View Full Version : The Old Apple Tree Redux

02-10-2010, 10:56 PM
okay. I took everyone's comments and went back to the tree today. The other shot was a quickie I took while walking with a friend. :wall-an:This time I took my time, circled it a few times and took a few perspectives and exposures on it. No tripod so didn't do an hdr.

I think that this is an improvement. I took a landscape perspective and did my best to get the apple tree off centre. It was hard because of the shape of the tree and I didn't want to get too far back. Anyway, enough chatter here are my shots:


you may remember I did a summer version of this one. what do you think? Should I centre the window more?

and this is my fav of the set:

I hope 3 aren't too many for the critique page :shrug:

02-10-2010, 11:09 PM
First one, nah, you can see the house off to the right and me the nit-picker cannot help but being distracted by it, then again I am ADHD hahaha. 2nd one is a fabulous photos just like it, works in every way, thats a print photo and I like the slight offset of the window. 3rd, hmmmm might be my monitor but it looks a bit flat, and don't HDR it, everyone should know I hate HDR so thats not it, maybe some tone adjustments? Your composition on #3 is great so to me 2 and 3 are wonderfully done and 3 just needs some boost and not a lot, just wee bit. As always just my two cents that is worth far less than that.

One more thing, although I think the 3rd is well done, after a long look maybe you should have knelt down a bit and not make the tree line match across the bottom of the house, colour far to similar. Seems to rob the photo of depth, could be why I originally found it a bit flat. Use a noise reducer on 3 also then I would sharpen it and then go from there. As you know I am not a big fan of PSing but your not me and bet your glad of that eh, lol .... and still needs a small tone adjustment of boost of colour.

02-10-2010, 11:18 PM
First one, nah, you can see the house off to the right and me the nit-picker cannot help but being distracted by it, then again I am ADHD hahaha.
Nope, not just you AL. First thing I noticed. A step to the right would have fixed that. There is also a bit of noise in the sky

2nd one doesn't do a heap for me, but I can see why you took the shot. I do like that I can't decide if its a window or a reflection.

The 3rd one is the winner for me. It would be slightly better if you turned/stepped to the left to get all the tree and maybe also get ride of the part tree on the right. It might also need a white balance correction, but that could just be my dodgy monitor.

It is certainly a lovely subject.

02-11-2010, 12:07 AM
In the first one the little shack is getting in the way of that beautiful tree. Second one is nice and I like the third one is nice as well although I would go back on a nice sunset and bring a picnic and wait for the golden light

Mad Aussie
02-11-2010, 01:38 AM
Oh they are harsh aren't they Bambi! :)

I remember these photos you took last time and I clearly see a big improvement.

That 2nd shot ... the snow is a bit blown out there I think ... unless it really was that white, bright, and detail-less. I reckon keep going with this set you are building. Get the same in spring and autumn and make a wall set out of them!

The 1st shot ... I like it. Remembering the first attempt was a portrait and we said to go landscape to include more of the 'shed', I reckon you made a big step forward. As far as the house is concerned ... I don't really mind it. If it could have been hidden then perhaps that would have been better but it does place the tree and shelter somewhere purposeful ... on someones property.
I just went to your Flickr album to look at the Exif data on this one to see why there's noise in the sky. ISO 200 shouldn't have produced that. Aperture priority f5.6 and 1/160th. I can only assume that aperture priority has been fooled by the brightness of the snow and sky here and stopped down (even though you fix the aperture/ f-stop the camera uses the shutter speed to create the same effect) and slightly under-exposed the shot creating the noise.

The 3rd shot is big step up in composition also with a cool added interest of seeing the mini scene through the window. Less or no noise here either. However, in an effort to not have anything centered it appears you have clipped the trees branches on the right even though there's plenty of room on the left after the shelter.
I agree with A.L that the colour seems a bit flat.
I'd be inclined to maybe burn in some of that sky detail as well and see if that helps.
This shot is another that could work as a set of the seasons, and like ArtT suggests, for natures more dramatic moments as well ... sunsets/rises, storms, perfect skies, snow falls etc.

02-11-2010, 01:54 AM
Oh they are harsh aren't they Bambi! :)

Trust me this is not harsh :angel:, now the reason I rarely critique is I am unable to bite my tongue because I am brutally hard on my photos and if I was the same with others I would be tarred and run out of town on rail, lol. See Signature hahaha ... first line ...

Mad Aussie
02-11-2010, 02:11 AM
Yeh ... you can be as subtle as a shark attack sometimes A.L :rolleyes:

02-11-2010, 02:15 AM
The third one for sure is the winner for its simplicity. As suggested losing the tree branches on the right and extending the tree to the left would have been a stronger composition but still it reminds me of a watercolor painting and I quite like it.

