Ebb and flow

This formation caught me by surprise. Look up and there these amazing colored rocks among the dark basalts. Geology intrigues me, especially how it represents the relativity of time. Visually they are so textural and it is the fissures and cracks that make the visual impression. Plus, when someone asks you what you have been photographing, you can reply, “Mud and rocks”. Its a conversation killer.

Specific Feedback Requested

The image seems very flat to me. I am not so sure it needs to be more spatial. What do you think?
Is the composition balanced? It seems I could have explored the relationship between the two different types of rock, with more of the top rock in the frame.

Technical Details

ISO 800, 17 mm, f/10, 1/125. Single image file processed in light room with a couple masks for dodging and burning.

1 Like

Hi Janine –

This is a lovely little section of rocks and I like that you worked to juxtapose the angular formations with the curves. I think I would have just went for the angles instead of trying to bring them both into the frame, so I appreciate that added bit of complexity.

In terms of the composition, I wish the curve had more breathing room at the top. It feels a little congested up there to me. I also think the composition flows a bit more harmoniously if the file is flipped so that it reads more from left to right. In terms of the processing, the contrast looks a bit heavy to me. I made a really rough adjustment to reduce the contrast and brighten the file a bit. I like the darker tones being dark but also think the photo draws me in more if it overall feels a little brighter. With the brighter file, I can appreciate more of the details.

Thank you for sharing this photo for my guest critique!

Hello Janine,

I really like what you were seeing in this section of rocks! I Like the curve that brings us in from top left area and up and over and down to the ‘cross’ lines, but I wish there was a tiny bit more space above that curve, as it feels a bit crowded there. We typically enter a photograph the way we read a book, in western cultures anyway, and that strong curve serves as a pathway to lead us into the scene, however once Sarah flipped the image it became even more interesting for me. Both can work, I believe.