Black and white in reflection

Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

Is this picture abstract enough?

Creative direction

I was intrigued by the distortion by the drop of water on the decayed leaf.

Specific Feedback

I would like aesthetic and conceptual critics.

Technical Details

Macro 100mm, 2/125 sec, 800 ISO.


I found a very decayed leaf and have taken it very carefull home to my little studio. With a drop of water and backlight I made this image.


What a great idea – and execution! It’s abstract enough for me! I think you could have another option by cropping from the bottom about halfway up to the droplet, to give it a bit more prominence and move its weight a bit lower in the frame. But that’s just another idea – nothing wrong with this version.

As Diane said, greatly seen and executed. I love the high contrast tonality, but partucularly that you didn’t take it all the way to pure white, leaving hints of texture in the highlights.

Thank you, Tomas!

Good idea, I’ll try another cropping! Thank you very much, Diane.

This is superb Henny! Yes this is abstract enough due to the water droplet and the lines and shapes in the leaf. The black and white edit is perfect for the subject. Another crop consideration is a square aspect ratio. I find the vertical 3:2 a bit too tall. Great eye to record this scene.

This is beautiful, Henny, and abstract enough for me, even though it’s pretty obvious what the subject is. It’s a great idea. I’ve found and photographed skeletonized leaves before, but never thought of putting them on a light table (or in my case an old tablet computer), let alone adding the water drop which takes it to a whole new level.

This is very creative and well done. I had no idea what I was looking at, although I suspected that refraction was involved.

After cropping

Yes! Good idea, square is much better!

Thank you so much for your advice, Alfredo.

1 Like

Thanks, Don!

That looks great Henny! You’re welcome!

I will add my thoughts here although I agree with @Diane_Miller and the others about the overall impact of this image being great - and definitely abstract! I do love the square crop, something I was thinking when first viewing the image. That or taking some off the bottom - either way, I like how this ‘twists’ the brain because we don’t see shiny glare off the water drop so at first glance it’s hard to know what’s happening here the way the lines all shift! Very cool!

Thanks, Brenda