Yellowstone Landscape + Re-Post

I took this photo on a recent trip to Yellowstone National Park shortly after 6PM when the sun came for a short while.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I looked for an interesting foreground point of interest and chose the large tree root since only a small part of the valley was nicely lit. Is it interesting enough and what do you think of the photo overall


Any pertinent technical details:

Olympus E-M1.2 and 12-100 lens at f/8, 1/320 and ISO 1250.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

What makes the fg trunk work so well is that it’s like the river below. You could raise the darks in the wedge in the llc and show off that texture a bit more. Personally, I would drop the yellow highlights a smidgeon and the saturation in that tree. It’s a beautiful rich image - the tree is ‘screaming’. A really fine image.

An excellent Yellowstone image…
It is not an easy place to get images despite what one would think.
Nice FG choice, and nice comp.
I think it is a bit too warm for me, I might tweak the WB a bit.

Great image, I love the composition on this one. I agree with Igor about taking down the saturation and highlights in the tree to the right a little bit, just stands out a bit too much for me.

I like the composition, the S- curve of the River, and I think the FG tree is a strong framing element in the scene. I agree, this canyon is not an easy place to shoot, but you have come away with something pretty interesting, nice seeing on your part here. In terms of suggestions, I also think it is too warm, I would cool down the shadow areas, and keep the warmth in the highlights. I would darken down the tree in the lower right corner. And the horizon feels pretty tight to the top edge of the frame, I would have liked to see a little more breathing room there, the sky is interesting enough that you could have included a little more of it. but overall nicely done.

Hi Richard. That is quite some view and in general I do like the image. I have a few comments and they are going to be at odds with what the other have said ( so apologies in advance):

  • I don’t feel that the tree stump adds anything to the image. I actually think it detracts from the rest of the cool scene. One of the reasons I say this is that I didn’t notice it when I first looked at the image. It blends in too much (imo) with the cliff just behind it and looks like it may be part of it. Also with the stump it seems to cover part of the river, which to me is the main feature of this image. I think if the river had been placed in the gap between the end of the stump and the tree you would have been on to a winner. With the brown stump and the brown cliff it comes across as a little unbalanced.
  • I may clone out (if that is a think you are comfortable with doing) the tree in the upper left corner.
  • I think some of the others talked about the highlights and sat of the tree in the foreground on the right and I agree with that.

Sorry to sound a little harsh on the cc. Feel free to let me know if you disagree with it :smile:

I am kind of with Eugene on this one regarding the tree root in the foreground. I find my eye goes to it and stops, while my mind wants to follow the line of the river (if that makes any sense). I think a big factor is how it interrupts the line of the river. I find the rest of the scene quite appealing and the warmth of the image works for me. I love the light on the green tree and the line of the river.

Richard, this is a good view of the Calcite Springs area with fine light and an interesting composition at a site that is very challenging photographically due to the limits on where you can stand and all the trees. I think better separation between the tree root (which I really like) and the ridge behind it would help. You may be able to get that with some burning and dodging.

Many thanks to all who have responded. There’s no need for apologies as what I was looking for was constructive criticism. I confess to a genetic deficiency which makes me prone to over-saturation. Mea culpa :sunglasses:
As has been noted, there are limits to where one can stand. I would have liked to have the tree trunk not protrude into the river, but that would have meant climbing over a rail and jumping down a few feet to the ground below.
I have done a white balance correction while keeping a degree of warmth in the sunlit areas and opened up the shadows in the LLC. My wife now approves, so what do you folks think? Richard

Don’t want to be difficult but the overall color pallette was better before. The oranges are gone and there is a yellowish cast to the overall image. The tree is starting to blend into the background. You had better color separation of tree from background before. I would try to bring back the hotter warm tones while leaving the tree as is.

Great composition Rich. The photo really is split 2/3 x 1/3 with the 2/3 on the left and the 1/3 on the right. The sun from the left appears to be washing out the right side a bit and the pine tree on the right could be a bit darker by playing with your white balance. I am also wondering if your ISO is set too high and or your exposure is too slow. Increasing your aperature would also help darken the outer edges a bit as well, with an f-stop around 11-15 maybe.