Only thing about #2 is a question as to whether it needs a very slight clockwise rotation, which would straighten up that tall tree on the right hand side. Gorgeous light in the sky and in its reflection on the ground.
On #1, I think some time invested in cloning out that leash on the dog, would be time well spent.
Straightened and cleaned up. I tried cloning out the branches on the upper right, but decided they sort of helped frame the image.
Bungee cord cloned out and shadow rebuilt. Does it look natural? I thought about trying to turn Stella into a wolf by cloning out her harness or painting it black, but I think it would have been too obvious. Other than that, I took out a few extraneous branches that were bothering me. Further C&C welcome on both pics.
Both edit looks definitely better, Janis. One question - "on both pictures, which are the main elements that you want to project?" The answer will be your guide on your post-processing edit. Good luck!
Warm colors over cool ones, Sharper over out of focus elements, bright colors over darker ones, large elements over small ones, Isolated element over cluttered ones. If you can use any of these preferences to highlight your main element, that will draw the eyes towards it and thus make your message or vision stronger. This idea was discussed by David DuChemin in his book "Vision and Voice - Refining your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom." The reason I shared this to you is that I certainly agree that your images has a lot of possible main elements to it. However, you need to help me as a viewer to see what is really your main subject among them. Hope this helps. Sorry, I'm in overdrive again with 3 cups of coffee so far. LOL!
The main thing would have to be the light, and the reflection. I did not know how to properly expose for those things and both were kind of grab shots anyway, the one because I knew Stella wouldn't hold that pose for long, the second because I was late for dinner. But the light was magical and I wanted to capture that and the deliciousness of the warmth of spring tempered by the coolness of the air coming off the snow. Not too ambitious, is it?
No fault of Stella's but, looking ta #2 again (version II), there's too much 'dull' foreground I think. It just doesn't hit the button.
The re-work of #1, on the other hand, is an absolute cracker now. I know what Willie is saying, but I have to confess that I'd not want to do any more to it, other than get it printed at the largest size possible and hung up on the wall.
That is a quite unexpected accolade, Donald. Thank you! I am not sure I am entirely satisfied with it myself, but I think Willie is challenging me beyond my current capabilities of either vision or processing. I think I will put it aside and wait for my next leap forward and/or a little more objectivity.The re-work of #1, on the other hand, is an absolute cracker now. I know what Willie is saying, but I have to confess that I'd not want to do any more to it, other than get it printed at the largest size possible and hung up on the wall.
I think if it had a bird hovering on or about the upper left third, it would be quite decent. Thank you for stretching me, Willie. The principles you cited were very helpful and I am going to put the DuChemin book high on my reading list.
Oooo! I do like this darkened one better, Janis. (You know, I always follow everything silently along and have been watching this.) The David duChemin (his spelling, etc.) books are really, really super and he's coming out with a new one, this summer, or so. He, also, has a blog http://www.pixelatedimage.com/blog/. I love "Within the Frame". It's really inspiring which, come to think of it, is just what I need, at the moment. Janis, I sincerely hope that this snow is mostly gone by now and that you're into mud, too. We're about 85% melted out.
It is going quickly now, but we were grateful for a slow melt given the high volume. Flood waters are now heading our way from North Dakota and the western provinces. The city is protected by a floodway, but my uncle and sister and thousands of others are vulnerable. Expect I may be helping to floodproof this weekend.Janis, I sincerely hope that this snow is mostly gone by now and that you're into mud, too. We're about 85% melted out.
Hope you find your inspiration, and that we will be seeing more from you soon.
Wow. I had given up on that one, but that is gorgeous. How about I just supply the raw material and you do all my editing? Just kidding. I promise I will study and learn. But not tonight. Last night's mental effort did me in, so I'm off to bed at a decent hour for a change. 'Night all.