Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Between morning shoots we would venture around the park looking for interesting scenes, not too hard to find! I think this one would be better in different light, but here we are.

Specific Feedback

As I continue working through the last of my Death Valley images I’ve moved beyond the ones I’m really confident in…so I’m here for some help in determining the quality of these. I was drawn to the repeating peaks and valleys throughout this one, obviously the colors and textures stand out as well. My concerns are mostly with how “flat” it feels. There are essentially no shadows due to when the image was made, its almost completely front lit which creates a lack of depth in this one. In some ways that is kind of cool because it is like these layers just stack up one on top of the next. My second concern is with the top of the image and bottom feeling a bit cut off. I could probably emphasize the panorama crop even more and remove some of that, but before I did I wanted to get some feedback first.

Technical Details

75 mm, ISO 100, f/14, 1/60sec

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This is a fun one @David_Wallace. Somewhere near Zabriskie Point I assume? I like the idea of a more panoramic aspect ratio. The colors in the top half switch, so emphasis on the aqua and varieties around it make sense. The challenge then is all the little points that might be cut off and look awkward or cramping the bottom to the point that it loses its sense of scale as well.

As for its flatness, I’m wondering about the lens used and also the conditions. Some shadow or haze would help create depth, but I’m not sure you can create that now through processing. Someone here knows how, I’m sure, but whether that would be the key to adding a sense of depth is another question.

I’m interested in watching this one unfold as others chime in.

In some ways the flatness is a positive for me. It lends a strong abstract quality, almost like a two dimensional menagerie of color as apposed to a landscape. I like that effect; it’s almost looks like you painted it instead of photographed it.

Wow, this is so cool! I love the colour, all of the triangles and the overall “randomness” this image has. And actually, I think that the light is perfect for this scene. I like this a lot.

Absolutely. The Artists Palette looks terrible in bright sunlight. You can make it less flat by playing with the Levels adjustment layer perhaps.

I would crop from the bottom and make the browns the bottom layer. The main interest is the turquoise in the middle and the bottom ones draw you away.

This is a gaudy place that I generally avoid. In this case I would pull back on the aquamarines or I would push the oranges and pinks to the level of the aquamarine. Or just leave it as is. It’s a place begging for experimentation in processing, since it’s unnatural to begin with.

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Here are some other crops I considered.

@Marylynne_Diggs @John_Williams @Tom_Nevesely @Igor_Doncov

Thanks for the feedback. You’ve convinced me to keep working it a bit. In the car on a little trip with the family so I took a crack at a few crops you can see above to maybe emphasize that be good parts a bit more. Maybe improved. Maybe just different.

As for the aqua I agree the need toned back. I would rather do that than bring the other colors up to meet them I think. I remember seeing images from Michael Shainblum from around here and man he just makes those colors so cohesive and beautiful. Would love to have that touch some day.