Arrayán in the forest

This is part of the trunk of an arrayán (Luma apiculata). The arrayán is a tree native to the central Andes at the Argentina-Chile border, and there is a small group in a forest close to home.

This species has quite an intricate trunk, with a strange orange-tinted color. I tried to emphasize the color by tweaking a bit the white balance (it wasn’t so late in the day), and I think the light/shadow contrast reinforces nicely the complex surface of the trunk.

What’s your opinion? Feel free to critique or make suggestions on any aspect of the image.


Nice shot! Would also make a great black and white. The angle of light, play of light and shade, really brings out the character of the tree, and you’ve captured the dynamic range well. Since this is critique, my only suggestion would be to stitch together a few shots in pano. I find myself wanting to see more.

Thanks for the comment! I think that particular tree group could work in a general shot, so I’ll try to get some wider shots next time I’m there (the difficult part is doing it without people in the shot).

I think your instinct is great in picking this tree, the light on it is quite nice. This frame feels really unbalanced to me. What is the left half of the photo doing for us?

Personal preference I know, but I like the framing. It’s a nice contrast in textures and it gives context. When I’m viewing it my eyes continuously move from one half of the image and back again which keeps me engaged with it.

When I cropped the original (just a bit, there is not much more) I purposely put the edge of the trunk in the middle, so that the tree filled the right half of the image. My idea was that the left ‘empty’ half provided contrast and balance. But maybe that half is too busy for that?

It feels a little bit too static to me, maybe if the trunk was angled across the frame. Since you didn’t include the base of the tree, you could just angle your camera a bit, or rotate the photo perhaps.

These are all just ideas, if you’re happy with the crop, then go with it :slight_smile:

I tend to agree, but I think the left half provides context – we can see the tree is in a forest and not a garden or an open space. It’s also consistent with the pattern of light on the trunk.

What I find distracting is the branch going from the base to the top-left corner. It seems to merge with the background, Escher-like :slight_smile:

@guille2306 Do you eat the arrayanes? In my country we use them for sweets or for sorbet – delicious.

All fresh ideas all welcome. I feel that once I’ve committed to a certain edit, it’s hard to change to
a different rendition. Having fresh eyes on the image helps a lot with that.

Yes, I agree. Unfortunately cropping it so the bottom is not in front of the trunk would have removed a lot of the image. But now I could say that it was intentional to give that Escher impression :wink:

No, and I don’t remember having seen sweets or ice creams arrayán-flavored. Maybe a by-product of almost all of the arrayanes being wild and inside national parks.

No wonder – looking closely at the Wikipedia page, I see it’s a different species. Turns out a lot of different things are called arrayan.