02-11-2010, 08:38 AM
I like #3 too Bambi. :) I think the first one you could eliminate the house by also getting low down on the ground and shooting. These days I've taken to wearing waterproof pants and jackets when I go out shooting so I have the option to lay on the ground as far down as I can go to get different perspectives. Might look a bit goofy but saves my clothing and keeps me dry and warm.
Just a thought. :)

Btw, is that an ice hut? I am curious to know what the building is?

Oh and in #2, I would off center it a bit more just to make it even more interesting,,,or Ii would make it in dead center....to match the other one but that's just me. :) I really like the patina of the wood here as well as the view.

02-11-2010, 09:33 AM
The 1st one doesn't really work for me, because of the composition with the houses in the backround. They are in the but only halfway and look like they have no real place there.

The 2nd I really like, and I agree, you should make this a seasonal set. That could really make a great set.

The 3rd one works good as far as composition goes. Especiaclly how you can see under the hut. A lower perspective could enhance this.
Also I feel the light makes the picture kind of dull to my eyes. Maybe a diffrent time of day could make it more intresting.
B&W with higher contrast could also enhance this shot, since the shadow of the tree would be more pronounced.

02-11-2010, 09:57 AM
Third shot works for me.. just need to wait for a day with a more interesting sky... I like the way the shed has similar tones to the tree.

02-11-2010, 02:44 PM
WOW! Thanks guys for all the comments. :thankyou:

*sigh* this photography stuff is HARD! :sad: :clown:

I don't mind harsh-as long as it's on how to improve and not 'you should never ever pick up a camera again'. :headslap: And I am grateful for how people are being so detailed in their responses.

I did lay down, but did not like how I lost the line of sight down the river so nixed that.

Moving to the left brought in some brush laying around that did not add to the shot at all.

I did take a front view of the tree and shed and will post that once I finish with it.

I was worried about over-processing the sky and having it noisy but will go back and try to burn it further. I will also play with the levels. I am working from a laptop so can't always be sure of being correct. so I try to be cautious and not over do it (like when I was over-sharpening)

When I crop to show all of the tree then everything is dead centre and it's less interesting to me. however I can take a second look and see if I can get the branches back :)

The snow is too blown out in the window shot and cannot be saved but I think it's due to the distortion of the window and the fact that my camera likely compensated for the darker wood and trees and not the snow. I took different exposures but the snow through the window was the same in all. :wall-an:

I can try to run the first one through some noise reduction and see if that helps with the sky.

Re a sunset pic: Unfortunately the sun would set behind me so I'll have to trudge over there at dawn. And if I do that I will need to figure out a)when is dawn and b) will it be a sunny day? looking at the weather it seems that it would sat or sunday. damn, I'll lose some sleep there!

When I look at #3 the reason I like is that it reminds me of two elderly beings enduring together. I also like how you have the mini view from the window (like MA).

oh and Casil- it's not an ice shed. The people who own the property like the view so they built a 3 sided shed to sit and watch the river in. It's quite a lovely place to sit in the summer (and even in the winter). Because the wood has been untreated it's taken on that lovely gray patina.

02-12-2010, 12:11 AM
Okay so I tackled Shot 3 again this is what I got playing with the contrast, making sure I didn't boost the noise and adjusted the crop. Looks better to me but I await more informed opinions. I am just not sure if it's too 'blue'

and because it seemed so close to being desaturated I tried b&w. seems to add a vintage feel:

Mad Aussie
02-12-2010, 01:02 AM
The B&W version doesn't strike me much personally but that latest version of the coloured one is a very nice strp forward I reckon. The composition looks better now ... both contrast and colour are more vibrant as well. Looks like a slight blur effect used as well?
I like it!

02-12-2010, 02:08 AM
I like the colored version as well. It is like a watercolor painting with it's subdued blues and greys.

02-12-2010, 06:26 AM
I like the coloured version, to be hyper critical I would just rotate the camera slightly so the empty space on the right hand side of the shed is equal to the empty space on the left hand side of the tree.

It is a beautiful photo.

02-12-2010, 09:24 AM
thanks guys! glad to know I'm heading in the right direction. MA, not so much as blur effect as a noise reduction. when I boosted the contrast and levels some noise came up in the sky so I then ran it through a noise filter. I kinda liked the effect.

the final colour version is my favourite but I do like the b&w, it has a different mood to it. I might return to it and see if I can make it bit more vintage looking.