Iif possible, next time you take a stab at this tree,back up and include the entire trunk base. I am left wanting to see all of it. You are on the right track, and this has lots of potential. Keep at it.
Take your metering to single point, and move the focus/metering point to the tree trunk, which is the darkest area of the image. I think right now you are metering off the overall image or the sky. That leaves the tree trunk underexposed and almost totally black. As an alternative, leave your metering as is, but set it for a positive exposure compensation of 0.3 or even 0.7.
This image has what is known as a large dynamic range, with the really dark tree against the sky. Getting it all properly exposed is not easy, but it helps that the sky is dark instead of light gray or sunny.
I really like this image..... take the time to shoot it with a variety of exposures, a variety of angles, and even under different conditions of light and weather. It has great potential.
working on it in Middle TN Nikon D3100
35 mm 1.8 Nikkor 18-55 mm Nikkor VR 55-200 mm Nikkor VR 55-300 mm Nikkor VR 150-500 mm Sigma OS MeFoto Road Trip w/Q1 ballhead Feisol CT3471 & Markins M20 ballhead
Hi, yes, it is interesting to me. I really like this tree and the post processing helps fire this image up. Agree, back up a tad, just to add the lower left of the base. Also agree that post processing may be too strong but mostly on the grass; the grass looks too green. I may suggest that you temper the bluish tonality just a hair and consider too, increasing exposure by 1 stop. Lastly, the horizon look to be tilting down towards the right which is an easy fix.
I agree with Kent's comments about the grass in the processed image. While the original certainly is more natural, I also very much like and appreciate the "unnatural" appearance of the first image, my appreciation probably stemming from my current read, Winston Groom's "Shiloh, 1862." What occurred during that battle should not be considered "natural" and I believe the processed version portrays that. IMO, the title thus needs to stay with the image, and perhaps could be changed to something like: "Tree - Peach Orchard, Shiloh National Military Park" or shotened to: "Tree - Peach Orchard, Shiloh Battlefield."
I am about 50/50 on this one. I like the over all moody feeling, I like that the tree reaches out to the setting sun, I like the subject and I like the sky. To me everything else is over processed and looks garish. I agree with the others about the base of the tree. To have all of it in the frame would be better. If you did that I might like to see a little less foreground grass as well. The other thing I notice is the lighting on the tree top. If the sun is setting off in the distance and basically gone from view I should not see that much two tone lighting on the back side of the tree. Unless of course there is a full moon out. Either kill the highlights on the top some or bring up the shadows some to better balance that. The original with a little post work and with this sky I think would be an improvement but you still need the whole base. You might try to remove about 3/4 of the foreground grass, leaving just about a 1/4 of it just before the base. This might balance the missing base a little bit.
I have been back to the tree a few times trying to get a few better images. I have still not really found anything that different. I did keep some of the great suggestions in mind. I am hoping to catch the dawn moonset in a few days (gonna take off from work). But all in all I have been having a great time. I look forward to the weekend just to see what the mornings look like. Thanks everybody for looking and comments from earlier.
Anyway, here are some of the images
Lightned the monument, Changed the color in the sky.
(Original unretouched version of the one above)
Another viewpoint that I like because of the background
I like your subject and the idea post-processing it. I like the sky but like others ,I find that the grass processing is overdone. You would also need to level the horizon and include the bottom left of the tree. You can always chop the branch going to the right, in order that it does not touch the frame. I played with the grass, using levels and color balance and it is definitely worth playing with it as it is a fun subject. Jean-luc