Andean Storm

This is my first post, I have many pictures that I feel that can improve, I´ll start with this one that I’m quite happy with but I think it can improve. It is a single image, cropped. Taken in the Argentinean High Andes, at the start of the storm season (December). I was in a high spot, so I didn´t have the chance to include more foreground.

I would like input on the crop, post-processing or any type of comment that you consider useful.

Canon 6D, 24mm, f8, 1/50


First, welcome to NPN! I think you will be very happy you chose to join the family.

This is a beautiful capture for sure, and gorgeous terrain! As for suggestions, I only have two. (1) I would consider cropping the far right area which is out of focus. For me, that is a real eye-grabber and takes my attention from the real area of interest. (2) I downloaded the image to play with the crop, but I also SLIGHTLY dodged the mount where the lightning was hitting and also the area on the right just to provide a little balance. I like the dodging on the mount, but am unsure about the dodge on the right. Anyway, this is a fantastic first post and i can’t wait to see more images from you!

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Hi @Juan

Welcome to NPN, im certain will like this community.

Amazing first post, i like the composition you choose, it balances the image and i second @Bill_Chambers revision on the crop. The scene is gorgeous even without that ligthning bolt, that was the cheery on the cake, and very well exposed too. I would try to compose the image a bit more to the rigth next time, to squeeze the image on a smaller ratio (horizontally) and try to add a bit of depth also maybe lower the saturation of those blues to add a bit more drama to the sky.

Its a very interesting and great first post, keep them coming, and thanks for sharing.

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Hello Bill
Thanks for the welcome!
I really like the new crop and dodge!
Thanks so much!

Hi João!
Thanks for your words and suggestions. I always have a hard time with color balance at high altitude such as this one, the atmosphere is so thin (4,600meters or 15,000 feet in that case) that blues get stronger (even more when I use a polarizer).
I also like the suggestion of composing more to the right to compress; I´m not sure it was possible because I did not have a tripod with me and I had to use available rock structures. But I will have it in mind for next time.

Welcome to NPN. This is a fine first post. I actually like it more than the rework, and I’m not sure why. I think part of it is that I like the panoramic aspect ratio as it elongates the distance and makes it look more grand. And the other reason is that I like the bush on the right but the out of focus is a deal breaker. Here is another option to consider:

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Im not crazy about the composition here, how you have the rocks on the right edge, and the mound with the lightning strike so close to the left edge, leaving the middle feeling so empty. Also the rocks on the right side are bigger and more jarring than the mound, making it more of a distraction that is taking away from the subject rather than complementing it.

Welcome Juan!

Great catch of that lightning, and I like the sky drama and virga around it. Since we all seem to be playing with crop ideas, I could even see cropping to that area of interest and dropping the right side altogether; I agree that it is not as strong as the lefto of the image, and the middle does not connect them well.

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Welcome to NPN! Great to have you hear. And a grand first post. The lightning bolt is of course the main attraction and I especially like the mix of blue and gray in the sky; the passing storm is captured quite nicely as well.

For me, I prefer Bill’s crop. the oof rock in the LRC, lower right corner, is a bit of a distraction. The remaining rock in his crop is important because it gives the scene depth and dimension. The only suggestion I have might be to lower the darks a bit in the sky to enhance the drama there.

Thanks for sharing and we look forward to more images and welcome you to participate in the critiques and discussions!


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Hello Igor!
Thanks for your comments!
I’m having a hard time deciding on the crop, maybe it is in part because the composition was highly influenced by the availability of rocks to use as “tripod” and not only by my view. But I guess even with a tripod many times we have constraints to deal with.

I’ll work on the suggested aspects and then decide on the crop.

thanks for your input!!


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Thanks to everyone for your comments, it’s been great to read from you! I’ll definitely work with them.
I didn’t think before in cropping more as @John_Williams suggest, but now I see it can work, the only thing is I would be giving up many pixels!

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Hi Lon
Thanks for yoru suggestions!
I’ll definetely participate as much as I can!