Leaning into you


A favorite stand of Aspen. What drew me to this was the more open feel as opposed to a wall of color. To me this is much more interesting as it adds a graphic element, and a sense of story. A wall of color can be pretty but tends to look more like a postcard. 

I’m curious, how do you feel about the leaning tree on the left side of the frame?


This entry was posted in Color, Colorado, Fall Color and tagged , , .


  1. Frank October 16, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    That’s a good question. Many times a “break in pattern” is a good thing and worth building a shot around. In general I like the soft tension between the small foreground tree and the rest, only my eye keeps going to the fallen tree, almost darting to it from the rest of the canvas once I realize it is there. This is not only because of the angle of the fallen tree that breaks with all the verticals, but because it is much darker than all the others. So, in that regard it is a bit distracting from what my eye originally wants to play with–––the color and the open spaces. It becomes the focus and raises the question, do you want it to be the focus? This said, one could easily make a case for saying it’s presence keeps this image from being just about the color. So, in the end I come down on the side of liking it.

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

      A very thoughtful comment Frank. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Lynn sarda October 16, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    I like the lean, John. There is soooo much photography out there these days that I have begun to notice and appreciate those unexpected lines.

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Thanks for chiming in Lynn. You’ve tapped into where my photography is headed… I am seeing way too much of the same old landscape. I’m looking for something a bit more unique, different.

  3. Scott O October 16, 2014 at 11:00 am #

    I didn’t notice the leaning tree until I read your description, so it obviously didn’t bother me. My eye was drawn to the small tree(s) on the right, and to me they act as a balance with the darker leaning tree on the left. Anyhow, I like it!

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

      Good observation Scott. Glad you like it and thanks for sharing.

  4. Victoria October 16, 2014 at 11:49 am #

    I love the colors in this image… but there is something about the tree leaning out of the image (my POV) that makes me wish it was on the other side. I realize that it could also be viewed as leading the eye into the image from left to right to the bottom of the two trees which then lead the eye up and around through all the color to the right.. but for some reason I see it as taking me out of the image. Obviously, my 2 cents only.

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm #

      I said to the group I’m leading this week, wait and see, there will be those who like it and those who don’t. Ultimately I don’t see it as right or wrong… but I’ll elaborate in a future post….

  5. al campoli October 16, 2014 at 12:47 pm #


    Really like the shot and the color. As far as the leaning tree, as the old saying goes “if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around, does it make a sound?”. In this case you can see it!!

    I like the leaning tree.

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 1:32 pm #

      Thanks Al! 🙂

  6. SDFoto@aol.com October 16, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    There are no two trees alike…

    Would there be discussion of the leaning tree if you did not point it out? How many would avoid including the leaning tree into their image? Or, place it differently?

    I enjoy the ability to move within the image, the character of the young and old trees, just enough fall foliage, to see through the first cluster of trees and venture to those across the meadow.

    A simple yet complex image depicting the delicacy, balance and support of life within the young and old portions of this particular section of forest.

    Delicate work and discussion JB!

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 2:35 pm #

      Excellent commentary Stephan. Thank you.

  7. Mike Houge October 16, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    Decisions like this come up all the time for photographers – do I chose to include this object and if so why- if not why. Does it add or distract – in many ways it is a personal choice. I’d like to think I might have tried to avoid the tree but without actually being there and feeling the mood of the scene only John gets to decide. Thanks for giving us something to ponder.

    • JB October 16, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Mike. After the next post and its associated image, I will share my decisions for adding the tree.

  8. Cynthia Brown October 16, 2014 at 11:37 pm #

    The dark, old and leaning tree says, “Some day you will be as old as I. Follow me and I will lead the way.”

    • JB October 17, 2014 at 1:58 pm #

      Love your comment Cynthia.

  9. marty golin October 17, 2014 at 10:17 pm #

    Interesting question… To my eye, with the image as it is, the tree is disturbing. Trying to understand my reaction, I think it’s the scale.
    * If the image is cropped to the LH thirdish, it obviously is much more prominent, & still graphically contrasting to the vertical trees. It’s dark color gives it “body.”
    * Crop a bit further into the middle, incorporating some of the gray trees, the tone echoes the leaning tree tying the image together.
    * After the above comments, I come to realize that’s it RH front yellow tree that doesn’t “belong” to the rest of the image if the leaning tree is included. In a simalar fashion,it could stand on its own as a graphically contrasting element (more subtle though) if the LH portion of the image is cropped out.
    * You may not be able to answer this now, but… if you were critiquing at a camera club, what would you say? It is possible your answer months in the future WILL be different than it would have been months ago.

    Regardless of the leaning tree, I really do like the open spaces between the trees. Nice rhythm across the entire image.

    • JB October 19, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

      As always, interesting thoughts… Hoping the next post provokes more… and then I’ll chime in on my feeling on both.

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