Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I took this picture while out hiking on a very unsettled day in May. It was cool and cloudy with occasional rain showers and even a couple brief snow squalls, but the day ended in sunshine. Springtime, in other words.

I don’t know exactly when this area burned, but I think it was probably a couple decades ago, maybe more. It is a fun place to explore, and I like taking pictures here because the contours of the land are so visible.

Specific Feedback

I tried converting this to black and white, but I ended up deciding I preferred the color version. That said, I’d be interested in feedback on the color of the grasses. It was an interesting time of year with the new green growth just starting to come up through the dried out grasses from last season. I also spent some time working to darken the clouds a bit and would appreciate any thoughts on that as well. Of course, any other comments or suggestions are welcome.

Technical Details

41 mm, 1/250 sec., f/10, ISO 200

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John I can see why you took this image with all the layers. For me it is a pleasant image however the two prominent burnt sticks /stumps in th bottom right corner are quite a distraction

Thank you for the feedback, Ian. I hadn’t thought of those trees that way, so I appreciate your observation.

I, too, like the color. It’s an unusual shade and eye-catching. The layers of hills (and the stratigraphy of the rocks) is effective to convey depth. I have no issues with those two burnt trees in the LLC. They tell a story for me. I think the brightest areas in the LLC might benefit from being darkened a tad. My eye keeps moving down to that corner and getting stuck there.

I’m amazed there isn’t more regrowth of trees if this burned a couple decades ago.

John, you’ve got a really great image here! I love how the soft light really helps mould the hills and I love the repeating patterns in not only the hills but also in the clouds.
The burnt tree trunks add interest to the image and I like that they are there. Additionally, they may actually make the viewer spend even more time with the image as they ponder what those “black things” are, why they’re there, and why they look the way they do.

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John, I like this a lot. The color of the grass and the rocks, the drama in the sky. The one thing that would make me consider monochrome (apart from the fact I only do black and white :slight_smile: ) would be the blue in the background at the upper left corner, which is somewhat distracting. You could also change the color there to match the color in teh upper right. Otherwise thanks for sharing!

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. I appreciate it.

Bonnie - I agree that the lower corner is too bright. I had actually toned that area down a bit before posting the image, but I agree that it needs a little more work. I’ll keep playing with it. And yes, the regrowth here is slow. It’s quite dry in this area; as far as I can tell, this spot was only sparsely forested even before the fire.

Tom - I appreciate your thoughts about the burned trees. I personally find them very interesting and was hoping to convey that in the image.

Holger - That blue area hadn’t caught my eye before, but I see what you mean. I’ll see what I can do with that and will give a black and white version some more consideration.

Thanks again for the feedback!