Elemental Union

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I’m looking for any and all critiques on this image. Specifically input on composition and color balance.

Technical Details


This is a beautiful image wit a really nice color combination. the starkness of the white water with the red rock and the yellow leafs in between is creates a really nice seperation between elements. You didn’t write what was your camera setting but I am guessing it was a long exposre as the water looks great. Not to fluffly, you can still it is water. A couple of suggestions I have. First, the big log right above the large waterfall really goes against the flow of the picture and directs the viewers eye in the “wrong” direction from the waterfall out of the picture. I would take it out in photoshop. The other suggestion is to crop a little from both side and some of the top. This is what I had in mind. I think that helps focus on the important sections of the picture. Lovely picture. Thanks for sharing.

1 Like

Here is another version, I cooled it slightly and added some magenta as the water looked a bit green. Color balance is something I struggle with still to this day, so I’m not convinced mine is “right” but when I flicked back and forth between the two it felt a bit more “natural”.

I agree about cropping the top yellow tree out as much as possible and making it more about the stream, fallen leaves, and moss covered rocks.



A beautiful and intimate landscape. Love the balance of elements with the little cascade being the focal point that ties everything together. And actually, it’s the entirety of the stream - even the much smaller flow up top, but the eye is allowed to follow upstream - so again, the water element is key here.

The composition is excellent and any suggestions, are mere options of personal choice. I have similar thoughts as Tamar, but would crop so much on the sides. I can go either way on the top. Cropping out the yellow does bring more attention to the cascade, the rock, moss, autumn leaves, etc. Keeping the fall color up top works as well - there is just enough included - although a bit more up top for a broader view could have worked too. But I think the focus is on the lower cascade and surrounding elements.

My crop suggest is just some off the left. I felt the dark, angled rock face was actually pulling my eye to the left. So cropping in to it, reduced that and I think makes the cascade more central. Oh, and I cloned out the bright leaf in the LL, lower lever. You could have burned it down, but it’s quite bright and also a slight eye magnet.

Then from a luminosity standpoint, I raised the shadows in the upper right just a tad, and they painted/burned the opposite lower corner to try and balance out the overall luminosity.

Tamar mentioned the log. To be completely honest, I never once looked or noticed until it was mentioned - which goes to show how we each see some things, but not all things! Keep that in mind from these reviews! :slight_smile:

Like I mentioned, technically your original is very good and these tweaks are along the lines of personal choice.

A beautiful image. Here’s my option:

The advice from the other folks here is solid so I won’t dogpile on that, but will say that when I’ve gone to low-flow waterfalls I switch into slice mode. By this I mean I cut out smaller slices of the larger scene. In my experience, without a lot of water to connect the many areas of the photo, there isn’t what I call a through-line or an organizing element to these kinds of landscapes. You’re left with a lot of ledge and very little water. It’s tempting to try to get it all in, but sometimes getting low and close will produce more engaging photos; more distinctive ones, too.

I see a lot of potential slices here - the log itself - just imagining the power of the water that put it there makes me want to study it. The little side channels above and below it would be worth exploring. How leaves and water interact and contrast; motion and stillness. Maybe finding a stray bit of fern or other plant that survives in deluge and in drought. Things like that make me stay around these locations for hours. Just some ideas to play with for next time.