View Full Version : Snowy tree

01-31-2010, 05:37 AM
One of the few shots that came out rather nicely on my latest shoot in a freezing cold evening.

I tried myself on some processing. I am not sure what to think about the result. It looks alright, then on the other hand, I get the feeling it is kind of overdone and inconsistant. Almost looks like a flash-picture.
Any suggestions on that matter or anything else is greatly appreciated.

So here the vanilla file straight out the camera. I used a 50mm prime lense (=75mm on my D70) at f1.8, 1/5 sec


And here framed and with some dodging and burning. I also desaturated the backround for less distraction and to hide chromatic aberrations due to the wide open apeture.


So what do you guys and girls think? Should I back off on the post processing and where? Or what would you do diffrently in capturing and post?

01-31-2010, 09:30 AM
hmm, for me there's not enough of the branch in focus-just a small bit in the middle of the branch. I love the texture of the branch so would want to see more. the snow have very little detail here as well. I don't think that the PP was overdone at all. It seems very subtle on my monitor.

I have tried shots like this numerous times and have never been happy with how they turn out :wall-an: so I'm not the best one to give advice here. I would take many pictures at different apertures to see which one gives the best perspective here. but there are others who will give you much better advice then me!

01-31-2010, 09:51 AM
hmm, for me there's not enough of the branch in focus-just a small bit in the middle of the branch. I love the texture of the branch so would want to see more. the snow have very little detail here as well.

You know, I never realized that. But now that you say it, it really would look much nicer if more of the foreground would be in focus. I minimized DoF because I liked how it blurred the background. But you're right. More sharp foreground texture would be nice.

Since it snowed today, I'll try going back later, find that spot again, and go through different apetures, like you suggested. Thanks. I'll report back in with those pictures.

I wonder, if there is a way to get more detail out of the snow without seriously underexposing the rest..maybe bracketing and layering in photoshop.. :shrug:

01-31-2010, 09:54 AM
well first off, forgive my poor grammar. I can't believe I typed that and didn't catch it. Blame it on lack of coffee!!

Next, snow is tough. I have started taking bracketed shots and then seeing which one looks good. Playing with the levels helps too. It's easier to capture the texture on a cloudy day then a sunny one unless the sun is well filtered by trees.

good luck!

01-31-2010, 11:36 AM

I like the play here and the creative thinking....this is how we learn.
This shot however, does not work for me. I think it does not work because it is confused.

What is the shot about? Is it about the snow, the tree, the moss on the tree. The angle of this shot, imo is not suitable to capture all 3 of these elements harmoniously. If this were my shot, I think I would have backed away to get at least one of the ends of the tree in the shot...


I would have zoomed in and concentrated on the mossy part of the tree with some snow on it. (The processing helps to achieve this in shot 2).

JMO - Hope it helps - Marko

01-31-2010, 01:37 PM

I went to do some test shots, so I know what to look for later on, when the sun is down here. I want to take it after sundown, because the background has too many distractions and also is too bright in sunlight.

Your suggestions really pointed me in a completely different direction of approaching this.
And now I'm not sure what exactly made me want take the picture :D...so I'll just try both of your suggestions and see which works better.

Not that it made taking the shot any easier...to the contrary.. but it was great help.
We'll see wether I can come up with other perspectives by backing off or closing in and which works best in the end. I'm getting excited about this.

I'll check back in later.

01-31-2010, 07:44 PM

I'm getting excited about this.

I'll check back in later.

and that's the whole point, isn't it?;)

02-04-2010, 07:56 AM
Been working (like earning money:) ) so I didn't have time to get back on this until now.

On Sunday, thanks to your suggestions, I was able come up with a number of shots. Each with their own flavor. But Marko was right, it's almost impossible to get all 3 elements (tree, moss & snow) in a harmoneous way.

Anyway here's the best of what I came up with. Didn't have much time so still little to no postprocessing. I plan to go in the same direction as in my first post, but I'm open to any suggestions.

Basically the same 75 mm composition, but at daytime at 1/20, f8, so more DoF, hence more detail on the moss, still not much detail on the snow.


Night, 18mm, f3.5, 6 sec. More tree, less moss, better snow detail.
I personally feel the background lefthand side is distracting..


Night, 75mm, f5,6, 13 sec. More moss, less snow but more detail. Tree, what tree?


Night, 8mm fisheye, f3.5, 8 sec. Even more tree and even more distraction in the background.


Night 8 mm fisheye, 3.5, 8 sec. More tree. It's not what I set out to do but what the heck. It was the shoot after which I realized I had gotten out of my rut.


Realization: I need a real Tripod. Pressing a cheap, small, wiggly garbage tripod against the bark of a tree works, but yikes...

Anyway, what do you think? Which do you prefer? And thanks again for getting me out of my rut. :)

02-04-2010, 08:20 AM
I'm partial to the 3rd shot...seems for me to work best as far as least distractions go and I like the colour contrast of the green and the white. I would like to see more foreground in focus however perhaps with the focus fading into the background.
Just my :twocents: ...other opinions might differ. :)

02-05-2010, 10:32 AM
For me Nr. 4 works very well - love the strange perspective here very much.

02-05-2010, 10:37 AM
I like the play here and this set is far superior to the first! :highfive:

Just as an FYI - the best light to reveal texture is sidelight.

Hope that helps - Marko

02-05-2010, 03:32 PM
I really like the last two. I like the perspective of the limb and the distractions aren't all that distracting to me. :)

I also like the looking-up-the-tree perspective.

Mad Aussie
02-05-2010, 06:55 PM
I like NR4 here as well! The tree is now in it's place ... it's become more of an environmental portrait of the branch. I also like the sky colours and the footprints leading back to the houses which tells us a story.