Liquid Gold

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

Interested in what processing skills I could work on. I am using both Lightroom Classic and Photoshop

Creative direction

Was looking to capture the mood of the morning

Specific Feedback

Is the image visually appealing Does it convey a story

Technical Details

ISO 100
F 7.1
1/10 sec


This shot was taken just before sunrise where the sky turned red for a few minutes. Just before the shot was taken a kayaker paddle by and the wake of the kayak caused the circular ripples in the foreground which caught my eye What do you like about the image but more importantly what Don’t you like about the image. What could I have done better with composition, processing and do you see a story here.

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1 Like

Wow, there is a great deal in this photo to look at.

My mind does not seem completely at ease when I compare the luminosity of the house mid LHS and the tree ( top RHS) and wonder why the tree skeleton is so light by comparison. I also see the tree skeleton branches above the tree line on the opposite side of the water are darker than those below the tree line. Perhaps this needs more thought.

Overall, the brightness of the sky is greater than that of the river - in my opinion, a good thing, however the river at the bottom of the photo seems brighter than the sky in places. I would also try to recover some of the brightest areas in the sky and water to reduce the overall luminosity range. Try putting your fingers over the tree skeleton and consider the remaining parts of the photo.

A stunning morning - I hope the bugs did not bite too much.

Thanks for your input Rob. I will take your suggestions on board

Ian, this is a very pleasant and inviting scene. My favorite parts are the ripples especially around the fallen tree. It does seem like the fallen tree is the main focal point. It somewhat philosophical, but I’d burn-in the building on the far side so it attracts less attention. If you’re not already using them, I’d suggest that learning how to create and use luminosity masks is an important processing step.

Thanks Mark I have lots to learn on this journey. Your suggestions will be taken onboard

This looks like a beautiful way to start the day to me. The scene has a quiet and peaceful vibe that I find inviting and I find the ripples to be a interesting element.

My thoughts are to either darken or preferably remove the house as the tree is pointing the viewer towards it. I would also consider removing that dark object just below the tree.

I hope you were able to capture some more images from this colorful sunrise. Nicely done.

Thanks Ian Kane for posting this wonderful image. I agree with what has already been noted by the other commentators. Just one tiny thing: What caught my attention was the concentric ripples around the branch(?) breaking the surface in front of the dead tree — I ask myself what caused these ripples there? I like the mystery.

Thanks Leo for you feedback. I am working on making some changes as has been suggested

Have made some changes as has been suggested your feedback is welcome. I am fairly new to Photoshop so any processing tips would be appreciated