Late afternoon

Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

I tend to think that the shallow depth of field works, just like the contrast of textures between the red leaves on the Tagetes flowers and the dusky and bright elements. I am less sure about the color rendition and the cropping.

Creative direction

The emotion that I tried to convey was one about intense movement and life in its transitory and somewhat chaotic forms.

Specific Feedback

Aesthetic and technical feedback would be nice.

Technical Details

1/640 sec at f1.8, ISO 320
Lens 85 mm
No special technique used.
Very slight post-processing.


This scene was one of those smaller and unplanned ones that appears at the corner of one’s eyes while trekking towards a preconceived destination. I paused and took the picture.

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A pleasing image. I like the contrasting red and green. I like the delicate nature and sense of movement of the grass -the movement seems to carry the eye through the image.

Thanks Allen Brooks!

I was immediately attracted by the combination of the feathery grasses contrasting with the bold solid-color flowers. The center flower delightfully jumps off the screen.
Shallow depth of field does a nice job of guiding the viewers … except … for me, three OOF flowers (top, lower left, and right edge) are very bright and saturated, drawing me away from the interior scene. I tried de-saturating, and then PS Remove Tool, and then a square crop. One might also try a horizontal flip to get energy flowing from left to right.

Dear Dick Knudson,
Thank you for pointing out this issue and for suggesting a new version. I will definitely reconsider my choices in terms of processing. Thanks!

Wonderful image, Leo. I really like the vibrant reds and oranges set against the green grasses. There is definitely a sense of movement in the image as well. As far as cropping goes, the flower in the lower right corner that is cut off by the edge of the frame caught my eye, so you might try cropping in from the right a bit. I like Dick’s suggestions as well. That being said, this is a beautiful picture as is. Nicely done!

Thanks, John. I appreciate your comment.

I agree with your own assessment that the brightness of the fore and back flowers detracts from the focus on the central flower. In as much as possible, I diluted both in color adjustment, some cloning and cropping those pesky detractors, but even so, in the end I found something was missing and that missing element was the brightness of the white grasses which actually create the motion in the scene.
I really just selected some areas of the whites via “select by color range” then gave the selection a somewhat subdued +brightness and -contrast to amplify the flow, thus still highlighting the central flower.
I like this and often have to remind myself that the world is made up of many small parts which create the bigger picture. In this image you very much embodied that sense of unity.

Your original image is my favorite.
The depth of field really work to keep my eye moving around the image.
Great image.

Thanks Chris, it looks better. I will definitely experiment with “select by color range” and see how it affects this image. I had not thought of this possibility, so thanks suggesting it.

Thanks Steve.