Michael Hrankowski  

Lonesome Pine by Michael Hrankowski

July 2021 - Lonesome Pine

July 2021 - Michael Hrankowski


About the Image(s)

Image Info: Sony a6600; 1/125 sec @ f/19; 18-135 Zoom @ 23mm (32mm FFE)
Another image from my recent trip to Bryce Canyon. I was fascinated by the large stretches of rocky landscape devoid of life, then rounding a bend to find a lone tree or flower growing under seemingly impossible conditions. I chose a monochrome edit with stark contrast to emphasize the solitary nature of life in this inhospitable environment. Original is included for comparison.

This round’s discussion is now closed!
15 comments posted

Peter Elliston   Peter Elliston
Solitary trees always make good subjects and this is one of them. You certainly get the impression of a stark environment as you suggest and the noise/grain in the sky helps emphasise this. I feel the triangular base is perhaps a little too dark. Compositionally this works well.   Posted: 07/07/2021 03:34:24

Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
Hi Michael,
Nice composition. Black and white improves the image. Great contrast of the tree against the sky. I do agree with Peter that the base is too dark. I might lighten the foreground a bit to show more texture in the earth.   Posted: 07/07/2021 10:16:49
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Peter and Barbara, thanks for your observations. I agree. Here is a quick re-edit. I pulled a diagonal gradient filter in LR and increased the exposure slightly and increased the contrast.   Posted: 07/07/2021 13:38:28
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Barbara Asacker   Barbara Asacker
You improved the image. I like it.   Posted: 07/08/2021 11:29:41
Randy Andre   Randy Andre
I think with this edit the center of attention changed from the tree to the foreground as the tree looks fuzzy and the foreground is now very sharp.   Posted: 07/09/2021 11:13:32

Linda M Medine   Linda M Medine
Love this minimalistic image. Love the textures and the story. I would like to see if this make any difference. I cropped it and Yes, flipped it and used a radial tool in camera raw to bring out the tree more. I used a transform tool to make the tree a little taller and cleaned up the tree at the bottom. I just trying different things to see if it will work any better. I love your image Micheal. Thank you for the feedback.   Posted: 07/07/2021 15:30:23
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Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Linda, I LOVE it. Thank you for your re-imagination of my image. I'm always amazed at how the simple act of flipping an image can make such a difference!! And with regard to the transform tool....I'm still learning PS and it didn't even cross my mind to use it.   Posted: 07/09/2021 10:49:06
Randy Andre   Randy Andre
I like this cropping as it brings the tree closer to the viewer setting it as the dominant part of the image. Given all the "rules" of composition in photography this images works by ignoring many of them.   Posted: 07/09/2021 11:16:16

Randy Andre   Randy Andre
Nice b&w image of a solitary object. Cropped well, a nice desolate feel to the area. The tree seems a little blurry and the foreground sharp pulling my attention from the tree to the foreground which then changes my perception of the image.   Posted: 07/09/2021 11:20:10

Gerard Blair   Gerard Blair
The contrast here, for me, is in the so steep angle of the hillside and the determined vertical of the tree: it lends to a narrative of struggle and grit .. and for this reason I like the original orientation because the tree seems to be standing up to prevent my eyes falling down the hill (rather than climbing up it).
I am not a fan of grain. I do not see it in your original image so I think it is an artifact of the software and if I meet that, I tend to adjust the slider of "grains per something".
I really like your direction to emphasize the silhouette and with that I see the central decision/problem as being how much of the ground texture to retain. I struggled with this and ended up thus - with a crop moving the tree into one of those lines of thirds.   Posted: 07/10/2021 12:27:56
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Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Thank you, Gerard. I always appreciate your thoughtful comments!   Posted: 07/12/2021 17:34:49

Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
(Group 32)
This is a great subject, well-framed, and a good discussion with your group colleagues--very interesting to read.
My only comment is to suggest you get rid of the tiny tuft of grass in the left foreground of your original composition--I can't stop shifting my eye to it.   Posted: 07/16/2021 10:04:30
Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Thanks Stephen! ….the devil is in the details. That totally escaped me.   Posted: 07/21/2021 20:24:30

Leanne Moore
Hi Michael,
You have captured the tree on the vertical cliff perfectly. I like you orientation better, I think the diagonal of the cliff this way is pleasing to the eye and acts as a leading line down to the tree. The old reading from left to right theory again. I think the grain is a bit distracting and without it the tree and your story would stand out a lot more. I agree with Gerard that the image is better with the tree on the third. Great image   Posted: 07/21/2021 22:20:43

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
(Groups 3 & 62)
Hello Michael,

I like your image this month; the lone tree tells a great story. I also like the grain because it adds originality to the photo, something different than what we usually see; it makes me stop and take notice. Lastly, I find tension in the image from the right to left angle of view and that the tree is growing in a direction not usually seen, fighting against all odds.

I also like Gerard's edit in silhouette. I think a silhouette photograph can carry numerous possibilities for meaning.

Either way, this is a great image!


  Posted: 07/23/2021 12:47:01