Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This is one of those times when you don’t start packing up equipment !!! When the sun set behind the mountains the sky erupted in a vivid display of color and cloud patterns.

White Sands NM

Specific Feedback

any and all are appreciated

Technical Details

Sony a7R M III 70-200 f/4 lens F/8 and changing shutter speeds

Critique Template

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  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
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Incredible sunset, James. I’ve been down to New Mexico a number of times hoping for this kind of sunset without any luck. I like the way you framed this with the dense base and richer colors below and the wispy paler colors above. Beautiful image.

Gorgeous sky! I’ve also has no luck with the NM sunsets, but great White Sands images

James: Aptly titled and superbly captured and presented. This kind of sunset is nirvana for a color junky like me. Wonderful image. >=))>

I think nature gave you a great opportunity here but this is the sort of image where my first instinct to bring out the vividness of the experience generally gets modified in the long run.

The sky reveals a strong color cast. Starting with a more balanced WB will allow you to bring out the color you were given. You’d need to go back to the raw file to do it right, but it’s worth playing with this one. None of the presets are likely to work well with an image of limited colors like this one so it’s just tweak and compare. The bottom seems unnaturally saturated and looks like there is some darkening brushed on, and it looks like a gradient at the top too. Both could be a little more subtle.

Thanks for the detailed evaluation. I re-worked the WB and it does make a difference in the upper reaches of the clouds.

Dennis and Sandy, I did luck out, this was the only sunset image and sunrise was a complete bust during my 5 day visit.

Bill, thank you for the comment. Some times you just get lucky!

Would be lovely to see a RP!