Below the weir

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


The rains had finally abated after many days, so I headed down the river to check the flood levels and specifically the amount of flood water cascading over the weir. The water hitting the rocks below created a fountain like effect that I found fascinating. The muddy waters created the golden like effects in the water as it streamed over.
This shot was taken at about 4.00 pm

Specific Feedback

One area of concern is the absence of reeds on the right hand side of the frame. I do not want to crop in and lose the spray effect so does this absence of reeds detract from the image?
The sky is quite light but I liked it as a balance for the white water. Should I darken the clouds slightly?

Technical Details

Nikon z7 24-70 mm
0.4 sec. f/10
ISO 31
Hand held.

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Hello @Diny_Jones, this is a really interesting image! I don’t find the reeds on the right side to be an issue. Ideally they would have grown to fill in that gap on the right to just complete the symmetry of the image, but nature doesn’t really care about our images! I don’t find the bright sky to be an issue, I think it balances with the water at the bottom. The splashes off the rock in the center are really great. The color of the water at the top looks like the muddy rivers we have around here, the gold highlights really pop though. I quite like this one. If you were inclined, you could consider cloning the small rock on the left hand side out and the stick on the right side in the water. Both of those are minor changes though. You might be able to work some contrast into the water at the bottom, particularly to pull the darker areas down a bit darker, I wouldn’t go any brighter I don’t think.

Thank you.
I will give your suggestions a go and can see what you mean.

1 Like

What a great perspective. And the way the two sprays arc out from that rock is perfect. Yes, it would have been good to have reeds poking up all the way across, but it doesn’t detract. The rock on the far right helps to balance that blank area above it, I think. I like the hint of that rock on frame left, too - it helps balance the frame; if it wasn’t there I think the two large rocks would pull the visual weight down on the right too much. I also like the little tree in the water; it adds a bit of story to the scene (and I like quirky things in a photo).

The lightest parts of the sky do feel almost blown - maybe darken the sky just a tad?

What really strikes me is the silky texture of the golden water. My first thought was that it might be interesting to add a touch of contrast to the golden water. I took a crack at that, by dodging and burning just the golden colors (using a color mask) and adding a very gentle curve. I also darkened the sky a bit and added a touch of clarity to the lower water. It may be more dramatic that you want, though.

P.S. I had a look at your website - very nice! I especially like your list of inspirations.

Diny, this is a fun view. I especially like the “firehose” effects of the spraying water and how their arches contrast with the linear falling water and reeds. All the extra contrast that Bonnie added (falling water, sky and spray) adds drama, which fits the scene well.