Comforting as a Campfire

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Light brings us comfort. We make fires to prepare food, warm our bodies, or to bring the security of light in the darkness. Just like that campfire out there, I’m certain that the fire is bringing the occupants of that site much physical comfort. Stars bring comfort to many of us too, but they are more like food for the soul! As the stars slowly slide across the sky, their gentle light seeps right down into your soul. It sort of like wireless charging. The connection is not physical, but there is definitely a connection there. For me the power is not in the stars themselves but rather that they seem to reflect the Light of their Creator. The Creator is the source of my comfort and my sustenance and spending time out here brings incredible connection. This is why I come here at 2 in the morning and why I am compelled to capture its beauty in digital form. In so many ways, we can bring a very similar comfort to our fellow humans. May I encourage you right now to look for ways to connect, unify, and comfort those with whom you come in contact with. For every person with whom you disagree, there is one who disagrees with you! However, I suspect we can find just as many things to agree with if we try! Will you join me in working towards kindness? Let’s be tiny pinpoints of light in the sometimes dark sky of critical social media comments. When we lay down our pride in deference to others, we can be as comforting as a campfire, as soothing as the Milky Way stretching across the vast expanse of our night sky.

Specific Feedback

The first photo was taken in 2018 before I had begun stacking for noise reduction and didn’t have a great lens… The second one was captured in 2020. The earlier image is a panorama where as the later one is not. I sort of rushed the later image and took just 3 images and did not take any darks. At the time, I was disappointed in the campfire, but have since learned to love it. I’m open to any feedback on these.

Technical Details

First image…Nikon D7100, Tokina 11-20mm f/2.8, ISO 3200, f/2.8, 25 seconds, 5 images @11mm. Processed with a bit of shadow lightening, clarity and sharpening. I left this image as I had processed it in 2018.
Second Image…Nikon D850, Sigma Art 20mm,ISO 6400, f/1.4, 8 seconds. I used several masks in the masking tool in Lightroom Classic CC. One for the sky, one for the foreground. I use the tone curve to lighten shadows and brighten the sky.