I posted this image to my Facebook and Instagram page yesterday. In the post, I talked about this image. This image was shot last month. It was truly one of the most beautiful winter mornings I've had the pleasure to witness. The trees were covered in a layer of hoar frost that glistened from the rising sun. There was also a thin layer of fog that stretched across the bluffs and into the city of La Crosse. It was one of those mornings that humbled you and made you realize just how lucky we are to witness mornings like this.
Anyways, I got a few really great photos, but struggled with a few images. While the ingredients were there(snow, soft morning light, great views, frost covered trees), it was difficult to make a whole image. Especially in the photo above. The photo above offers all of those ingredients, but there's something that takes away from the image. Distractions. The branches on the right side, bottom middle, and left hand side are a bit distracting, in my opinion. I remember when I took the image, I felt the same way too. And again when I went back to edit the image. However, I came back to the image yesterday and thought that it wasn't as bad as I remember. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes can change your opinion. However, I don't think I will ever be 100% satisfied with this image. Maybe I am too hard on myself. Sometimes that's a good thing, but it can also be a bad thing. I strive for perfection or close to perfection in my images. It's a constant battle I have with myself.
Removing distractions in images are one of the best ways to elevate an image to the next level. What you don't include in the image is often more important than what you include in the image. Sometimes that means zooming in with your lens or moving your body a few feet to the left or right. Or you could remove the distracting elements in post production. However, I really couldn't do any of those options in this instance. I had no room to move around in the field. I liked the balance of the bluff and the pine tree on the left hand side, which helped frame the road in the middle. So zooming in or out wouldn't really work. For post production, I really couldn't remove the branches because there was just too much to remove. My photoshop skills aren't the best. Most of my edits are basic, so maybe a more skilled person may be able to make it work, but I just couldn't. I would like to come back in the fall or spring when the branches have leaves. This might help a bit.
Nikon 24-70 2.8
Focal length: 24 mm
Focused on the bluff on the right hand side.