Dune Layers

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.



I took this shot in February in the Eastern Sierra. I find it not easy to edit because of the different layers and colors.

Specific Feedback

Do you find the outcome credible? Should I maybe “squeeze” more red out of the mountains? Is the sky to busy? Should the sand dunes have even more light? Thanks a lot for your feedback!

Technical Details

Bildschirmfoto 2023-07-04 um 08.53.07


How lovely!
You have captured the dunes in layers so well and rightly these should be the primary focus

That said, I would decrease the contrast on the clouds. You could also consider a little dehaze on the mountains - just a little - this will bring out more red - may have to play with exposure during this dehaze step

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Hi Markus,
What a dynamic scene! I was really drawn to the gentle light on the sand ripples and the contrast on the dunes in the midground as well as the red tone of the hills beyond. I’m curious what the scene would look like without the sky…?

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I can imagine this is pretty much like it looked like. Love the layers of elements an the light and shadow play. only minor nit is the strong orange tint in the middle strip of dunes. Fantastic image!


Wow, this is a really fascinating image. I like how it’s all tied together by being all sand and stone with mostly analogous colours while at the same time all four layers having their own distinct textures.
I do however agree with Eva about the very strongly saturated yellow dunes in the midground. Still a great image though.

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Hi Markus,
wow, that looks great. There are so many beautiful shapes and patterns to explore. And the breathtaking landscape is bathed in warm and golden light. It must have been just amazing to stand there and enjoy the sunset.

I agree with the others about the saturation in the midground dunes. Additionally, I would desaturate the blues/cyans in the sky a bit so that the sky matches the pastel tones of the rest of the image a bit better.

I also treated the very bright cloud in the ULC.

I like the reds in the mountains as they are.


Amazing scene. The only change I would suggest is desaturating the yellows a bit on those dunes. I think the contrast is about right, with some good darks in there.

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Agree with others how stunning the light is here. I personally find the four layers a little bit tough to digest all together. One thought is you could try a panoramic crop by cutting off either the top layer (the sky/clouds) or the bottom layer (the high constraint dune stripes). As is, it is wonderful. I just wonder whether either of these may simplify things in a nice way.

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Wow, what a grand landscape! I love that you’ve packed so much visual impressions in to a single landscape. I can’t necessarily disagree with Aaron’s comment on too many layers… I see the point. However, all the layers together can be viewed as coming together and all being connected. I love the framing and composition as presented.

Not to harp on it, but will just chime in to say I agree with the others on the saturated dunes. This was my first observation as well without reading any comments. Honestly, not overly done, but just off slightly in terms of what one might naturally expect?

A couple tweaks and off to the printer for a large, framed print… Hang it!


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