Captured right around sunset, Jan 28, 2023, Ibex Dunes, DVNP. This one is a great reminder for me to make sure I’m looking in all directions in a scene, not just staying fixated on one point. This angular portion of dune was behind where I was focused. When I turned around, I noticed it and thought its sharper lines were interesting. Another workshop colleague was taking some multiple exposures, and that inspired me to see what I could come up with. I have a series of 3-4 ME images of this scene that go well together.
Type of Critique Requested
Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
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
This image, along with others in the series, is among my favorite creations from my time in Death Valley. I wanted to explore new ways to interpret the dunes, which I found challenging with such a well-photographed and beloved subject. I feel good about this attempt and believe it works well as an abstract; at first glance you might be intrigued, not knowing what it is; once you know it’s a dune, you see it and experience it anew and, I hope, in a fresh way.
Aesthetic/Emotional: What is your overall impression? What appeals to you? What distracts?
Technical: How does the processing look to you? I’m esp. curious about the color processing. I don’t work that often with browns/oranges, and I’m wondering if any of it feels muddy or if the balance could use improvement. It’s interesting in BW and even different hues (I tried a seaglass green that was intriguing to me). Would you prefer a different crop or orientation?
Canon EOS R, 254mm on a 100-500, ISO 200, F/18, 1.3", 6 in-camera exposures. Processed in LR Classic to raise shadows, clean up spots, add texture/clarity, warm up the color.
I don’t remember, but I find it hard to believe I did 6 exposures hand-held at 1.3" each… esp. since the unprocessed image is rather dark. Could that be the total time for all exposures? Or is that 1.3 really for each individual click of the shutter?
Stunning true abstract image Beth! Love the geometric patterns and the use of multi exposure. The earth tones are also quite nice with the varied shades. There is a pleasant gradation of darker tones in the bases and then lighter tones above.
You could try cropping in the left side a bit to fill in the gap on the lower left corner. Otherwise I like the aspect ratio shown.
I believe the exposure time is cumulative but am not sure. I wish my Sony camera supported native ME. Wonderful work Beth!
Congratulations, Beth, on achieving a different view of the dunes. This is really creative.
The angular shapes in the overlapping patterns are very appealing.
I find myself wondering if a brighter, almost high-key version, would also be appealing. That might bring some of the “hot” desert vibe into the image.
Anyway, this is really great. I’ve never seen DV like this!
Wow! Kudos to you for experimenting and elevating reflections of Death Valley. It’s so cool and inspriring to see what you were able to produce. This is outstanding!
I too get an immediate impression of geometry. The varying shades and shapes just seem to be balanced perfectly. Hard to suggest any improvement!
My only observation - and just that, would be to somehow reduce the texture in the mid-tone areas bottom-center where the texture of the dunes shows (subtly). Honestly, if we had no written context this was a dune/sand image, we’d have no way of determining from the image. So really this suggestion is almost moot… but perhaps selectively reducing dehaze/clarity in those areas to reduce the texture? (which is weird making a suggestion to reduce? texture? it’s usually the opposite.)
A wonderful creation. And inspiring for me to give this some consideration!
@Alfredo_Mora Thanks! I appreciate the crop suggestion, I’ll give it a try. And thanks for your input on the exposure time. Cumulative would make the most sense. And yes, native ME is fun to have. I know one can just do it in PS and have more control, but there’s something about being able to do it in the field that’s energizing. More time with the camera, less in front of the computer
Interesting! That would amplify the abstraction to a next level. I’ll experiment with that. Thanks!
Ah, this echoes a point made on another one my dune images about keeping or removing texture. I share and appreciate your observation and will play around with it. Thanks for your kind comment!
Beth, I am a person who really enjoys abstracts. You have outdone yourself with this image. I have been going to Death Valley for decades, and visited the Ibex and Dumont Dunes, and never considered such a terrific composition.
I find myself continuously looking around your photograph to make sure that I do not miss an angle or a line.