Expensive Rocks

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


While at a workshop at Bandon on the Oregon Coast, five of us went to a creek at Seven Devils State Park to photograph rocks in the stream. There was a sneaker wave warning in effect, but we were up the creek and well away from the surf. We were all very familiar with safety guidelines for the coast and none of us had the slightest concern about being where we were. We had been there for a short time when a sneaker wave came barreling up the creek knocking us all down into the water. We were all completely soaked, but no one was seriously hurt. Unfortunately, tens of thousands of dollars worth of camera gear was ruined. I returned to the scene a couple days later figuring I’d paid a great price to get some rock photos and wanted to get something out of it. These were taken with my iPhone because my Canon equipment was ruined. I have to think these are the most expensive images I’ve ever taken.

Specific Feedback

Any comments are appreciated.

Technical Details

Taken with iPhone 13.

1 Like

Glad to hear you’re ok, Chris! Sorry to hear about your camera though. Not really sure what a sneaker wave is, although I can certainly guess. This is an amazing shot. Colors and details are outstanding. You were very brave to go back to the scene of the crime. Very nicely done.

Linda - Sneaker waves are potentially deadly waves that surge further up the beach than expected. Every year people are swept out to sea by sneaker waves. They can also roll water logged logs over you. They are not unusual on the coast of the Pacific Northwest. Thanks for your kind comments.

1 Like

How horrible! I’m so sorry to hear about the gear but glad no one was seriously hurt. Hope you were at least able to recover what was on the cards. This is, however, a beyond excellent consolation prize. And it fits the theme so well, with a dash of complementary thrown in.

I’m very sorry to hear of your loss, but happy that no one was injured. Beautiful shot. Fits the WC topic very nicely. Sneaker waves, while around for a long as I can remember, are becoming more prevalent (and more dangerous) in the last few years on the Washington coast. Anyone who is a razor clammer (is this a word?) knows this all too well, especially when digging in the dark with headlamps and lanterns. Hope your equipment was insured, and it can be replaced soon.

Expensive indeed! So sorry to hear about the lost gear. I’ve had my share of mishaps over the years and know how horrible it feels, so kudos to you for going back to the site.

As for the image, I think you did a fine job capturing the essence of the rock colors, especially given the challenge of photographing thru the water surface using only a smartphone! I can’t count the number of times I’ve been shooting in “casual” scenarios and reached for the polarizer on the front of the camera to reduce glare, only to realize it’s just my phone. LOL. I want a CPL for my Samsung Galaxy!

Wow! Beautiful, glowing gold in that water. Gorgeous, Chris.

Coming in late, Chris, but I to want to say how sorry I am about your equipment. So glad you all are alright, equipment can be replaced. For some years now I have mine on a personal property insurance with State Farm, whom we have our homeowners and car insurance with, and so my equipment is covered 100% for what I paid for it. I have only used it thus far on a laptop that died. The peace of mind is worth it to me, hopefully I will never need it. Just something to think about.

I love images like this. You did a wonderful job with just a cell phone camera. I am amazed.

Chris, wow, what an adventure, of the bad kind. Glad to hear that everyone is okay. This is a lovely abstract, with the water distorting the shapes and colors of the rocks below very well. One minor detail that I notice is the slightly darker areas along the top and especially the right hand side. Were this mine, I do some mid-tone dodging along the right side. Matching the brightness there better with the center helps keep the eyes moving throught the entire frame.

@Shirley_Freeman @Diane_Miller @linda_mellor @kevin_dobo @Jim_Gavin @Mark_Muller Thank you for your kind comments.


Thanks, Mark. I see what you mean about the darker areas.