View Full Version : Snow Cattails Willows and Cottonwoods

David Stephens
04-02-2014, 04:04 PM

Taken during a short, heavy snow while out looking for wildlife.

Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm f/4L IS at 70mm, Av Mode, ISO 800, +2/3EV, f/11, resulting in 1/320-sec., hand held, with Raw conversion in DxO Optics Pro 9.1

Grady Weed
04-03-2014, 10:15 AM
I have to admit, at first I was not sure how to handle this image. I really like the contrasted colors, on the bottom, the cattails, versus the leafless trees. The snow added some interest but the 2 blurred snow flakes draws my eye away. Since I love B&W's I thought a conversion would help diminish the minor distractions noted. I cropped up from the bottom, then converted to B&W. I adjusted the mid-tones, a slight shadows and highlights and mild curves adjustment. I would love to see one from further away, more of the trees, in a B&W. :) Do you have more? What do you think of the conversion? Thanks for posting.

Arthur Morris
04-03-2014, 05:34 PM
Nice job by Grady. The crop off the bottom was mandatory as the 3 large o-o-f reeds were image killers. I like the look of the smaller snowflakes. And I like the pattern of the tree branches. An image without the reeds might have worked well.

All that said Grady was right when he said that the few large o-o-f snowflakes were problematic here.

The overall lesson here: out-of-focus stuff be it snowflakes or reeds that are in front of the point of focus are almost always so distracting as to ruin an image.

I recently had to deal with similar problems in Japan.

Andrew McLachlan
04-03-2014, 06:28 PM
Hi David, ditto on Grady and Arthur's comments. I am assuming since this was a handheld capture perhaps you did not have your tripod with you. If you did have it with you a tripod mounted camera with slightly longer exposure may have captured the movement of falling snowflakes, creating a slightly more pleasing look. O do like the colors of the OP as well as Grady's B&W repost. Have you thought about using quick masks to remove the larger out-of-focus flakes? I'd be interested in seeing any other variations that you may have on this scene as I think you were on the right path, just did not nail it with this image...but maybe in another?

Diane Miller
04-03-2014, 10:27 PM
I'm late here but have to say I really love this image! There is so much interest in the trees, I wish to see more of them, vertically. But maybe a good reason more wasn't included. I do like cropping a little off the bottom in the composition presented in the OP -- there is a sameness in the bottom compared to the variations to be explored in the trees, for me anyway.

If you have other compositions of this scene, I'd love to see them!

David Stephens
04-03-2014, 10:40 PM
Thanks for the sincere, helpful suggestions. I actually thought the OOF snow was a positive, but I see what you mean. I'll try to rework it this weekend, taking into account your ideas.

David Stephens
04-03-2014, 10:45 PM
Oops, duplicate post.

Don Railton
04-03-2014, 11:36 PM
Hi Dave

You got good suggestions above. I liked the layers in the OP and the B&W RP by Grad lifts it further IMHO. Never seen snow falling like this..