struck me. I was exploring new entry points to the Prairie River when I found this freshly mowed trail back to some public hunting land. The view of the river was ho-hum, but I found quite a few mushrooms and small scenes trailside. This bracken was spared from the mower because there is a tree or two just behind me that the mower went on either side of. I liked the way it seemed to point down into the forest.

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So the saturation. It was soaking wet from recent rain and I did try to tame the greens and such, but it really was brilliant and deep. Thoughts?

Technical Details

Tripod and maybe a CPL


Lr for wb adjustment, lowered exposure and a lot of work to tame greens. Also some use of Radial masks to smooth some transitions in luminosity. A bit of a crop at the top where the branches got distracting. Some use of Transform and Lens correction to normalize geometry.

Photoshop to blend two images - far and near focus points. Also distraction removal. Some zone and color masks to further tame some bright spots with burning. A Smart Orton effect that I modified quite a bit to maintain sharpness and keep it from being cartoonish.


Hey Kristin! First I want to point out something you did really well and that is to seclude the subject of the fern by placing it in the pack and not intersecting anything with it. That’s very direct but not always easy to do. To the saturation point, embrace the green. Roll with it. Nature does some amazing things when it rains. Don’t tame it, embrace it.

Thanks @David_Johnston - did the usual tripod dance before deciding on this composition. Was practically in the fern and the tripod was at medium height. Bracken is one of the most temperature sensitive ferns we have and so this and its brethren are probably all brown by now which would have also worked. Glad the greens don’t seem to out of control. Everything was quite wet still.

Nice forest shot, Kristen. I think forest shots are difficult. We have very beautiful forests in my area, but they are very messy and it takes a lot of looking to find a scene that isn’t so chaotic. Like @David_Johnston said, I don’t think the greens are over saturated. They look like healthy greens to me. It does look like the fern is pointing us into the forest. Good job.

Kris, excellent composition and lovely greens. The CPL always saturates greens, but this works nicely. Well done.

The greens look perfect to me, but keep in mind that I haven’t seen a natural green since April. This is a wonderful find well composed!


A lovely and well composed image. I think the placement of the fern - just off center, works perfectly especially being surrounded by the “mow strip.” :slight_smile: Speaking of the mowed area - never would have thought this as this all looks quite natural.

The only suggestion I have would be in toning down the ferns themselves. They’re a little bright, to my eye anyway.

The pathway works beautifully in pulling the viewer in to the scene; the forest backdrop is lovely.

Colors and processing are excellent - with the minor exception of the comment onthe fern brightness. Of course in the personal choice realm…


Thanks @Donna_Callais, @David_Bostock, @Diane_Miller & @Lon_Overacker - I occasionally do look up of the forest floor! :laughing:

Green is something we aren’t short of here in Wisconsin, Packers aside. I played the the luminosity in the fern a lot before deciding on parking it here. Maybe I should look at it again. The idea was to have a more open feeling in the foreground and get darker and more mysterious as you look to the distance. I’ll fool with it.

And about the mowing - it’s necessary in a lot of places in order to get your deer or bear carcass out. Unless you’re prepared to butcher it on the spot and pack it on your back (hopefully you have friends), you need to get an ATV to where it is and haul it out that way. A lot of public hunting grounds are cris-crossed with ATV trails for this purpose. County, State and National forest, too. Basically anywhere it’s legal to hunt.

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Thank you for the information Kris!

Sorry if that was a little too “As you know, Bob”, but hunting is big where I am. Seasons have already started for waterfowl. A few minutes ago I could hear someone firing in the distance. Since I’m near water I assume it was ducks or geese. That’s why there are two blaze-colored items of clothing in my Jeep all the time. You just never know!