I am going to leave what I wrote below with the caveat that I talk too much. As you can see I changed the title of this image to something less directive. For those interested, @Igor_Doncov 's comments below and my response to them offer more cogent insight, I think.
I would really like to get a sense of how others experience this image. The fact that I’ve titled it, “Kaleidoscope” is a bit of a give -away as to what I was trying for even as I made the picture in the field. And I confess, I put off working with it in post this past year for fear that I wouldn’t be able to pull it off. I was never sure if what I felt were its strengths would be its weaknesses. It is, after all, quasi-symmetrical on both axes – north/south and east/west. No “rule of thirds” here. It is a bullseye, right down the centre. What I do love about it are the fine textures, colours, detail as well as the play of light and shadow. Even though it is clear as to what this is a picture of, I feel that, in the sense of a kaleidoscope, it has an element of abstraction that I like very much – like looking at a light-refracting jewel. But, like many of us, I am always excited about the most recent of my offspring and, like any doting parent, have almost no sense of objectivity about these various “mini-me(s)” that come trooping out of my mind. So, I’d be very pleased to get some feedback from those of you who are not quite so attached to this image as I am.
Great vision here. The symmetry is clear and the “centered-ness” is 100% appropriate and effective here - Rule of Thirds need not apply. For me I get a clear sense of a tunnel view and/or certainly a window frame view - which means this also has depth, almost 3D.
Just a thought, but you might consider drawing on this even more by elevating the luminosity in the lower half to make even the light more symmetrical. I think this even might enhance the notion of a kaleidoscope. (although as presented I don’t get a kaleidoscope impression - but that’s ok!)
The difference between the two versions is very small, - but can see by flipping back and forth. I prefer the boosted yellows for sure.
This works wonderfully as presented. Optionally, boosting the luminosity (or combined with adjusting the top) to a more equal visual, would boost the abtract nature and 3D- tunnel view look. Glad you decided to work on this and share!
I immediately got the same idea as @Lon_Overacker, to elevate the luminosity in the reflection to make the image even more symmetrical. Below is a quick attempt. Less natural but maybe more kaleidoscopic.
This image has really grown on me as I understood better and better what you were after. I do see the similarity to a kaleidoscope but that was not my first impression. What I see is a shrine. I am thinking of is how religious objects are presented to worshippers in Mexican churches. There is often a great deal of ‘radiating’ background to emphasize the holiness of the object itself. Transpose that idea to an intimate landscape with proper processing and you get the above. Given that idea and the direction Ola has taken this I would make the central tree brighter (or have greater contrast). Generally, I feel if you’re going to make the reflections brighter than your central subject starts to lose it’s star power and needs some sort of boost to regain it.
Interestingly enough, despite all the symmetry throughout I kind of like the lily pads coming in from the side as an exception to it all (better in the original).
@Lon_Overacker , @Ola_Jovall , @Igor_Doncov - Thank you all for taking the time to take a look. I realize that when it comes to presenting my images, I talk too much!! Kaleidoscope is a flawed metaphor at best and, in the end, more of a misdirection than helpful.
( @Igor_Doncov ) Igor, your take on this image is more on the mark than what I wrote. While not exactly a shrine, I do want to convey a sense of the sacred. Like a couple of other images that I’ve posted, this one is based on the archetypal icon of a cross. So, as much as anything it is about complimentary opposites - inner/outer, dark/light, and especially “as above so below”. For that reason and from my perspective, the reflecting pool must be dark otherwise much of the tension and mystery is lost, and here I’m using “mystery” in the spiritual sense of the word. I could conceivably go even darker but I don’t want to lose the hint of reflected detail. And, Igor, thanks for noticing the lily pads, I also think that breaking of symmetry is a nice touch, very much in accordance with the natural world.
The symmetry works well here Kerry. I think keeping the reflection dark works better for the message you are trying to convey. The lily pads add a nice tension to the image.
A little bit late on this one Kerry and although I do sort of see the “Kaleidoscope,” it definitely is not the first impression that I got from this scene. I see this scene much in the way @Igor_Doncov sees the scene. The dead tree front and center is the star of the show here. It’s surrounded by such beauty and vitality with vibrant shades greens and yellows that it really makes the isolation of the tree all the more important. I love the “platform” of dead logs/sticks that the tree is apparently standing on contemplating what’s next. A look into the abyss at the afterlife? I also love the the procession of dead trees behind the main centered tree. This almost has the feel of a gathering place for the terminally ill or the sick and dying where last rights are given before entering a new world. It’s hard to put into words or explain, but I feel it by just looking at this image. This image has great emotional power. One of your best Kerry.
My first impression upon viewing the thumbnail was of an altar or shrine. The condition of the main tree (looks like it’s dying to me) brings to mind ancestor worship. And the lily pads coming in from the side feel like worshipers approaching the altar. Even though it’s so symmetrical, there are enough “irregular” elements (the lily pads, the horizontal logs that don’t reach across the entire frame) to give it life.