Going on my solo hike around Buntzen Lake in BC, Canada was one of the major highlights of my trip. Being alone with your camera and your thoughts should never be underrated or underestimated.
The nice thing about going on a hike in as picturesque of a scene as this one is that there will never be a shortage of pathway shots. The key is to take the shot so that it actually makes sense to the viewer (and to you! ). As you can see, it can be very easy to overwhelm your viewer with a crazy amount of visual stimulants here. It’s your job as the photographer to define what the viewer should focus on. When processing this image, I tried to summon a lot of the conversations that my friend,, and I recently had about utilizing different types of contrasts effectively as a service to your image and to the viewer.
In this shot, I intentionally dimmed the glowing green of the mossy trees and brought out more of the cooler tones of the gravel pathway. I feel that this helps give the viewer’s eyes a defined path to take, albeit a short one. I chose this particular path because I was fond of the way it curved into the madness of the forest, so to speak.
Effective use of color contrast is just one method to create visual logic for your viewer – the key is to be cognizant of what you are trying to achieve when you’re in the field and behind the computer display.
In terms of processing
I did a very slight tone-map process on this shot to wrangle in the highlights beyond the trees and to bring out some of the shadows in the thick forest. Stylization was minimal – I selectively applied a Deep Forest Glow on the foreground trees to accentuate the moss. I also burned most of the image and dodged the path using masking brushes in Perfect Effects 3 by . Final touches were achieved in Lightroom 4.1RC2.