Belly Roll Photography

We’re on the road with neither opportunity nor equipment for processing, but I thought I’d throw this up for feedback when I start processing. It’s only been resized for posting, converted to jpeg and sharpened slightly (USM at 50% and 0.5 pixels).

We spent a few days at our place near Moab UT, and of course made a quick visit to Arches NP after overnight showers. I call this style “belly roll” photography, because in fact you have to get down and roll around on your belly in order to catch the reflections. The foreground “pond” is no bigger than a bath tub.

What technical feedback would you like if any? I’ll take anything I can get. As I said, I’ve done nothing yet and am looking at this on an 11" laptop.

What artistic feedback would you like if any? My impulse it to go searching for more detail/contrast in the clouds. Any feedback?

Any pertinent technical details:Shot with a Nikon D7200 and Nikon 12-24mm lens, handheld. I haven’t checked the metadata, but as I recall it was exposed at f/16 and around 1/15 second.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Hank, this a classic view , gotta love those Three Gossips. I’ll bet that red mud doesn’t wash out of your clothes easily after the belly roll either :smile:

I like the composition here a lot. And I’m glad to see you avoided a merger of the tower with the foreground rock. The light is pretty flat, and this image would definitely benefit from adding some mid-tone contrast, both to the sky and the sandstone. There is a lot of detail in the sky that could be teased out on this image, perhaps when you have access to a better monitor. This might make for an interesting B&W image too, might be worth a go. Nicely done !!!

Nicely framed to avoid merges and position the reflection perfectly. Looks like you have the raw material for producing a beautiful image. A mid-tones contrast boost and some work to bring the textures out in the clouds should make this image pop.

Always an enjoyable view in Arches, Hank. I’ve shot from there a few times, but the pool was always non-existent. That said, I imagine an extreme low angle is essential with the pool present, otherwise at a standing POV the Gossips might disappear. Seems you have good bones to make a nice wall-hanger.

Thank you for posting this photo, Hank, in its unfinished state. I really appreciate asking for feedback on a raw photo before the processing. It helps me learn what people think they would do with it, because I agree that the comp is just great. I’ll be checking back to see what others suggest.

Nice comp. so much potential there. I’m looking forward to seeing the processed version

Wow, hard to believe the pond is that small based on the image. Real nice take, would echo the thoughts of the others on processing.

I know the type of shots and tripod situations that result. Good on ya if all sharp front to back. With the lack of good light I might try and b/w to see what you could come away with considering the tonal range.


Sensational responses folks! My sincere thanks to all. We’ll be at our winter home in Florida by weekend, and I’ll put them to work soon after and repost.

As for the puddle and location, here’s my wife doing her belly roll on another puddle, but she’s working with the LaSal Mountains in the opposite direction. Lots of puddles to play with after the previous night’s drizzle!


Great to see a post from you, and like others I think it’s great you posting the RAW image and looking for suggestions.

First, great job with the perspective and getting the reflections in. Never would believe the size of the pool, but I’ll take your word for it! :smile:

Given the flat light, hard to offer any processing advice beyond what’s already been given. One thing is that colors tend to be more saturated, vibrant in diffused light so you certainly have room to play there. And certainly b&w an obvious option.

Thanks for sharing!