Build Your Legacy • September Winner: Neil Burnell

Wistmans Wood, England • Nikon D810, Nikon 24-70mm, f/2.8, 3sec, ISO 800

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Picture by Neil Burnell from UK

I am a photographer from Devon, England. I originally studied Art and Photography at College in the Early 90’s and went into graphic design, but recently I have discovered a love for landscape Photography.

I went up to Wistmans Wood after work that day as I had seen that there was going to be mist in the forecast.

The picture was captured just as it was getting dark and it was extremely hard to see and focus with my glasses constantly misting up. Nevertheless, I am very pleased I made the effort, even though it was a bit creepy walking back in the dark!

Feedback by Pro Karen Hutton

Having always loved primordial forests, I love this image. The colors are exquisite. I can imagine the forest smell and it makes me wish I was standing there too!
Technically, you have taken great pains with your focus, except that pesky upper left branch that almost thumbs its nose at sharpness. (Trust me, it happens to all of us.) Oftentimes you can let it ride and call it art. Mind you, that particular call is subjective, but I question it in this instance. The impact of this image is so tremendous, but that upper left bit really does read like an 'uh-oh' to me. I am sure you pondered it yourself.
The options are cropping (not optimal in this case), or doing a bit of concept art wizardry that blots it out (by copying bits from surrounding areas and building a new section). That could actually work. It’s a thought.
In the framing of this image (fully realizing you can’t go and re-shoot this moment, so it’s just for future consideration), I wonder about leaving a bit more space to the right of the far right tree, so it can breathe a little bit. Maybe crop in a bit more on the left as well. If this were a framed print, I wonder if that right side would feel cramped and cut off? Not to mention that the entire right side is so other-worldly and gorgeous, I might want it to not feel like it is walking off the page.
Like I say, it is all subjective and you are the artist. I am simply sharing what crosses my mind as I ponder your beautiful image – and what could possibly make it even more amazing. Beautiful work!

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1 Comment

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    Hi Karren,
    To be honest, the branch isn’t an issue for me and you are the first person to mention it. With an image like this, I find it far more important to capture the mood you feel at the time of capturing, and sometimes it’s not always so important to get the technical shot as can often lead to a lifeless shot with no character. So no the branch doesn’t feel like an uh-oh to me, it’s simply part of a scene from a series of images from this particular woodland. Each image has a similar feel and also has the odd technical issue, but I can assure you they don’t lack atmosphere and they have been a great success for me.

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