Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

I’m curious to hear how this image makes you feel? What associations do you have with it? What would help to strengthen (or not) these feelings or associations?

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

Daisy Daydream
I’ve been trying to balance between a dreamy, floating sense of a summer’s day and enough detail to make the image interesting. The image has been re-processed several times. I’ve also tried several crops, but finally went back to the original 3:2 aspect ratio. So my questions have to do with both the amount of detail and the aspect ratio in relation to the theme.

Technical Details

This is a composite of three images:

  • a 3.2 second exposure of daisies blowing in the wind (200 mm, f/22, ISO 100)
  • a 3.2 second ICM of the same (200 mm, f/22, ISO 100)
  • and a more detailed shot of daisies (200 mm, f/4.0, 1/600 sec, ISO 400)

Taken with my Sony 7R3 and 70-200 mm f/2.8 lens. I used a 6-stops ND filter for the two loong exposures.

In post processing I used Selective Colour to adjust the tints, some burning using luminosity masking, and a vignette.

Specific Feedback

I’m looking for aesthetic, conceptual, and emotional feedback, please.

Madeleine, this is so engaging! The soft focus in the foreground makes me think that the flowers are shrouded in fog. The muted color palette is lovely. I also get this sense of fine silk fabric. I love how you captured this scene.

I would perhaps crop just a little tighter on the center section of the flowers. There is a sliver of blue in the upper right corner that draws my eye. Thank you.

Edit: After reading your description, I definitely see the dreamy effect you were after. The technical details were interesting and I love the creativity of blending multiple ICM images together. Great job!

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Thank you, Alfredo! I see what you mean by the sliver of blue. I have tried to give it a 4:3 or 5:4crop, but it kept losing its flow, which seems to be linked to the dreaminess. But I might clone out that bit of blue.

My first impression is of clouds passing across a field of daisies. Pretty literal, I know. But the sense is of a languid summer day, not lying in the field looking up, but floating above it looking down. There’s a sense of cheerful mystery.

off to read your intent…

This definitely conveys your intent to invoke a dreamy, floating sense of summer. I’m wondering if you tried a 16:9 ratio. To me, that would enhance the clouds floating by sense of movement and feeling of calmness. The amount of detail looks fine to me.

One thing that does strike me is the transitions between the bluish and whitish parts of the clouds, and the generally bluish bits. There’s some odd halos there (for lack of a better description). I wondered what it would look like if the clouds didn’t have those color changes, but still kept a cool tone. Hope you don’t mind, but I fiddled with them - dodged the dark “halos” in spots, desaturated the bluish bits, then toned all the clouds to be cooler (using Alister’s history-brush method for the latter).


Oooh, I like what you did! Yes, the clouds were a bit blotchy, but it wasn’t bothering me a huge amount, but this does look like an improvement. And the 15:9 aspect ratio was (for some reason) the only one I hadn’t tried, but it does work. Thank you!

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Bonnie, awesome work with the recommended edits. Thanks!


Another one I’m late to discover, and so glad I did! My first impression is a lovely peaceful and happy dreaminess – daisies somehow under water with clouds reflected. Or maybe I’m on top of clouds looking down. Improbable has nothing to do with it! Alternate realities are just fine.

I think @Bonnie_Lampley’s crop and tweaks are very appealing!

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Thank you so much, Diane!