Here’s something left over from over a year ago that I revisited. I wasn’t able to find a satisfactory angle on the this unusual-looking tree. The scene was incredibly busy and it was hard to distinguish the interesting feature in the frame.
As a challenge to myself I decided to go back to some of my early work to see if I could make something out of an image I’d originally rejected, just to see if I’d learned anything about post-processing. This was the image I settled on. I began by punching up the green considerably, then brought out the details by heightening the darks and shadows. This helped tremendously, but it was still really busy and difficult to focus on the central subject.
I fell back to my trusty standby – the vignette and pushed it pretty high. That got me closer to what I wanted but it left the image unevenly lit, so I helped things along a bit with a couple of gradients at the bottom and another coming down from the top left. That gave me something I was really starting to like, as the lighting drew the eye to the subject and provided a greater sense of drama as well, but I felt there was another touch I could give it.
So I distorted the heck out of it. I pushed the distortion all the way up to 68 and then shoved the vertical perspective up to 68 as well, to give the sense that the tree was towering over the viewer, standing majestically on a hilltop.
Here is the image I started with, so you can see where I took things.