Single Tree Feedback


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Jun 12, 2015
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Hi all, I took this photo in Yellowstone and thought it was really cool. I posted it to 500px but the view to like ratio is really really low and im trying to find out why i think my photo is interesting but it doesnt seem to be doing it for anyone else. what could make this photo better? or what is it lacking?
Well, for some generic critique:
  • I like the depth of field.
  • I like the contrast between the white rock and the green tree.
  • I'm not a fan of the composition.
    • I generally like negative space in photos, but there's too much here that I personally don't think adds to the image. There is more negative space below, than above, which, again, I don't like in this image.
    • This may have looked better in landscape, rather than portrait.
    • The tree is centered, and I'm not sure that's pleasing for this image/subject.
  • The dead leaf (and two branches) below the tree hurt the image, IMO, as they take the eye away from the subject.
  • This may look better in a square crop, but that's just me thinking out loud.
welcome to the site. 500px can be a tough place and just because an image doesn't do well doesn't make it a bad photo.

That being said, my opinion, the composition could be changed to help. The dead leaf at the bottom in the dead space pulls your eyes from the tree.

I would probably have shot this landscape or even diagonal crop might help. Here's a crop to get rid of that leaf.

or what is it lacking?
You found the scene interesting partially because you saw it in the context of a larger scene. The problem then becomes; "how do I portray this so that other people will see what I saw?" I admit that it is not easy. In fact, I consider highly successful landscape photography to be one of the hardest genres in the field.

Since we weren't there, I can't say for sure how to fix it, but while you're there, try different angles, frames, adding scale, waiting for better light, etc. If you simply don't have the time to develop this shot, then perhaps it's just a memorable snapshot that will not win any prizes, but you will probably keep for years.

Maybe it's the spark of your learning more about landscape photography, and as such, it can be extremely valuable as a learning tool.
IMO the tree is not interesting or unusual that I haven't seen before.I think the perspective and composition may have helped but with out seeing the seen its hard to say for sure.Another words, shooting the tree further away putting it in the thirds with some dramatic clouds above may have may all the difference in the world.If you do a web search you will get some ideas on interesting tree photos.That said,the focus is Good and its sharp but if its not interesting enough thats all it is.

Just a side note,I wouldn't judge a photo by the responses or likes you get because I have photos and seen photos that are clearly excellent and others no so much and get more responses at times on the not so much. Personally I shoot for me and if I get a like or two thats great and if not, no sleep lost on my end.
I agree with everything said above bit would like to add:
1, the lighting is flat.... Shot mid day I assume. Sometimes you can't help that, but mid day light isn't ideal light for interesting photos.
2, more dead space might change the composition enough to make the tree more visually pleasing or perhaps less.... But as of now the composition is off.

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