Conkel's Hollow #1

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

I like the lighting of this photo.

This is actually my second submission of this photo. I made edits based on the feed back I received from my initial submission.

Creative direction

My creative direction is to capture photos where the light provides a scene of serenity.

This is a popular location in a nature preserve. At the right times of the day/week, you can find periods of solitude and a peacefulness.

Specific Feedback

I’m working to get better, so all critique is welcomed.

Technical Details

Canon 5DSR | ef17-40mm @ 40mm | f11 | 1/25 | ISO 100 |

Processed using ACR and Photoshop | Dodge and Burn | Healing and Spot Healing tool to remove logs and enhance other areas. Four photo HDR


This is Conkel’s hollow Nature Preserve and is at the boxed end of the hollow looking downstream. There is a small waterfall right behind from where I captured this photo.

It’s an easy hike from the parking lot to the water fall (EOT), so it’s a very popular place. Weekends has an almost not stop parade of families and children are often found wading the pool at the base of the waterfall. It’s enjoyable to watch the children out in nature enjoying themselves.

Hi David, :slight_smile:

You are taking some pretty awesome photographs these days!
I’ve been to this location but it was a few years ago and I was there just for some personal outdoor fun without a camera (during a long hiatus from photography).

I love what you’ve captured, the perspective you chose is probably the most effective IMHO.
This is one of those images where I can easily imagine myself standing there or sitting on a rock taking it all in and, maybe part of that is from memory?

The only thing that I feel needs some attention is to remove the haze, it might not actually be haze though, it might just be how the camera recorded the scene.
What I mean is that the “Haze” seems to be blocking details in the rock wall on the left and it’s a little difficult so see through the trees in the center portion of the scene.
The reflection of light on the rocks on the right coming up from the river sand and the water is very nice but it seems just a touch muted from the perceived haze I mentioned.

I hope you don’t mind the demonstration edit but I felt this image was really worth the time and effort to make a few minor but effective adjustments, I used a few targeted exposure adjustment layer masks to bring out the details and color in the rocks, river sand and water a bit more.
I didn’t want to change the green tones so I tried to be careful with that part.

Now, to me, it feels like I can explore the scene a little easier than before but the difference is somewhat subtle, which means that what I did was more along the lines of fine tuning in my view.
And of course the hazy look may have been what you intended to convey which means that what I did doesn’t align with your goal, if that’s the case, please feel free to overlook the edit. :slight_smile:

Wonderful atmospheric woodland image, David! :slight_smile:

Hi David: I love secluded spots like this. It’s like walking into a small cathedral with light bouncing all over the place. The composition is excellent and nicely balanced. However, the harsh light increases contrast, darkening some areas a bit much. At the top left, it looks like we have a little lens flare (you don’t always get flare bubbles. a loss of contrast can also indicate lens flare).

I attached my interpretation

The issue was the left 1/3 of the frame. I drew a lasso around that area and worked with blacks and shadows. I also darkened to where I liked the greens, then painted back in the rocks. I also lowered contrast a bit. It’s contrasty enough without adding anymore, and it softened the image, evening out the light.