"Desert Lullaby"

This image was taken late afternoon inside of a canyon in southern Utah. I personally loved how the oil flowed towards the subject and the way the rocks were balanced inside of the frame.

Specific Feedback Requested

I am open to any feedback you may have such as composition, visual flow, and or processing. Go for it!

Technical Details

Sony A7riii, Canon 70-200mm f/4 (@135mm), f11, 1/3, ISO 100.

Processed in PS


Trevor, welcome to NPN. I know you’ll get a lot out of our community. This is an excellent first post. I remember trying this while in Zion National Park over the years and never quite succeeded. You certainly have. Looking forward to Alex’s impressions.

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Hey Trevor! I think this works well, you’re right that all the lines flow to the fallen leaves, and the rocks are very well balanced. I do wish the leaves weren’t resting against the rocks but rather floating on their own - but what are you going to do? This is what nature gave you and it doesn’t ruin the image.

A couple things: one, the oil exiting in the lower left corner, with the rock almost skirting the bottom of the frame, feels slightly cramped and distracting. Any chance you have a frame with a little more room down there? If so, I would hope it’s still oriented the same, because I like the overall layout and flow here. Otherwise you could try warping that rock down to “cover” the oil in the lower left, or cropping above that “sliver” of oil there (though the latter might break the nice “X” shape you have going on).

Another super minor thing you could do is to clone in some (dark) oil where the surface is broken, against the right side of the lower-center rock.

You could also slightly dodge up the golden lines of light against the edges of the rocks, those are a nice detail.

Also, the magentas/reds feel a little drab and brownish, you could try saturating those a bit more (though I know this is a delicate dance and it’s totally natural-looking as presented).

Lastly, I’m noticing that a lot of visual weight is concentrated on the right 60% of the frame. I don’t know if you’ve seen any of my tutorials, but I do a thing where I take “slices” of the image and linearly scale them with the transform tool to “rebalance” compositions. In this case, I’d take the left 40% and squish it down a bit (just left of the top and bottom rocks/mud) and then I’d expand the right 60% to fill that space. Just to slightly shift the balance toward the left.

Had you removed the leaf prior to making the shot the composition would not have felt so right heavy.

Welcome Trevor! This is a great first post and some good suggestions above. Hope to see more from you.