Belinda Hudnall Keller  

 Holding On by Belinda Hudnall Keller

April 2021 - Holding On

April 2021 - Belinda Hudnall Keller


About the Image(s)

I saw this at the end of a trip and wished for more time. It was at a parking lot entrance to a hiking trail, and completely overlooked.
I liked the rock formations and the tree with its roots reaching across, but my final version is still not satisfactory to me.
The time of day (bright fall afternoon) placed the rocks in deep shade and left the sky and background too sunny. The branches were mostly silhouetted. They looked ok, but the yellow-green tones were yucky. I tried a closer crop but the large rock was overwhelming. Would dodge/burn help correct the background? If I revisit this with my regular camera, tripod, etc., any tips for composing?

Samsung Galaxy s9, auto: f/2.4, 1/120, ISO50
Photo Editor: corrected temperature, adjusted contrasts
Snapseed: Cropped closely, adjusted curves, healing tool removed the bit of road, selective tool reduced saturation on rocks, vignette

13 comments posted

Bob Rosenberg   Bob Rosenberg
The one thing I do with compositions like yours is "zoom with my feet". That means walk all around the subject, get closer, move back, etc. Take 50 shots. Hope that helps. :)   Posted: 04/05/2021 15:31:21
Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Thanks, Bob. I got maybe 20 quick shots, and "working the scene" is always helpful.   Posted: 04/07/2021 15:11:17

Tony Au Yeong   Tony Au Yeong
From your title it seems to me that you are trying to emphasize the roots of the trees holding on the rock. I would suggest cropping away the left side of the image as well as part of the tree on the top part, so as to put your point of interest according to the rule of third or golden ratio at your discretion. Then may be you can increase the brightness, vibrance and contrast of your point of interest to make it eye catching.   Posted: 04/07/2021 00:55:23
Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Thank you, Tony. Yes, I was drawn to the roots first. I made the mistake of 2nd guessing and included the rocks. They distract.   Posted: 04/07/2021 15:14:17

Bob Benson   Bob Benson
I agree that cropping most off the rock to just below the tree roots eliminates the ugly gray quality of these. I went back to the original, as there were yellows in there that can be made to pop, that somehow were lost to pale greens in the adjustments. I also added a lot of contrast and darkness to the rocks, and took out the blue, which became apparent when I darkened them.   Posted: 04/07/2021 10:30:42
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Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Thanks, Bob, I like the color adjustments. Let's see if I can do that! As I said to Tony, I 2nd guessed myself. My first preference was a closeup of the roots which originally drew my attention, and leaving the rock really distracts. I'll try various angles and crops, but I think the close crop works.
  Posted: 04/07/2021 15:28:07

Bob Benson   Bob Benson
Also might consider cropping from other side too with different emphasis on the rocks.   Posted: 04/07/2021 10:31:49
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Mervyn Hurwitz   Mervyn Hurwitz
As soon as this picture came up I was distracted by the big grey rocks in the foreground. I like Bob's first crop as it emphasizes the root structure which is the most interesting part of the scene, and probably what caught your eye in the first place.   Posted: 04/07/2021 11:08:46
Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Yes, yes and yes! Thanks, Mervyn. I made the mistake of 2nd guessing and should have cropped close for the roots.   Posted: 04/07/2021 15:30:46

Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
I like your idea to show resilience, but I don't think that you fully achieved it with your picture. First, I would open up more the tree's root, which are still too dark. Also, you don't need so much of the tree and the somewhat distracting background. I would concentrate on the rocks and the root, showing them at full size. You don't need the rock on the left, either. Contrary to others, I would keep the rocks as they are and cut the tree from the top.   Posted: 04/07/2021 18:53:29
Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
Thanks, Jose! At what point do you suggest cutting the tree? Where the first set of branches start drooping down?   Posted: 04/08/2021 18:02:09
Jose Cartas   Jose Cartas
I would say 1/3 from the top.   Posted: 04/08/2021 18:09:31
Belinda Hudnall Keller   Belinda Hudnall Keller
I'll try it. Thanks.   Posted: 04/08/2021 18:13:50


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