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Ryan Hill's picture


Would love to hear your thoughts on this shot. After editing it and looking at it for a long amount of time it starts to look strange to me. Do you find the sky too cluttered and busy and the tree gets lost?

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Ralph Rackstraw's picture

I think the LHS of the ground is too dark

Shawn Mahan's picture

I agree with Ralph, I don't think it is the sky although I understand what you are asking with the dark cloud in the middle. I think the tree is getting lost because the lower rhs is a bit dark.

Dennis Mac Caskie's picture

You're right, the tree gets lost, but just because I'm contrary, I think the whole bottom half is too dark. Not enough contrast between the tree and the land. Maybe a secondary light source to bump up the tree?

Chris Jablonski's picture

To my mind you're on the right track, Ryan. Despite the appeal of those dark clouds per se, the contrast in them results in the top of the tree being "lost" a bit as you say.

Here's a quick edit reducing the contrast and increasing exposure above the horizon, and darkening the sky again above the tree (using two simple gradients). Although it's not all blended smoothly enough, to me the top of the tree gains due prominence, at slight compromise to the clouds, which are of secondary importance.

Alan Brown's picture

For me there is too little contrast between the tree and other elements. I would try to increase the exposure of both the the sand and the sky (perhaps via HSL or gradients with range mask). Then try to up the whites in the foreground to bring out the streaks of sea foam.

I don't think you need the sky to be dramatic - it should complement rather than compete with your subject.

It's almost there for me, minor adjustments could make a world of difference.

Chris Jablonski's picture

I'm sympathetic to the comments about the darkness of the sand, and lowish contrast for the trunk to stand out. My first inclination would be to do pretty much what Alan suggests.

However, in this case, I like the darkness, as it gives the image a slight sense of mystery to me, and makes me peer into the image a bit more intently, drawing me in. So although it's not what I would have done, I prefer Ryan's result now I see it (apart from the issue he raises). More moody.

Alan Brown's picture

Good point Chris. I'd love to see both with less contrast in the sky to better judge.
I do think the lines of sea foam could be brought out to help guide the eye through the image.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Ryan, if you do some further edits, as the original poster you can add them under the first image, so we can scroll from one to the next, and immediately see the changes. That would be interesting!

Ryan Hill's picture

Sorry for the late response! Thanks for all the ideas and comments, I will have another play around wiht this edit when i get the chance! :)