Just memorialized a dear friend whose work had a major impact on both people and planet. It was time for quiet space in nature even at my windy, rain-soaked perch. After taking in the scene for 15-minutes or so, I figured out the camera settings and took about 600 shots to capture about 10 that make my heart sing.

Specific Feedback Requested

People have told me this is one of the most amazing photos they’ve ever seen. Yes, it’s heavily cropped (for good reason). Printing on paper, however, is challenging to say the least (looks great on aluminum/glossy finish). It seems like the kind of image that needs to be shared, i.e., not just on my web gallery, but the printed product needs to have more depth. I use texture, clarity, dehaze, sharpen, noise reduc, etc. to try and create depth, but paper still flattens out the shapes and motion. Suggestions welcome! Thank you for your critique, Sarah!

Technical Details

Pentax K-5, DA* 55mm, ISO 400, f8, 1/800 sec, Lightroom Classic


Hi Deb! That is an amazing shot. Not sure I’ve ever quite seen water look like that. Really beautiful. I am curious how it would look without the rock. I think the texture of the water would hold its own without that.

Wecome to NPN, Deb! This is amazing! The texture of the foam is absolutely sensuous.

@NaturallyAware If you want Sarah M. to critique this, you need to add the tag for her category. Click the edit button (the little pencil) at the bottom of your post, add the Sarah Marino tag, and then save the post.


Wow, that texture in the water? is just incredible! It almost looks like whipped cream. I also really like the warm colours here but I’m not sure about that rock on the bottom. Maybe if there was more of it or if it wasn’t there altogether…

Hi Deb, did you want Sarah to critique this beautiful image? I can edit the tag as Bonnie mentioned if you like. As far as the image, I love the amazing patterns in the water. Really great! I think the rocks at the bottom spoil the abstract qualities of the water patterns.

Thank you for your comments, Alfredo! Yes, the rocks are an impossible obstruction. I go back year-after-year to see how I might approach the scene a bit differently.

Yes, I would love Sarah’s feedback, too…getting both of you to comment is great!

Thanks so much - Deb

No worries Deb. I added the tag so Sarah can review it. Great image regardless of the rocks.

Thank you so much, Bonnie! Alfredo gifted me the proper tag, but I managed to get it right with a new post this morning.

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Hi Tom - it’s sea foam! Yes, the rocks are indeed an impediment to the image, but without the water/land interface, those incredible foam shapes would never materialize. I’m still trying to figure out a better way to capture them, but it’s a small and narrow channel so not much room. Here are more to look at:

Hi Cameron - yes, the rock is problematic. I go back each fall to try and get a different perspective, but it’s a small and narrow channel that leaves almost no wiggle room. The lovely waves happen only as they begin to intersect with the rocks…a lovely challenge that I’m happy to attempt over and over again!

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Thank you so much, Alfredo! I enjoyed reading your bio…you’re living in an amazing part of the world so I look forward to seeing your images.

Hi Deb – I am sorry for the loss of your friend. This is a lovely tribute to that person. Thank you for sharing this fascinating photo. I love the subject but agree with everyone else about the rocks. Without the rocks, it feels more abstract to me since all of the context is fully removed. Without the rocks, I really have no idea what we are looking at. Since it sounds like you can get back to this location regularly, it seems like experimenting with a longer lens to get tighter framing within the small channel could help exclude the rocks and fill the frame just with the foam.

Since we are working with this photo now, I took it into Photoshop and added a tighter crop. As an abstract, I think it works better without the rocks (and if you do decide to include the rocks in the future, I think I would want more of them to add a bit more of a full frame at the bottom). I am also suggesting a flip since I like the flow of the foam in this direction a bit better. The silky shapes are just fascinating with every return look. So neat!


That is actually one of my favorite things about landscape photography- trying to get the shot you want under what are not always the best conditions. You really captured something unique in this shot. Bravo!

Sarah - I’m so grateful for your comments, and the time you took to give me an incredibly new perspective on perhaps my most treasured image! I would never have thought to flip the image (brilliant from where I sit…). I’m headed back to take more ‘Ethereal’ shots next week so you can be sure that my approach will take a slightly different turn.

Gratefully - Deb

This is a wonderful and amazing image! And I do like it as an abstract without the rocks, although more of them could work, too.

Printing on paper – there are many wonderful fine art papers now with very good dynamic range, but glossy or metal is still higher. The secret is a very good printer and an excellent profile for the paper used. I think the ethereal softness of this image should print very nicely on some of the fine art papers.

Diane - thank you for the tip to be selective about my paper choice! Portland has several top-notch printers that I’ll go to for the conversation before decision.