Image Doctor: The Tree
Photographer: Wayne Eeles
Camera Type: Pentax K20D
Lens: Pentax 50-135mm zoom
Shutter Speed: 1.5 second
Aperture: F 22
Adjustments: Removed some debris from foreground. Slight sharpening in Photoshop.
Photographer's Comments: Late afternoon, shot on the edge of a forest, I thought the contrast of the white trunk with the dark background would look interesting.Vertical camera movement gives it the abstract look.
Image doctor's advice
Adding movement to a landscape image brings an added dimension to a work. Aside from making us realise that the photographer has given some thought to the technique in which the image was made, we get the sense that this space is also alive and moving.
While I like the technique that you have applied to the photograph, it is in the post-production where I think you could take a bolder stand.
At first glance the tree and the grass in the foreground are both very bright but most of the other trees in the background have been lost in the shadows. For this reason you tend to lose that sense of movement in the picture and instead become lost with the structure of that tree upon the grass.
To rectify the situation I would start by darkening the grass in foreground; the simplest way to do this is to use the Burn Tool in Photoshop (start with the range set to Highlights and then Midtones).
Once you have done this I would be inclined to pull the photographs into an HDR (High Dynamic Range) program. Most high dynamic range programs are good at pulling out colour and detail from the shadows while at the same time controlling the highlights of the picture.
In the example below I opened the picture in Nic Software’s HDR Efex Pro and applied an effect called Realistic (Strong). I then used some control points in that app to darken down the grass and the main tree trunk some more.
If this effect is too strong for your liking then you can always combine this image with the original file and adjust the blending options to get an effect somewhere in between. As they say, the options are rather limitess.
Hope this is a help! Cheers ,Anthony
Image Doctor's edited version