Invaded reflections

Invaded reflections - rework

Invaded reflections - original

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This was taken from a boat on Milford Sound in Fiordland. While it may not seem as thought it should be in the abstract section, I intended the shot to be an abstract of reflections on the sea surface when two dolphins suddenly appeared in the viewfinder.
I was intially trying to make something of the different coloured reflections created by background hills and bush in varying degrees of shade, and of reflections of the clear blue sky on small ripples caused by movements of the boat hull. Two dolphins then appeared and their movements in the water also reflected the intense blue sky.
Thus, the title. Having spent much of my youth (seems a while ago now) in boats, dolphins were common companions and often appeared in their hundreds, but on this occasion I was somewhat peeved that they had invaded the image I visualised. I certainnly regret that feeling now when dolphin populations seem to have declined so much.

Specific Feedback

All comments welcome. When I look at this image (taken a few years ago) now, I can’t help feelings of sadness as the portayal of just two dolphins in open water seems to signify their loneliness.

Technical Details

1/250s, F5.6, ISO 400

This is a neat catch! The reflections are very interesting and it’s quite nice that the disturbed water around the dolphins is blue.

Years ago we were flying a small plane up the east coast of South Island, around Dunedin I think. We were pretty low and suddenly off my side a large group of dolphins (I assume) that seemed to be going our same way started breaching. The group seemed to be moving as fast as we were, so it must have been a huge group that seemed to be breaching as they heard us. It was amazing – they seemed to be playing with us. They looked like they were moving fast in our same direction.

Interesting result, Phil. It makes it look like they somehow surfaced in the middle of a mud flat. I do like the reflections as an abstract in and of themselves, but he dolphins definitely add something quirky to it.

How about “Seredipity?” At least that’s my impression - a pleasant surprise.

For sure I see the natural abstraction in the reflection and can understand your reaction. But still, a very cool moment, I think.

It appears to me there was a 3rd dolphin as there is a wake of sorts to the right on the remaining 2.

The only feedback might be to crop slightly from left and bottom to removing the bigger patch of blue in the LLC. That area pulls the eye out of the main interest (whether it’s the main reflection of the dolphins… )

I think a cool catch. Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Diane.
Yes, the east coast of the South Island has a wide variety of wildlife including penguins, dolphins, whales, and albatross. We used to have a house beside the sea in Kaikoura (South Bay) and fishing was our main pleasure then. In that area there is a large and very deep ‘hole’ frequented by whales and in recent years this seems to have become a whale-watching mecca. Fortunately we were able to enjoy the area before it was overrun with tourists.
We have many fond memories of deep sea encounters with whales, white pointer sharks, etc in our boat about 15-20km out from South Bay. It was wonderful when we were enjoying a calm peaceful time fishing there when suddelny a whale or white pointer would surface just to see what was at the top end of our anchor line. Aaah, those were the days!

Thankyou @Dennis_Plank and @Lon_Overacker for your comments. I wasn’t sure what to do with this image as I have often looked at it but discarded it as neither one thing (reflections in the water) nor the other (the dolphins).
Yes, Lon, you are correct, there are three dolphins, the third being a very young one, but only two surfaced at the time. A family group that had appeared earlier.
I’ve cropped the image along the lines of your suggestion and added it beside the original. A clear improvement, thankyou. Cheers.

Sorry @Lon_Overacker, I managed to screw up this reply when trying to post the rework. How do I get the reworked version to appear just above or below the original?

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Click the pencil icon in the lower right of the original post and you can add the new image there in the edit box that comes up.

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Of course…why didn’t I think of that. Thanks Diane.

Excellent timing and interesting image Phil. You had me scratching my head on what those shapes were before I read the description. Really cool abstract shapes around the frame. Nice work!

No worries Phil - looks like you got it.

I really like the crop. Thanks for taking the time to consider and repost!