Light in the Woods

Showcase Category 
Image Critique

This is from a series of images taken in Bishop's Wood recently. During lockdown I am undertaking two projects, one examining impact and 'atmosphere' whilst looking at depth and contrast and the other examining the same in close-ups of flowers. As usual with my own images I am unsure about the opinions of others about them and would welocme any thoughts and comments. I am also, with varying degrees of success, exploring the links between LR and PS. I see our 'Showcase' pages as being a useful tool in the learning process.

Critique Category 
Image by Robert Helliwell


That sounds good Robert.  As you know, I'm in France at the moment and have been without my computer for most of the time.  When I get back, I was thinking of experimenting with a technique, that is badically applying contrast/light using a stamped copy of your image, applying a blend mode then mask filled with black and painting on the mask at various opacities.  I have some background details that I can put together later, if required.  As to the shot: good in camera technique (as always).  I could see the potential for using the above technique to selectively enhance the already good effects, to really draw the viewer in.

Submitted by allan-bate on Wed 29 Jul 2020 10:03am

Very interesting and certainly artistic, but to be honest, this picture makes me a bit nervous with the intense but (paradoxically) knife-sharp blur. As with all art, it's subjective, so maybe it's just me. But if your intention was to arouse emotion, you have succeeded in my case. ;-)

Hi Robert, I have a crib sheet on the approach I mentioned earlier, but it is a pdf.  Perhaps I can email it to you or if someone could let me know if there is a way of uploading a pdf here, then everyone could see it.  I also thought that if the intensity of the effect was too much for some, a similar use of the technique could be applied by using the image with an image of (near enough) the same image without any motion blur, selectively painting in the effect where needed??

Submitted by allan-bate on Wed 29 Jul 2020 10:47am

Hi Robert, an interesting image with a good range of colour from bottom to top. I assume ICM and this has been very well handled to achieve the 'streaking' effect. I particularly like the transition from green to blue (centre to top of image), as this is often the challenge from woodland scenes. In this case well handled. My only suggestion would be to revisit the 'dodging' at the bottom of the image. If this was done in PS I guess using a hard brush on a mask as the impressions are very sharp, -my assumptions of course. This effect is particularly on the central tree.

I would suggest using a soft brush and set the 'flow' to say 5% leaving the opacity at 100%. This allows you to gradually paint an area and build up the effect you wish to achieve. I have found that if you use opacity adjustment you need to let go of the brush to build up an effect, but using flow allows you to build a smoother integration without letting go of the brush. Hope this is of use.

With regard to Allan’s wish to attach a pdf. I don’t think it is possible to attach such a file to a showcase, but you could easily add a separate bulletin with an attachment if you wish to share with all members .

Morning Robert

I really like this image and this kind of approach to the editing of photographs. The blurring of art with photography is generally pleasing. As with oil painting I think the impression is always greater the further away from the image and I could enjoy it viewed as a large print on textured paper against a plain wall.  However, there are some interesting circular shapes appearing on the tree trunk in the centre of the image that I think detract from the overall impression and could do with blurring out (in my humble opinion).

Submitted by sue-leach on Thu 30 Jul 2020 11:44am

Thanks for all these comments and helpful advice. i'll continue to work on this image.