Lake Water Gold

Lake waters glistened like gold as I paddled slowly in the shallows. Unable to stand in my kayak, I grabbed the strap in my left hand and simply laid on the shutter as the kayak took its own path of least resistance (more than a thousand shots in amazing colors!!)

Specific Feedback Requested

How to edit for printing on paper or max metal without losing what little character there is in the black holes.

Technical Details

Pentax K-3, DA 35mm 2.8 Macro lens, 1/350 sec, f22, ISO 3200, high-speed burst

1 Like

Hi Deb – I have seen ripples like this a single time in Grand Teton National Park and they were so fascinating and beautiful. I am glad you found these, too! They are mesmerizing. I am wondering if you have an exposure without the intricate surface ripple in the upper left quadrant, or if you like the ripple because it gives a bit of texture. When I take photos like this, I like a lot of consistency across the frame so my eye was initially drawn to the surface ripples because they are different than everything else in the frame. I think they are a little distracting, make the composition feel a little unbalanced, and make it feel a little less abstract. I mention these ripples since this is a critique but I still think the photo works as presented.

In terms of the processing, I think you could go a little brighter with a bit more contrast. Since you asked about the darker spots, I think they look like they have enough detail to print well. Darkness adds interest in this photo so I don’t think it will be an issue for them to have less detail than the brighter areas. This could look really nice on a pearl or high gloss paper.

I think this is a wonderful image. I love the bright yellows against the dark greens and blues. I rarely take abstracts, but I like looking at them. I like the upper L corner. I think it adds interest, however, I guess true abstracts are pretty uniform in structure and can understand why Sarah mentioned that section in her critique. True abstract or not, I like it.

Sarah - thank you for the detailed observations and suggestions. I’m going to go back to this image in Lightroom and reconsider what I see. While it’s true that I like the upper L corner, it does draw my attention away from the remainder of the image.

Thank you so much!

Gorgeous!! I think the ripples add some interest, but it would be great to see if you got some without them, as the remainder of the image is fascinating and truly abstract.

I think this would make a wonderful print, but the way to decide on the best tonal adjustments is with test prints, or a very good proof profile.

Thank you for the great feedback, Diane! I will definitely use proofs as my testing ground. Based on a number of comments, I’m also going to revisit the crop to see what it feels like when the ripples are removed.

Donna - you’re like me in that the ripples (and the ghostly face) drew my attention, and thus away from the remainder of this amazing place. I’m going to play with cropping a bit and see what happens. Thanks for your feedback!

Hi Deb,
I love the colors in this. For me, the ripples make the image, but like Sarah said, there is an imbalance. In addition, the little cartoon face is distracting, but easily cleaned up with some healing or content aware selecting.

I did a square crop and a flip, and found something that worked better for me in terms of balance. Not sure what you think, but this with just a tish of removal on that face would really make this shine (just remove one eye and the nose, and it seasons to be a face, I think).

Oh, Marylynne - yes, the face is the really distracting part (but also so amazing!!). Thank you for your time to do some testing on your end and suggest the healing. I would not have thought to ‘heal’ that part of the image, but I look forward to trying it. Given everyone’s feedback, I’m also going to look for other images in my library don’t include the ripples (took a 1000+ shots that day) and see what I can find. Thank you so much!