Redwood Guy and stamper,
Thanks for the feedback even though (somewhat) negative. IMO, that takes some courage and I appreciate your honesty. "Finger to the Sky" when I was thinking about it I was thinking about the Cistine Chapel with God's finger transmitting life to Adam, kind of a "finger" reaching up to heaven, but I see your point. As for the light, stamper is correct, this is an HDR image, but I thought I was presenting what I saw. Our eyes can adjust to different scenes and I could clearly see the shadow side of the log. I also had a certain feeling that the intense sunlight "washed out" my sense of color saturation, which I was trying to match in post. It's interesting that you perceive the representation as a sort of "unreality" and seem to react negatively. That's OK and I really do appreciate the honesty. Stamper, I am intrigued that the fact that this was an HDR exposure diminishes the image and would certainly like to hear your views on that; I know there are many that feel HDR is over done or somehow cheating, but to me it seems like an extension of pushing development or dodging and burning in the chemical darkroom. There are probably discussion threads here in LL, but I just haven't found them yet. I apologize if you thought I was trying to deceive by using this technique and not identifying that HDR was in fact used to create the image.
Anyway, hope I don't sound defensive cause I'm not and again, I appreciate what you shared. It is all part of the journey!
Thanks, and see you around the forumns!