Dip and Sway

Beach at Seal Rock south. I was photographing waves at sunset (OutofOregon 2022 week 2). I look down and the light is hitting the sand patterns in such a warm loving way. I experience a strong sense of catharsis when I am at this location. I raised my babies in this area and we grew up on these beaches. Those were hard years for me. The rocking embrace of this image calls to me, reassures me. I even like that it is slightly out of focus…although I am not sure it would be better if it was…Lol.

Specific Feedback Requested

exposure? Is it too light at the top? The transition from top to bottom in that it moves your eye up and down through the image. What is your thinking on that?
Noise? I worked to reduce it and have been looking at it so long i can’t tell. is there too much?
annnnnd focus? Does it bother you that it is slightly out of focus. and gradually worse at the edges?

Technical Details

ISO 1000 (I was photographing waves) and didn’t change my ISO
120mm, f14, 1/60th of a second

1 Like

Hi Janine –

I am sorry that I did not get to meet you at Out of Oregon due to my COVID situation. I’m glad you were able to spend time at a place that is special to you during the conference. First, I do not think the focus is a big issue. I probably would have done a focus stack but that is because I am a little too perfectionistic about those sorts of things. I think the band of light at the top is a distraction and I would crop it out. The dips and sways as you called them are a lot stronger without that band of light at the top.

Second, the color balance looks a little off too me. I am seeing some subtle cyans and yellows in the file so I shifted the color balance a bit. I think it looks a little more natural. Colors often come down to personal preference so I just note this for your reference. Also, I think the file could benefit from a bump in contrast so I added that adjustment, along with a tiny bit of clean-up, in my suggestion below.

Thank you for sharing this photo for my guest critique!

Sarah! Thank you so much. Your feed back was spot on! The original is flat and very greeny. I’m going to go and work on this image! I appreciate the thought and work you put into educating photographers. I work alone most of the time and the shared insights (on the other critiques and those of my work) are very valuable to me.