Isolated Duck Blind Albemarle Sound North Carolina

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

Does the photograph adequately capture the isolation of the blind? Is it appropriately positioned in the image?

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

It was a windless morning. A mist still hung over the water surface. The horizon was blurred. Barely a ripple in the water.

Technical Details

Nikon D850, 24-120 mm lens @ 66 mm. ISO 64, f11 @1/40 second

Specific Feedback

Appreciate any comments on the aesthetics and the emotional impact of the image. Any critique for improvement.

Paul, to answer your question, yes, the photo captures the isolation of the blind. However, I think the image would be made even better if the blind were not so close to the left frame. A little more breathing room there would enhance the overall good quality of the image without decreasing the great negative space you captured. It is a beautiful image nevertheless. I love the gradual texture in the water and the color gradient in the image. Very serene.

Paul, that’s one tiny element in a large, very quiet scene. I think your placement of the blind adds well to the sense of it’s isolation and quietness. It’s interesting to think about how different this view would look if there were birds scattered across the water.


Wonderful! For sure there is a great sense of isolation here. The expanse of the water and lack of definition along the horizon really emphasize the isolation.

I like the gradation of tone and of the water’s surface going from soft, subtle ripples, fading in to the unknown.

I’m ok with the blind/structure being positioned near the edge. There is a bit of tension being so close, but I think it’s a positive tension that furthers the notion of isolation. I think a wise and creative choice here.

One little nit or suggestion might be to slightly crop, or otherwise mitigate the brownish area in the LLC - looks like the bottom of the lake/body of water is showing through. I would try and remove that. And while you’re at it, there are a couple of tiny bubbles along the bottom edge. Very minor, but I would clean up for printing (if the case)

My only other observation, comment, is that I don’t really get the sense that the structure is a bird blind? I only know so because you stated that. But it literally looks like a house, house-boat or something alittle bit more than just a “blind” (of course there are many styles and types of blinds…) Even in the larger view it’s hard to tell. Not a big deal to know this since the sense of isolation is strong regardless of what we know about the structure.

Great eye to see and craft this image.


I certainly feel the space’s vastness and the structure’s isolation. I agree with @Egídio and would like to see it moved just a tiny amount to the right. @Lon_Overacker mentions the brownish area that seems out of place with the general serenity of the scene. I agree. Thanks for this very creative view of the world.

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Paul, using @Lon_Overacker 's crop suggestion, I also darkened the sky a tad - just a subtle adjustment - to better show the horizon line. In TK9, I chose sky and using a curve adjustment, just put it into a multiply blend mode reducing the opacity to about 64%. I realize this kind of adjustment relates to your vision, so I am not suggesting it’s better than what you have, just a variation. Nice unique artistic image.


I appreciate your helpful critique. It is always interesting to see a different approach to the same image. I will try to incorporate they various suggestions made by members.

I could play with Photoshop Beta and see how it looks by adding birds,

I truly appreciate your suggestions. Will try to eliminate that dark spot. This area of The Outer Banks is about 25 miles from the mainland and the locals have built numerous duck blinds. In a sense, not knowing what the structure is adds to the mystery.

I appreciate your observations. I will work on the LLC.

Thanks, a stunning rendition.