Deviant Login Shop  Join deviantART for FREE Take the Tour


Submitted on
April 9, 2010
Image Size
3.4 MB


3 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/197 second
Focal Length
123 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Apr 2, 2010, 3:04:49 AM
EF-S55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS
Sensor Size
Positive Thought Process by MatthewPalfenier Positive Thought Process by MatthewPalfenier
One of my submissions to the...
Feedback Frenzy! (Comment Contest)!!!

Here is the link for more information: [link]

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Thoughts for critique - Composition, Texture, Concept, and Impact
Add a Comment:
Emberguard Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2012   General Artist
This is a critique for the :iconfeedbackfrenzy:#FeedbackFrenzy competition


I love the concept of this image. At first I thought it was a complicated network of trees, but looking at the title it seems it's actually a neural network of the brain which works just as nicely.

The colours are simple, but quite effective. Having only and black on white nothing is any more contrasted then anything else, so this picture relies on how the human brain perceives the image. I know you said to have critique about composition, but really composition isn't going to do much to make or break this piece simply because in this piece the eye gets drawn to wherever has the most detail, regardless of the composition. There are two areas which gain my attention, the clump in the top slightly off-center to the left, and the area in the bottom right.

I find that these clumps and overlapping of the twigs to make the neural pathways are not only what makes this picture interesting, but also what allows it to give that impression of the human brain, if the twigs didn't overlap anywhere then it just wouldn't work as not only would it not resemble the idea closely enough but would also have no points of interest for the eye to look at.

Overall you've done a wonderful job, the little seeds were a wonderful addition to the twigs which just adds to the whole effect.

Hope this critique helped :)
MatthewPalfenier Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student General Artist
It's late, but I do appreciate the feedback!
justMANGO Featured By Owner Dec 22, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Hi! This is a critique from a #FeedbackFrenzy participant. :D

First off I want to say that I very rarely see minimal photography executed so contentfully. By this I mean, there's actually a lot of stuff in the picture, but it is still very minimal because all of it is so uniformed. I really like this combination of the extremes. Moreover, when a certain pattern is repeated across the whole picture, it's usually fairly redundant and boring to look at, but there's none of that in your picture. And the reason why is because this is a picture of very natural and randomly distributed objects, and despite its uniformity in shape and size, its distribution is not at all stiff. I really love how this piece combines these extremes - minimal and content, uniformity and random distribution - to create a picture that is both simple and attention grabbing.

One thing that really contributed to the uniformity of the picture is your perspective. Now I don't know the specific angle you took this picture from, because it's so hard to tell, but however you've done it, it's created the illusion that all the branches exist in the same plane. That was probably not very illuminating, so let me explain. Instead of branches against the sky (which is presumably what this is), it looks as though broken branches are scattered across a white sheet of paper, and you took a picture of that. It's very hard to tell if any one branch is significantly further away than another, and this effect creates a very nice uniformed look. (Of course, not everyone will like this look. Some will find it plain, but I find it intriguing because it gives me a sense of mystery as to how you've done it.)

The result of usually uniformed photos is that they lack a focal point. Yours, despite being uniform, is far from lacking focal points. The crossing of branches near the top left draws attention to it immediately, and so does those near the bottom right (though with less force, which is itself a subtle and elegant balance). And in fact, the interconnected branches act as a pathway that the viewer can follow around the picture.

And that pathway creates quite a few layers of meaning to this photo. At least for me. Besides being a whole lot of tree branches, its form resembles that of neurons in the brain. And even more than that, it resembles how matter (galaxies and whatnot) clusters around in the universe ([link]). From seeing this picture, I experience the profound connection between humans, nature and the universe as a whole. Having this feeling may be just because of me, but having been invoked to have so many related thoughts, I think this picture has a lot of conceptual impact. I tip my hat off to this. Good job.

There's not much that I want to critique about this photo, but perhaps a few minor things can be mentioned. First off, the tint of the background isn't super appealing. It's mostly grey but it's also tinted purple around the branches. For some reason, I'm not quite digging this. It may be much nicer if the contrast could be increased, and the background colour were matched up better with the white border (or vice versa). I feel as though the bright white of the border is stealing away from the picture, as to be a little distracting. Secondly, I feel like the picture is a little bit off balance. Since the two places where the branches cross most densely are the focal points, they're currently a little bit shifted toward the right side of the picture. It would be more balanced for the photo as a whole, if the scene was shifted a little to the left.

And that is really all I wanted to say. There's very little to say about composition besides I think it can be shifted a little. I enjoy the slightly grainy texture; it gives me the feel of a traditional photography developed in a darkroom. The concept and impact is absolutely fabulous. Great work! :D
MatthewPalfenier Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2012  Student General Artist
Thank you so much for the feedback (it is a really delayed reply)! This is one of the better critiques that I have received, it is very thorough.

I will tell you a secret... You are absolutely correct that the branches exist on a single plane. These are actually not branches on a tree, they are vines on the side of a building. The building was a beige color and was reflecting direct light from the sun which allowed me to get the high contrast (enhanced through post editing). Thank you for including the link and information about the neurons of the brain, that is exactly what I was thinking when I titled the piece. There is also a sister piece to this called "Negative Thought Process" ([link])and I tried a similar concept but this truly is a tree, much more 3 dimensional than this one.

Anyways, I just wanted to let you know that you were very observant in your descriptions and I appreciated that! :glomp:
Fayerin Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm from #FeedbackFrenzy contest 02 and i will share with you my thoughts after watching your photography :aww:

First i have to say to you that my impression was radiant, i mean this looks like a big map as if was a labyrinth into my eyes :love: i just can´t find the exit in the veins of the plant this is so fantastic! If i could i would like to create imaginary figures and always have something and always a story to tell. and i will show you what i'm saying with some imagination. I have done some exemples to show you that your piece is really rich with information! What might seem just a texture achieved by the plant can be much more! but each person has their different point of view, in my review I try to focus on the more abstract side of your concept BUT this piece can go much further than we could imagine! Just to get an idea I felt free to submit pictures that were occurring when I saw your picture ---» [link] I tried to make something related to nature just like your concept I hope that this can help you to improve your personal work. And sorry for my english errors :P
MatthewPalfenier Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student General Artist
:wow: Oh my gosh!!! :squee: That is the coolest form of feedback I have ever received!!! :faint: I am soooo overwhelmed right now! That is fantastic! I am soooo honored to receive such a tangible interpretation of my work. Thank you so much. I have goosebumps! And I already have showed some of my family! They were so thrilled!
Fayerin Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:la: I'm so happy to know that my feed back reach you and even your family :D :love: I tried my best to not only focus with the first impact but also i tried to go deep in my feeling the way that your art touch me :aww:

I can see by your words that you liked very much :D I'm has afraid that i could do something wrong by intrepetait yor art that way too so I'm much relieved :aww: and if has had more time i could do much more :la: xD but time kills me :P

so good luck in your future work :hug:

racketify Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student General Artist
This is the feedback frenzy contest 2
the tree is pretty good, but it need more detail on the limbs, I know that this is winter, but you could reflect the background toward a winter aspect or something that could bring out the tree more, but overall it is really good.
MatthewPalfenier Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student General Artist
Notes taken. ^_^ Thank you for your feedback.
racketify Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2012  Student General Artist
you welcome
Add a Comment: