Mini Assignment #1

I try to consciously use the rule of thirds when taking photos and especially when cropping photos.  It doesn’t always turn out that way!  On our trip up to the Sierras yesterday I tried two different ways to take a photo of the sunlight on the mossy fir trees.

In photo # 1 I placed the tree trunk in the middle of the frame.  Though it is not my favorite, I thought that the black branches on the left and the light branches on the right helped the composition and allowed the centered tree trunk.  What do you think?  I liked the change from dark to light going horizontally through the photo.  I adjusted levels and applied Topaz Simplify buz sim as it softened the moss and brightens colors in my view.

Photo #1

Photo #2 follows the rule much better and is probably better composed.  I do think that #1 gives a little more mood however.  Anyway, #2 was also levels adjusted and had Topaz Simplify buz sim applied to it.  Overall, photo #1 is more of a portrait and photo #2 is more of a landscape.  We’ll go with that :).   Let me know what you all think.



11 thoughts on “Mini Assignment #1

  1. Tammy McChesney

    I agree w/ your assessment of #1 being a portrait & #2 being a landscape, but I do prefer #2…I like the angle you caught this at, the snow provides some nice contrast, and also I like that you can see a bit to the side of the one tree to give it a bit more depth….

  2. Out of the gate I like the BuzSim effect on both, one of my favorite Topaz filters. The image on the top is the winner for me. Under create depth it states then when one object is partually hidden by another your eye is tricked into seeing dimension, which is clearly also in this image. I love the dark branches and backgound, they just make the main subject jump at you!!

  3. I like the 2nd one best, especially with the snow, the textures on the tree are great oo.

  4. I also like the first, but unlike Jinxy, I like the dark tree and the way it’s branches encroach on your subject. Plus there is a lot more moss and that gives heaps of texture and character.

  5. Well IMHO, these call on two different emotions. The upper one is a study in light/darkness; lower one shows realism. I like them both and the effects you gave them.

  6. I favor the bottom one. The top photo seems too static to me. It’s a good photo, and it conveys a sense of strength, but the bottom one put the tree in its context: rooted in the ground in the sunlight in the winter.

  7. Oh, I love the bottom! I do like the top photo too – I agree it creates moodiness but think that the black trunk is a distraction. I’m liking your use of the buzz simplifier here too!

  8. I like the bottom one the best, but the top one does have a certain moodiness. Must find out about that filter you have used, where can I find it?

    • Thank you so much Catharine! The filter I used is in a plug-in for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements called Topaz Simplify. You can find it at I love all of their plug-ins. Thanks again to all for taking the time to stop by and leave your very helpful comments.

  9. The second picture is wonderful. I love the moss on the trees, the patches of snow and the sun on the branches. I also like that you can see the bottom of the tree. The simplify filter work well here.

  10. As others have said, the photos have a different feel to them. I like both, but my favorite is the bottom one. I think the tree off centered is more visually pleasing. The colors and light are beautiful on both!

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