A lilting refrain

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Back in July a friend and I went to Lasalle falls in northeastern Wisconsin and had a great day together making photos of the falls, flowers, ferns and whatever struck our fancies. She and I are very alike in that we can be happy in one location with decent conditions because our natural curiosity and flexibility with regards to subjects gives us endless possibilities.

Even so, I could have spent all day with only the ferns that cling to the rocks and cliffs on the side of the Pine River. These are two examples and the best of the ones I took. I’m not sure what kind the first is, but the curving elegance struck me as I shot the falls themselves and knew I’d get it eventually. The second is probably a type of Cystopteris which is a family of ferns that specifically grow on rocky outcrops. Its position on the rock and the layers of color with that stripe of green moss in the middle begged to be photographed.

Specific Feedback

I think the comps are solid, but there is room in each for adjustment. I think I have other views of them as well. Techs look ok? It was quite breezy and I had to time the shutter just right.

Technical Details

Tripod for both

1st -

Lr to adjust wb, lower exposure, add texture & clarity, the usual S-curve for contrast, heal a few blemishes & crop for rotation.

2nd -
Highlight-weighted metering

Lr for denoise AI action & some sharpening, color boost in Calibration panel, lowered exposure a bit, the usual S-curve for contrast, lots of texture, some sharpening, a pano crop with slight rotation, a few distractions removed.

I think both compositions are “rock” solid, Kris. I particularly like the first, but the second is very nice as well. I’m not sure if it’s just my eyes or if it’s real, but the fern in the first looks just the slightest bit soft. These images were memory triggers for me. I went to school at Michigan Tech many years ago and I suddenly discovered that I miss those rocks. We just don’t have the same kind around here.

Thanks @Dennis_Plank - very punny. :laughing:

From what I’ve read, the bedrock that the Pine River flows through has been dated to about 2 billion years ago which puts it in the Pre-Cambrian Era. The bluffs, ridges and cliffs are what makes the waterfalls so interesting and the terrain so varied.

The softness may be due to the compression since I saved the files too big for NPN to display without it.

I love both of these – I’m a sucker for ferns! Things of such intricate and delicate beauty that grow in defiance of the toughest conditions. (And often in the toughest places to photograph.) I need to work them more – after I get bored with lilies.

I don’t see any softness in the first. I wonder how much adjusting images to various monitor resolutions (if such a thing even happens) could affect sharpness?

In the first, the curve is so graceful and so nicely framed and it’s a fitting feature how the pinna drape downwards toward the base of the image. In the second, it’s wonderful how the fronds reach out toward the corners of the frame. And the rock surfaces and mosses make a perfect foil.

Only suggestion is to add these to the collection for a book or gallery.