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Linda Skou Olsson's picture

Too messy, or?

I find it difficult to create magical woodscape photographs. The forest is really too messy. But I really love this spot in the forest close to my home. For someone not familiar with this spot, is this in any way magically, or is it just a mess?

Any suggestions to how to make this scenery less messy, or should I just keep looking for a perfect spot?

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Peter Gerkin's picture

I have the same issues getting the right shot in the Alabama woods. In this image I think the culprit is the limb hanging down in the center.

Linda Skou Olsson's picture

THANKS! I didn't even notice it myself to be honest. All the videos I've seen the last couple all months, and a lot of them advice to look around the edges. And I forgot.

John Pless's picture

maybe if you did a vertical and made the big tree the star of the show with just a frame of the other trees going down the lane. You might also try stepping a couple of steps to the left

Sridhar Chilimuri's picture

I agree I would step to the left and try another shot and crop some of the forest on the side - you do still have the making of a wonderful photograph

Linda Skou Olsson's picture

Thanks, both. I actually went back this morning trying more angles (not converted yet)

Peter Dyndiuk's picture

You might try something to isolate the main subject a bit more, perhaps try the shot with a shallow depth of field.

Linda Skou Olsson's picture

Thanks. I love the path, but I see the point not trying to keep two main subjects. That's not working anyway. I'll go back and try to focus on one or the other.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Understand the issue all too well, Linda! I think you've done a good job here. I don't think it's too "messy" to be an effective image..I agree with Peter that the dangling branch detracts a bit, but I'd be torn about cloning such a large element out. I wonder if you can emphasise the backlit central tree with tonal adjustments, and de-emphasise the sides a little by lowering contrast and clarity.

I've had a go here, but other than removing the branch, I'm not sure the changes are any improvement. On balance, I think I would just clone out the branch. There IS a magic about the image!

Interesting post. Thanks, Linda. Show us more.

Linda Skou Olsson's picture

THANKS! When I saw your edit I understood what Peter Gerkin meant. I was simply blind to that dangling branch!

I did actually play around with lowering the clarity (but not the contrast) but was afraid of overdoing it.I'll play around a bit more.

Thanks for nice words :-)

Charles Mercier's picture

Nature is never messy. Everything has a function and purpose. The problem I see here is that the tree is prominent and in the foreground but it's not highlighted and takes your eye from the bottom to the top. But that conflicts directly with the path which somewhat highlighted and being human, our eye wants to follow that to see where it leads but is distracted by the tree and the trees behind that which ARE highlighted - literally. As well as the light of the sky which also conflicts by attracting the eye upward. Then you have the dark uninteresting trees on either side - though there are a couple interesting lines on the left.

More drama with the light or sky would help a lot. So it would help if only the tree had sunlight on it, it would be the main subject. The path also can be its subject with the tree more off to the side. If the light streak was going straight down the path, that would be dramatic.

RT Simon's picture

Ask yourself about the lighting, time of day, and try to imagine it during different times of the year. This is perhaps the weakest aspect of many landscapes. Right angle, wrong moment.