A lone saguaro cactus

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I had recently taken some shots in this area that I thought might be better in infrared, so this morning I went back with the infrared camera.

Specific Feedback

Because of all the contrast, this one is busy in a way. Too busy?

Technical Details

ISO 100, 300 mm, f/16, .8 second.

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Nice! It’s busy, texture-wise, but there are several strong lines/shapes to give it structure, too. And the lone saguaro certainly is the focal point. The IR bushes have an interesting texture - almost fuzzy.

The strong contrast feels right to me - this is obviously a harsh landscape, so the contrast works with that idea. Don’t know about that black butte on frame left - maybe dodge or crop it out?

Thanks, Bonnie. I hadn’t focused on the dark butte. I can certainly make it less of an eye magnet.

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HI Don,

I too are using a converted infra red camera. However, I am finding that although it’s good to shoot in conditions in harsh light, it does present other considerations. It separation of plants rocks, which color would render in color or even some regular black and white. For me the above is too busy, as the separations of tones is not enough for my eye. UI think if you consider what draws your interest from the very start and try to separate it it would be a much stronger image. This is my challenge as well. My eye in your image goes to the cactus, the foliage right next to it, the rock, and the sky. In the right top my eye also likes the rocks and the sun catching it. Beautiful place. I hope you can go back easily.

Thanks for the thoughtful critique, Lorretta.

I have never played around with IR, but I do like it’s effects on this desert landscape. My only suggestion would be to crop off the dark butte along the left side of the frame as it’s dark tone looks out of place with the lighter ones in this scene. I love the solitary cactus as well as the ones toward the middle of the frame. I hope you do not mind, but here is a rework with what I was thinking. Just my opinion of course. Nicely done!

Ed. thanks for the response. I’ll give some thought to eliminating the dark rock on the left. But I’m fairly wedded to the 2X3 aspect ratio and I’d need to crop the bottom some to maintain the ratio.

I like this “photo within the photo” too.

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