In a Land Far, Far ... .

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Was traveling back roads from Yakima to Sunnyside and back at sundown. Looking for Animals. Strange cloud formed with color. I was able to get two shots before it changed.

Specific Feedback

Bright around sun; dark overall. Just not sure if it works. Not very successful in processing to my like.

Technical Details

Canon 5DMKIV; 24/70 @ ?; 1/6400th; 100ISO; 8.0; HH.

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Jim, the color in the cirrus cloud is called “cloud iridescense”, it appears when you have high thin ice clouds near the sun. This is a very challenging view to process because of the extreme contrast with the sun in the frame. I would suggest brightening the entire view and then darkening the region near the sun. The sweep of the land and that long cirrus cloud are important parts of the view. (You might want to “cheat” a bit by cloning texture into the clouds near the sun using something like a 15 or 20% clone.) The blown highlights near the sun are exactly what you’d expect, so leaving them is fitting.

Mark, Thanks for your thoughts and suggestions. The iridescence was much brighter just prior to this photo, but there was no place to pull over.

Marks suggestions on processing sound good to me, Jim. I could see cropping a bit off the bottom. I like the classic eastern Washington landscape forms, but I think having the sky dominate a bit more would work better and it would also eliminate having to bring that really dark bottom area up too much. That’s an awesome find.

Dennis, Thank you. I cropped the bottom dark area and was going to post it, but after looking at both decided to post this one. Now that I have reviewed the crop, I am not sure which I like.