This was actually shot at sunset at IBex Dunes in DV and turned into B&W. I feel something is not right with this image and would appreciate and C&C. Can’t put my finger on it.

Specific Feedback Requested

What would you recommend changing?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
This is an HDR of three images.


I think the composition works quite well, Scott. I also really like the B&W treatment. I don’t know that I would change anything at all.

I am curious about using HDR for this…it would seem that the dynamic range of the scene could easily be managed in one image…


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Thanks David! I used HDR because at the time the photo was taken, there was quite a shadow, dark/light contrast in the scene. HDR seemed to balance that out a bit. Appreciate the feedback.

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I think I see what you mean Scott…there’s a couple things that serve as a distraction for me…but recognize this is my eye and may not be consistent with others read of the image.

First and foremost for me is the strong diagonal from lower left corner to upper right. The majority of “energy” in this image tends in that direction and for me, the “distraction” is the lines in the upper right corner leading me out of the frame. For me, I would endeavor to keep the viewer in the frame by decreasing brightness and contrast in the upper right corner and hope to keep the viewer in the sharper dunes at the middle of the upper 20-30% of the frame.

Less of an issue for me, but still something I struggle with is the vagueness (not a word?) of the middle foreground dune curve. There are sharp lines all around, and contrast exists in this foreground central area due to the dark soil in the sand. But, its lack of sharpness while retaining luminance contrast creates some inconsistency within the image. I suppose some might find that a favorable difference…so again, just my 2 cents.

I really do like the way you used the various exposures to provide a lower contrast image.

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Great image Scott. I hope to go there late this year… I echo David on why an HDR was necessary, just curious.

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While I think this is a beautiful image, @Jim_McGovern brings up the most obvious point which is the three brightly lit lines exiting the frame in the very top right corner. Also, the points of the dunes in the center of the image are too close to the top of the frame and there is not quite enough breathing room. I think I would crop some off the left side of the image as the ULC has a lot going on. After all that, I still think this is a good image.

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I think one of the issues is the faint shadow of the dune in the lower center. When I enlarge it appears like faint darker bars. The shadows don’t have good demarcation and this may even be due to HDR processing. It might be helpful is you posted the originals used before merging. There is something peculiar about that shadow. A curved surface should not produce so much darkness.

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Thanks Jim for your suggestions! I am going to incorporate them in a “revised” image and repost.

Thanks Mario! See my response to David on the HDR topic.

Thanks David for the suggestions! I will revise and repost. Not sure I can solve the lack of room at the top. I have to go back to the original and see if there is any room “up there”. Thanks again!

Thanks Igor! Most appreciated and I will take a look and repost after I make some changes.

Thanks all for the input, most appreciated! Here is the original and the modified version. Thanks again!

Oh, yes! I love the modified version! The cleanup and the higher contrast feel perfect!

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Thank you so much! I really appreciate the feedback.

Very much like the high-key black and white treatment here. There’s almost a sheen to these dunes that enhances the overall abstract quality.

Thanks Tony! DV is a magical place and I must go back.

I would assume (or hope) that you took multiple photographs in or near that location that day. Looking at all of them and narrowing them down to top 5 or so might help you focus on what doesn’t work for you with this image. It looks like this scene had a lot of potential.

To my eye, it looks cropped too tightly at the top where all the lines draw my eye. And the focus starts to become very soft just past that point – a little too soon to hold the eye for very long. To my eye, the core of this composition is the double curve of the sharp ridge that goes through both high points – I love it! Making it more central (though not necessarily the center) both in the focus (either with one focus point there or focus stacking) could make an outstanding composition.

Right now, the composition seems to be centered on the front face of the closest “point” which makes the black “smudge” of darker sand distracting. Dodging it could be a simple way of de-emphasizing it. And that sharp little ridge on the lower left either begs to have more included or be cropped out – there’s so much going on here, that it could easily be left out.

Another thing you could try is to increase the contrast (which will emphasize the “lines” even more). See if that appeals to your eye.

There is so much to see in a location like this that it is hard to stay in one location very long looking at the LCD or viewfinder to analyze and tweak the composition. You can crop tighter when editing, but you can’t add anything back that you didn’t capture originally.

Rick, these are all great observations and points. It’s amazing what one person can see, another does not (me). I was actually there for hours and took hundreds of shots from a variety of angles. This is just one of them. Unfortunately, there is no cropping at the top or I would have provided more space up there. Thanks again for the feedback! I will try out some of your suggestions.