Fractured Slate, Ballachulish, Scotland

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Hidden behind some bushes in the upper part of the quarry, I found this subject which drew my attention because of the wonderful colours and the abstract quality of the slate. I feel that the small bush provides just enough context to give the image some sense and a kind of focal point from which the eye can start to explore the image.
Any comments appreciated!

Technical Details

Sony A7rV
FE 24-70mm GM II @ 55mm f/10
ISO 100, 1/3s.


Hello Holger - I like that you went exploring to discover this area of the quarry! The overall impact of this is strong - good graphics, and I like the hue shift of the blue-grey rocks with the warmer hues of leaves on the bushes. I do think it could be a bit stronger in composition if you left off the bottom portion where the rounded rocks intrude. It helps to keep the eye in the more angular shapes and the oblique cracks. Not a huge change, but in my opinion one that helps the overall image.

Thanks for the suggestion.
I have tried to omit the rounded rocks in the bottom, but that would have put the bush in a somewhat awkward position, altering the balance of the whole composition a bit too much. Maybe I can try to deemphasize this part of the image by reducing the contrast and maybe saturation a bit.

Welcome to NPN Holger! Thank you for posting to the abstract channel.

Your image has a strong visual design with the vertical lines in the slate and the crack intersecting those lines in an opposite diagonal. The color contrast with the cool tones in the slate and the pockets of warm tones in the rock and in the bush work really well. I like the depth created by the angular shapes of the rocks.

Brenda brought up a good point about the rounded rocks at the bottom of the frame. I read your response and agree about balance. Let me know what you think about a 4x5 crop as a compromise. It retains the design elements I mentioned earlier but removes the bottom of the original frame.

Holger, I think this is a terrific shot. I think the rocks at the bottom belong there and I wouldn’t change them.

The top of the image has a lot of color contrast and tonal contrast. It pulls my eye away from the bush. I’d consider reducing the saturation of the yellows at the top. But the image is strong the way it is.

Welcome, Holger. I really like this image. All the lines lead me to the middle then I catch the bush underneath. It really works to hold me in the composition. The rounded rocks at the bottom didn’t even register with me, so I’m good with them staying there.