Crimson Kayaker

The day after a very heavy snowfall in November of 2015 the water in the Valdez Bay was unusually calm and the snow that fell on the water still hadn’t completely melted. I was standing on the dock taking photos of the monochromatic landscape and while I was looking through the viewfinder this bright red kayak suddenly appeared in the frame. It was a complete surprise because I didn’t see it anywhere out there when I arrived. I grabbed a few shots before she paddled out of the scene. It took me 3 weeks of sleuthing to find out who it was but it turned out to be someone I used to work with and she now has a 4’ x 3’ Duraplaq of this hanging in her living room :grinning:

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is appreciated.

Technical Details

Sony a6000, FE70200 f/2.8 GM @ 72 mm, ISO-100, f/6.3, 1/100, hand held. Full frame, no color manipulation or adjustments, brightness adjustment only.


Really skillful capture of a fantastic moment. I love this image!

Hi Gary,

I really like this image and this area is beautiful. You definitely have something here. I made a few tweaks to this image. I’m not sure how far you would like to take it but its just a different opinion or perspective.

  1. I cooled the image down with adjusting the temperature and putting a cooling filter on it. In my opinion the blue hue will give it a cool feeling of this day.

  2. made some adjustments for contrast. I believe the background isn’t the subject but plays a role as it is the backup character. I decreased the blacks, exposure, contrast, and texture.

  3. by decreasing the texture it gave the background a dreamy feel. In addition I gave it a gaussian blur also giving it a dreamy soft feel. taking some attention off the background and on the subject.

  4. the image has me wanting to see more of the mountain tops. Did you crop or is this the full capture? If that’s the entire capture that’s works too. I think your subject is too far off to the right so I cropped only on the left. This makes the subject appear in the scene. The crop also

gives you a nice leading line for the mountain on the left point to the subject.

Just for me I’m not feeling the black and white background with the scene. I want to feel the cold and the Beauty here. Just a touch of color and crop can make a difference. As I said you have something great here. I has me wishing I was there.


Such a wonderful image. You capture of it is wonderful and provides such a sense of place.

I much prefer your original post to the rework posted.

Definitely a case of being in the right place and ready to roll. This is so striking! I wouldn’t change a thing.

The original is excellent… Postcard.

Gary, I remember this one! The drama of the red kayak in a b&w scene is outstanding.