AI to the Rescue Hidden River Bounty Bay

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Last Day of 2023 fall wetlands trip. My client told me about Bounty Bay. Super day, swamps, saltwater marshes, ocean, and this river. Site of an old southern plantation.
I want to do a project on what I found in one day.

Specific Feedback

I like this image, but the post-processing can be better. Want to increase the feeling of depth

Technical Details

I love the scene, and the complexity of it, but it is difficult to register there is water involved, the reflection is too close in appearance to the reflected subject without a clear boundary, I’d consider burning the water a bit in. Also, there is not enough of the water to appreciate this is in a swamp, I’d have not guessed without the descrition (though that becomes less of an issue if the image is part of a series). I think the main reason this lacks the sense of depth is because the colour and textures vertically across are very similar, and there is not much you can do about that. I think that leaves luminocity as the property of the image to work with. Perhaps even something as simple as a vignette might help here with the overall depth?

Looks like a lot of great stuff in there Steve, but at this small size it’s challenging to see the details and harder to make suggestions on processing.

Thanks Guys
I just replaced the original upload with a higher-resolution file.
Does this give you more inf

Much better Steve, thanks for the larger version. There’s a lot of detail that can’t be appreciated without it.

The vegetation is wonderful here. There is so much variety and they all add to a nice sum. The reflection really adds, and I agree with @Tomas_Frydrych; I’d love to see more of it (realizing that may not have been an option).

I too struggle with the feeling of depth in these busy forest scenes. I’m always on the lookout for that black swan where the major lines lead instead of block. (I’ve always admired this image of Marc’s, for that reason.) I do find processing lighter where you want the eye guided, and darker around that, to be helpful, but there’s only so far you can go.

The contrast is very strong in this image, enough so that I’d consider dialing it back, just a little, to soften the scene.

After reading everyone’s ideas. The new version is on top.
I also wanted to see more of the reflection BUT the file was cut where you see it in the original.
AI to the rescue !
This is the first time I have played around with AI. Using Luminar AI expansion I or it created the new image.
Everything in the reflection below the original was created by AI.

Your thoughts