To be honest, I’m not sure if this image works or not so I’m looking for some reaction in that sense. No doubt this is not the best image I’ve ever made! For me, it represents the isolated feel of winter after the holidays, stuck, trapped inside, waiting for spring…

I chose a black and white processing for this as I felt it encouraged that feel and gave it a slight cool tone after I was done. The colors present to begin with were pretty minimal and warm which I didn’t feel like supported the story I was going for.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

There is a fine line between simple/minimal…and boring! I tried to create some interest by offsetting the lone rock in a few different ways. Just wondering if there is “enough” to the image.

Technical Details


Sometimes I have that same dilemma when I’m working similar scenes. For me this one has potential. For me the bright edge at the top isn’t working. I’d rather see the ice surrounded by dark. Sometimes that means getting higher up or angling differently. If you felt like working this image, you could probably clone or color paint he light areas using the darker bits as source pixels. Frequency separation could work, too, by painting just the color over those parts, but not the texture. It’s tricky to do but works well.

I like where you’ve placed the ice, but might take a bit off the bottom. Wish there was more detail in the snow and some more crispness to the subject, too. Overall it’s pleasing, but could be made more engaging. These kinds of scenes are always intriguing.

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I was going to give similar feedback.
I have a series of images like this from last winter that I never was really happy with so I never did anything with them, but it was a good exercise in trying to mix textures and patterns.


This absolutely works - for sure in what you saw and intended. The title is appropriate as that is also the sensation that I get (even without the title.) Or sorry, for the Dolly/Kenny cliche, but how about “Islands in the Stream…?” :roll_eyes: :grin:

I think the large, empty space does enhance that feeling of isolation. On the other hand it lessens the importanc of the snow-covered rock, if that makes sense.

I like and agree with Kris’ comments/suggestions. Darkening the top a bit as well as a general crop, maybe 12-15% bottom and right, just to tighten things up - without losing much of the isolated feel.

Simple and telling a story, sure thing. Boring? not at all. Like Matt, I would have certainly been attracted to this scene - and in fact have photographed similar scenes. Does it translate in to our best work? maybe not - but I think it’s certainly a worthy image and should belong in your portfolio.


Here is a new version where I’ve tried to take into consideration some of the topics brought up by @Kris_Smith @Matt_Payne and @Lon_Overacker. Thank you all for your feedback. I believe it is significantly improved. Still not sure if I’m “sold” though. A good lesson in some technical editing things if nothing else. Just curious how some people can make images like this seem so interesting while others feel like not much more than a snapshot…

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I agree! I think much improved. and thank you for taking the time to rework and considering the suggestions. Both the crop and addressing the light area up top - are both improvements!

In fact, looking at this again - as if I’m viewing the first time, it actually has a more engaging impression. The snow muffin has more presence and feels just as alone as your original. Great job!

This just got me thinking. And please take this as a compliment. I think you’ve answered your own question. I would say, WHO would ever think to take scene as a “snapshot”? In other words, the fact that you, or I, or anyone, could “see” and actually want to photograph this scene - makes this more than interesting. Maybe I’m speaking gibberish… but you ask “how some people can make images like this seem so interesting”… well, you just did. Kudos.