Aspen forest help

Discussion in 'Critique of Photos' started by Ben Egbert, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    I love aspen forests but have never been able to capture a compelling image. I usually want an entire tree without cutting it off. But the ones I see that look good tend to emphasize the trunks and the array of them all in a line.

    A couple weeks ago while camping, I had a lovely aspen forest right in my campground. After getting my morning shot, I wondered around the trees and took several images, this was the best of them.

    I would like you critique on this one and any tips you may have for choosing a comp and or processing etc.

    Feel free to rework this one, or if you want, I can put up and unedited JPG.

    180627-6968-5DS R.jpg
     
  2. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2017
    Messages:
    8,797
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    SoCal
    Home Page:
    Hey Ben,

    I wish I could help more, but I just back down from another day up in the mountains here in Colorado.

    I will say, I have seen some great looking aspen shots like you are describing, I have strived to get some of those type of shots myself. I have found that’s a hard shot to capture.
     
    Ben Egbert likes this.
  3. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    Thanks Jim, maybe its just a matter of luck and light. I have seen some while driving by and no place to park.
     
  4. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    5,006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington
    Home Page:
    Ben - I took a shot at the trunks just to see what I could do with this. I used the Transform tools in Lightroom to contort the image for vertical trunks and then spread the result to a pano view. Settings: Vertical +21; Horizontal -4; Aspect +38; and Scale at 76. Finally I cropped the bottom to make the subject the aspen trunks instead of the foreground vegetation.

    180627-6968-5DS R.jpg
     
    Ben Egbert likes this.
  5. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    Thanks Allen that is really helpful I suppose this is when a tse lens would be useful
     
  6. JimFox

    JimFox Moderator
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2017
    Messages:
    8,797
    Likes Received:
    5,879
    Location:
    SoCal
    Home Page:
    I like Alan’s work on this!
     
  7. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    5,006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington
    Home Page:
    Yup - this is what it is very good at. I use my 24mm TS-E to make a wide shot as a shifted pano which eliminates the WA distortion I get from just using a wide lens.
     
    Ben Egbert likes this.
  8. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    So did I I had the 17 and 24 butbefore live view and I missed focus too much
     
  9. AlanLichty

    AlanLichty Moderator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2017
    Messages:
    6,376
    Likes Received:
    5,006
    Location:
    Vancouver, Washington
    Home Page:
    The TS-E's are almost impossible to use without Live View. No way I can get good clean focus through the little viewfinder.
     
    Ben Egbert likes this.
  10. Ken Rennie

    Ken Rennie Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    289
    Location:
    Cumbria, North of England
    Looking at your image Ben it looks very busy. Part of this is caused by the bright sunshine with extreme highlights grabbing the attention. I usually head for the woods when there is flat light. The other way to simplify the image is use a wide aperture the shallow dof allows a few foreground trees to stand out. Mist is the best solution however. I did look at a few of my ICM shots to see if it would simplify the image. Here is an image to give you an idea what simplifying the background could do. Ken
    _DSC2371-1.jpg
     
    Kyle Jones likes this.
  11. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    Thanks so much Ken for your reply and example. I have been out of town last week and away from a decent computer so late in answering.

    This is a great explanation and example. I am usually going for maximum DOF in my landscapes so this is a style I need to adapt and try to see if I can get a handle on it.

    I saw on my way home that the trees in my area are just about ready for fall color, so I will be going into the aspen forests to try my hand. I will look for darker days, as mist is not a common feature in this area.
     
  12. Jeffrey

    Jeffrey Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2017
    Messages:
    825
    Likes Received:
    1,132
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Home Page:
    Ben, simply put, forests are a difficult thing to capture. I don't mean small scenes or close ups of groupings of elements, I mean making a meaningful image of what a forest looks like. The scenes are always a cacophony of branches and things filling every area and going every which way. Personally, that is not what I want. I have very few forest keepers after all these years. Some forests are unique, like the Mariposa Grove or the Bristlecones, but most are too busy and confusing. Your image does a good job of accurately representing a very attractive area within your forest, but it doesn't have the interest or fascination to make it a fine art photograph. I'm recommending you 'crop' your vision to extract out a smaller scene that can be taken with one swallow. It may be harder to do that but the results of a successful effort are worth it. Aspens usually have too much ground growth as shown here (for me, that is). I also seek isolation and less background. Look at Ansel's aspen to see where I'm coming from here. Try using a long lens only and that may help adjust your brain to see that way.
     
  13. Ben Egbert

    Ben Egbert Forum Helper
    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2017
    Messages:
    5,960
    Likes Received:
    3,677
    Location:
    American Fork Utah
    Home Page:
    Thanks Jeffrey. Most of my aspen shots are from a wide angle perspective that shows the fall color which is generally more uniform and less interest in the trunks. I will try both on my next trip. The long lens is a good suggestion.

    You might be proud to know that on my recent Teton Trip I never used my 11-24 lens. Just the 24-70 and 100-400.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Welcome to Focal World. As a Guest you have access to view the resources here. But it is totally FREE to Register and participate in the forums. If you find FocalWorld useful, please support it be Upgrading your Account to a Premium Account located in your Profile page. It is only $15 a year and will give you added ability of uploading photos directly from your computer and also the allows you to create your own Galleries. We will be sharing the Daily Featured Photos on FaceBook, Instagram and in a Pbase Gallery to help share FocalWorld with others and to draw in new users as they view the incredible photos shared here. All photos share will include the name of the photographer who took them. If you do not want your photo to be shared in this method please let me know. But hopefully everyone will participate in helping to spread the word of FocalWorld in this manner. Thanks, Jim Fox