The Tree

I’ve been working on some forest images from a recent trip including this image.

The compositional idea was to centre the tree in the middle of the frame & use the ferns in the foreground to help point/lead towards it.

After getting about halfway through the edit I realised that things weren’t working primarily because this was taken within a forest full of fog with little to no contrast, it was just flat.

It’s at this stage I decided to take a little a leap of faith & bring in the idea of light & direction. The warm ‘sunlight’ that you see was added in after the fact and used to bring depth, drama & emotion into the image.

I’d love some feedback, I really appreciate having opinions that aren’t mine after staring at an image for ages

Specific Feedback Requested

  • How does the composition look, is there anything that I could change that would help?

  • Does the sunlight, rays etc look correct (aka does it look real)?

  • How do the colours look?

  • Any other feedback I’d appreciate it

Technical Details

Is this a composite: Yes (light added after the fact)
Two shots, one focused on the tree/background, one on the ferns in the foreground focus stacked together so that everything was in focus.

Camera raw for adjustments with tk actions helping me bring down the highlights

For the sun rays & dodging a mix of hard, soft & normal layers with colour


Your image and the light in it brings a mood of peace and even serenity .I also like the composition. The tree in the middle seems to have wings. You didn’t give it a name, I should name it" Serenity on wings".

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Dale, an interesting image and it sounds like you spent a good deal of time on the processing. If you added the sunlight and rays after the image was taken, then in my book it is a composite, and that’s ok. What a lush location and subject matter. Good focus and detail on the ferns especially the right side of the frame. It’s the best part of the image for me…very pleasing, repeating shapes and forms with good detail. The bluish fog on the right and the and the warmer sunlight on the left seem to be at odds with each other. I would try to treat the sun and rays with a bluer white balance and crop a portion of the top of the image so the sky is not as prominent . You could take a little off the left removing some of the darker fern areasybe. What’s left is nice sunlight on the tree trunk and more attention and focus on the best part of the image, the ferns on the right. Just my thoughts. Good Luck in 2021!

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Hi Dale. Sorry for the late response, but this is the first time I’ve had a moment to jump on NPN in about 6 weeks. I think this is a lovely image, and I would not have been able to tell it was a composite, so nice work there. I downloaded it and played with it a little - tightened the crop a little bit as I thought the sky was a bit overdone, and I dodged a little on some of the highlights just to add a little pop here and there. I’m not sure it helped any because I’m not sure what you wanted to say with the image. Beautiful capture however. Take care.

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