Autumn in West Pinnacles + repost

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Autumn in the Central California Coastal ranges does not have the vibrancy of a New England Autumn. Here we have a more muted palette . The colors in the Pinnacles National Park are provided by dried grasses and vegetation along with a smattering of Black Oaks on a distant hillside. The late afternoon sun diffused by clouds brought a soft warm glow to the landscape.

Repost - Following advice below here is a cropped version with point color adjustments.

Technical Details

Canon R5 with RF 24-105/f4 L
1/50 sec.
ISO 200

Oh cool. I haven’t been to the Pinnacles in years and when I did, it was foggy! This is a great representation of the area and how suddenly those pinnacles rise. The colors look right and the sky has a bit of variation which is nice. I wonder at the inclusion of so much of the nearest foreground bushes. They’re quite dense, colorful and closest to the viewer so we tend to linger there rather than through the scene up to the rocks. A scroll crop to limit that aspect helps in my opinion. You might also consider using some dodging and burning or the new Point Color tool in Lightroom to bring some modeling to the landscape for a more 3D effect. I think it would work a treat. Super view. Wish I could have hiked it with you, it’s breathtaking there.


Great to see a post from you! Welcome back!

I’m thoroughly enjoying this one. At first you mention “central CA coast” and I thought huh? But then I remembered that little jewel in the middle of the state, Pinnacles. I’ve lived in CA most of my life and have yet to visit this park.

Anyway… loving the diversity of colors, vegetation and even geology. Nicely balanced. The soft light really helps bring out the colors - yet you’ve tempered them and this comes across as quite natural.

Very good assessment from Kris. Even before reading her comments, I thought similar with the foreground vegetation. Cropping a tad from the bottom also does something that caught my eye and that is the dark areas along the bottom and lower right corner. Perhaps a slight crop off the bottom and maybe a little off the right would tighten that up and lessen pull of that lower vegetation. Just a thought.

A wonderful landscape that keeps the viewer engaged and exploring all the details. Beautifully seen, captured and processed.


Interesting landscape that has a lot of appeal. The orange at the very bottom layer is overwhelming. I would desaturate it or crop it off, or some of both.

That’s a lovely subject. I’ve not been there, but looks like a charming place for a hike. I love oaks, and see a few sprinkled in there. The rocks remind me of southern Arizona where I grew up. I like the idea of the crop; it addresses the bottom orange and let’s those rocks star more.

Thank you for the input. See repost above. I used to spend a lot of time in the Pinnacles when I was younger. I decided recently that it would be a challenging location to revisit for some landscape photography since I only live about an hour and a half away. The main goal on this visit was to capture the moon rise above the pinnacles. Unfortunately clouds blocked the sunset light I was hoping would illuminate the peaks. I will have to go back and try again.

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Thank you Lon, I need to find the time to post here more often.