Since an abstract image, no description is given!

Specific Feedback Requested

Any comments are welcome!
I have kept the stem in the image, should it be kept (giving a clue) or erased (increasing the mystery)?

Technical Details

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Ola, this is an excellent rippled water abstract, where the “subjects” are nicely isolated by the darker edges. I like the stem and what it adds to the “story”, but do wonder about burning it in a bit to reduce it’s visual attraction.

Hi Ola – Thanks so much for sharing this great rippled water image. The mix of colors is lovely, and I like the pop of green. I didn’t have a strong feeling about the stem until I took the photo into Photoshop and took it out. I like it much more without the stem because taking away that context makes it instantly feel more abstract to me. Because the stem is among the brightest element in the scene and is a different color, it attracts a lot of attention. Taking it out lets some of the other interesting elements come through a lot more in terms of what dominates the viewing experience.

I think the composition flows nicely and feels balanced. The darker tones around the edges provide a nice visual frame to the more dynamic part of the image in the middle. In my example below, I also added a levels adjustment to add a bit of contrast, brightened the scene with a quick curves layer, and cloned out a few small distractions. If this was my photo, this is how I would present it. I think the additional contrast makes the patterns pop a bit more.

What do you think about taking out the stem? With the stem, it feels like a leaf portrait with the leaf surrounded by nice water patterns. Without the stem, it feels like an abstract study of shapes and colors. That tiny stem makes a big difference!


This abstract caught my eye when looking through the critique images. I like it very much. I do think the adjustment that Sarah made really mades it pop and I like the removal of the stem. I love the colors and design in this image and the darkness around the outside makes it feel mysterious. Nice abstract.

@Mark_Seaver and @Donna_Callais, thanks for your kind comments.

@Sarah_Marino, thanks a lot for the detailed comments and suggestions. Very much appreciated! I agree that the image become a much better abstract without the stem. Also, your proposed changes regarding contrast and brightness increase a lot the quality of the image. I will for sure make changes in line with your suggestions.

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Really nice color combinations and depth effect. The best thing is that you haven’t “waved this into a mess”, everything is perfectly sharp. Removing the light branch clearly simplifies the expression. I must try to build these water abstracts too, if I could combine them into triptychs.

Really nice! I agree about the stem; much stronger without it. The image has a bright, crystalline quality that’s very appealing.

@jorma and @Kevin_Sink thanks for your kind comments. Yes, I will remove the stem.

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