Crossing the Creek

Looking down as I crossed a small creek, I spotted this rock, which struck my fancy. I liked the shape and the way the white rim and reflection shadow around it set off the shape.

What technical feedback would you like if any? What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any comments welcome. Works, doesn’t work? Have at it.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

Single frame, a7r3, 46mm, f/11, 1/50s, ISO 400, hand held.

Dodging/burning/saturation work to bring out the colors overall, and the texture of the water surface, using Alister Benn’s “history brush” technique. It seems to do a really good job, combined with luminosity masking (TK’s). Check out his youtube videos on it (it’s sort of complicated to explain), if you’re interested. The method is better than using dodge/burn layers because there are less artifacts generated, although once you save and close the file, you can’t re-open it and re-adjust what you did previously. So, for us mere mortals, the latter is a drawback. For this photo, I went back after initially processing it and dialed back some of the saturation work by adding a hue/sat layer for the blues.

Bonnie, the leaf shape of the ice is very attractive. You’ve also done a fine job of showing off the details throughout.

Hey Bonnie,

I love this abstract image its just lovely to look at and I love the colour palette, would look great on the wall.

The only suggestion I have (and I’m by no means an expert) is there is a little glare on the water and not sure if you used a polariser? If not it would be interesting to see a shot with and with polarisation…sometimes a take both then blend the best parts for a bit more detail.

Anyway still a cracking abstract, hope you have a great weekend :grinning:



This is quite a fascinating and beautiful find. You say this is a rock, and then Mark comments on the “leaf shape of the ice…” Is it ice or rock? :smile: I think it’s the blue in the rock and the sharp edge that makes one think of ice; as well as the browns in the rock look like they’re embedded in the ice. Yes, fascinating.

The earthy tones are beautiful as well and oh, I haven’t even mentioned the water. Great choice with the shutter speed in order to freeze the motion a little bit, which pairs well with the detail, shapes, etc. of the rock.

No nits or suggestions. Great eye to catch this one.


Hi @Bonnie_Lampley, a really good intimate shot. I recently tried this kind of shot with no good results. Very inspiring for me. Thanks for sharing.

Bonny, I also though that this was ice before reading your description, for the same reasons Lon mentioned. With that said, the rock is a fascinating subject, and I like how you chose to incorporate it into your composition, cutting it in half (?) like this is both very graphic, and attention grabbing.

I think including some of the smaller rocks in the creek is a good way to frame the main rock, but my subjective preference would be to include less of it. While it may not be the case, the water looks like it may not have been polarized. The lighter areas of water might do a better job of framing the main rock, if they were a bit darker. I might also suggest a crop just below the small rock in the ULC, I don’t find it as attractive as the other secondary rocks.

I think you did a great job of creative seeing to conceptualize using the main rock like this, a lot of other people might have just passed this by. My suggested tweaks center on emphasizing the main rock even more, and really making it the star of the show.

I find the dark section too overwhelming as it’s less interesting than the bottom section. I would also add some texture/sharpening to the bottom section to bring out some of the detail. Here’s an unreasonable crop of the subject but it’s how I would approach it given a second chance:

Shasta_Trinity_030120_0238 copy

Thank you, @Lon_Overacker, @masdamb, @Mark_Seaver, @Ed_McGuirk, @SimonSaunders, and @Igor_Doncov for the suggestions. I did not have a polariser on. I rather liked the “glare” on the water, as it gives it a certain texture. I did darken the water, to accentuate that white line around the rock, but perhaps it needs more. I shall experiment with your suggestions. Thanks!