bird and monster on the rocks

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This image was taken on a wonderful morning in the big sur out of chicago conference (in weston beach in point lobos state park) where Richard Martin and Bill Neill got us super excited about getting very close to the rocks and finding ways to use it as a base to create art. it felt like we are creating paintings by choosing elements from the rocks to include in the photos. I never did this type of photography and really enjoyed it and the pictures that resulted from it. In this one I can see a bird on the left and the face of a monster on the right but you can find so many other things in this picture.

Specific Feedback

Any feedback is welcome especially as I haven’t done this type of photography before but especially with the post processing I wasn’t sure what to do. I tried to change to black and white but it seemed too dark and not as playful as I felt this image is. so any suggestions for post processing will be helpful. Thanks

Technical Details

This was taken with a sony a7c and a 24-70 lens, 39mm, iso 50, f/11, 1/13 seconds.

Great shapes and color contrasts in this image Tamar. You have a great eye to see the bird and the monster in the rock face. This is really good rock art for this weeks theme.

Very nice, Tamar. I love the flowing, swirling lines, multiple textures, and the complementary colors in the rock. I do see the bird and monster now that you mentioned it.

Fantastic image, Tamar. Sounds like shooting this was an awesome experience. I really like the patterns and textures. As @Chris_Baird pointed out, the complimentary colors are very nice. I noticed your comment about post-processing. Hope you don’t mind, but I downloaded the image and did a little experimenting in Lightroom. The image seemed a little flat to me and I noticed quite a bit of space on the right side of the histogram, so I increased exposure (+21) and whites (+15). I then adjusted the tone curve to bring down the darks a bit and lift the lights a bit–basically ending up with a subtle S curve. I think you could do a lot of experimenting with color adjustments. I tried one–decreased luminance of the yellows (-12), which I think helped bring out the cracks in the rock in the upper left part of the image. Finally, I increased clarity a bit (+10). Here’s what I came up with:

I tried not to do anything too drastic, but I feel like you could do a lot of experimentation with this particular image and take it in a lot of different directions.

Thank you so much. It definitely looks clearer. I will implement what you suggested and play around with it more. Really appreciate your help.

Tamar, this is a fascinating abstract. I would never guess it is rock. One of the instructors at the Big Sur out-of-Chicago conference has given many workshops that I have been privileged to attend. Don Smith will give one next week at Joshua Tree National Park, which I will attend.