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The tree

This is a discussion on The tree within the Critiques forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; Hi, I saw this tree about a week ago, and was immediately struck by what it said. This withered old ...

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    Default The tree

    Hi,
    I saw this tree about a week ago, and was immediately struck by what it said. This withered old dead hulk standing in a field next to the encroaching civilization, soon to meet the bulldozer. But, alas, the picture doesn't really say anything. Why? Wrong angle? Too far away? (Enhancing the lighting didn't really do much.) ??? I'm going to take another wack at it after I can figure out what it's missing. Any suggestions?
    ....... john

    Name:  100_0146.jpg
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    Since this is in the Critique section, I will give you my two cents:

    First off, the tree is a great subject, very nice find, but you are not doing it very much justice here. It is in the middle of the image. Use the basic rule of thirds, move it one side or the other.

    Second thing, always remember the human eye is naturally attracted to light. The tree is dark and is being overshadowed by the clouds, white buildings, etc. My eye wants to land on these things, no the tree. Plus the background is really distracting itself. If you have the lens, open the aperture to 2.8 (or the max that you have) to completely distort the background.

    Third, the image itself is a little flat. I would boost the contrast and saturation a little.

    Like I said, you have a great subject, it just needs presented in a better way. I would even try B&W, and/or step to your left until the building or out of the BG. It looks clear on the right side on the image.
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    OK, I didn't read your entire description of the photo and realize you want to include the construction. in that case, I would step to the right so the entire BG is covered in the new construction. With your permission, I would like to do a basic edit to show you my idea. i won't do it until I get your permission.
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    Hi,
    Yes, of course. Please do what you like with it. I know that it's a crappy picture; but think it has great potential, that I have not been able to bring out.
    ...... john

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    Here are a couple quick edits I did for a general idea. All I did was place the tree more to the right, and boost the saturation, contrast, and other levels.

    Name:  tree.jpg
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    Name:  treebw.jpg
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    For me there's nothing interesting going on in the foreground and yet that foreground occupies lots of space.
    I'd reshoot it - But if I were to edit this (since you seem to be OK with editing for this pic) , here's my very quick take - (that I would still refine with dodging and burning), still respecting the original ratio - Slight levels play. nothing else done on edit one. The vertical crop on edit 2 was the same with a hint of sharpening.
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    Yes, you both seem to agree that the excessive foreground is a drawback. I do like the narrowing down, forcing one to focus on the tree. I shot it from some distance. I'm going to retry it, with a better camera, and see if I can't improve it.
    Thanks,
    ..... john

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    If you got closer to the tree, and a little lower down on the ground, the tree might seem to tower over the city, which would be an interesting effect. Especially if the light is right, maybe try at night, or dusk and light the tree with a flash, it could be really eerie.

    Edit: Also I think I'd try moving camera left, so that the homes come up to the tree, but then the wilderness stretches out a little to the right of the tree.

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    Here's another attempt .... a lot closer, and with the tree to the right. Unfortunately they've put up a barrier that blocks out much of the housing.
    ...... john

    Name:  P1130737_hf2a.jpg
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    Hi,
    I can't get any closer to the tree, and still get it all in. I think I'm going to have to wait 'til the construction has ended, and the fence removed, before I can get a decent shot with the houses. I thought about a night shot with the flash, but I don't think that my 'crappy' flash will reach beyond the bottom branches. (This is a large tree.) Now that you mention it though, I might be able to get a good silhouette shot at night, with the bright horizon. My original intention was to show the old dead warrior tree still standing against the encroaching city, or something like that.
    Just as a curiosity .... when I was trying to modify this image to get the effect I wanted I tried one of the Photofiltre menus (Plugin/engraving/Releif+(3)). Here's the result. It's interesting how it leaves the sky completely intact.

    Name:  White Tree.jpg
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    .... john
    P.S. I also noticed that the houses appear much closer (larger) when I zoomed in from far away, as opposed to shooting closeup with no zoom. The first picture I posted was from about 50 metres; the second was from right in from of the tree. Interesting.

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