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Winter dress                                              Winter dress crop

To crop or not to crop?

Sometimes it’s clear to me when I want to crop something out of a picture. Then there are times when I struggle a bit but I ultimately manage to make a decision, like here: https://randomibis.wordpress.com/2013/12/17/sidelake-walk-the-story-behind-the-pic/

I’ve been processing this picture for 2 days, and the time required had nothing to do with extremely difficult and time consuming techniques, but simply with the fact that I cannot choose the final composition of the pic.

Let’s start from the beginning.

I loved the color of the leaves of this variety of tree, ranging from deep green to bright red, with many yellow and orange shades as well. It was a bit windy, so not exactly ideal for an Hdr, but I decided to go for it anyway. Worst case scenario: I’d trash the -/+ exposition and post process only the regular one.

Needless to say, the standard Hdr was extremely messy, as Photomatix had a very hard time putting the leaves together in a reasonable way on standard settings. On my second take I used the “Remove ghosting” feature and it produced a nice dreamy effect on the leaves. I tend to prefer more realistic colors, but in my eyes the slightly unrealistic lightning that Photomatix produced on the leaves looks very nice in this context. Especially after raising saturation a bit I do enjoy the overall feel of the colors.

Now let’s move to the tricky part: the top of the picture. I prefer the composition of the first one, as the top part of the tree and the extra branch give more height to the picture. The problem is that the top part of the picture is boring: all the colors are dull and don’t add anything to the main theme. Moreover, in that part of the picture the sky is totally blown out. Unfortunately, the top part of that tree was covered by the shadow of a much taller tree, and the clouds that started to cover the sun didn’t help much.

In the eternal struggle between “To crop” and “Not to crop”, I choose:”Why not both?”.

On a side note, according to WordPress I should add the tags: Farmville, Paranormal, Crop Circles. Uhm….close, but no cigar.