Lone Orca

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


It was a foggy day in Alaska and a pod of orcas was leaving our area. I felt like this one was saying “good-Bye!”

Technical Details

ISO 640
SS 1/2000 sec

Oh how wonderful! I haven’t been on a whale watch in decades. I like the placement in the water, but wonder if a more panoramic crop might be more effective. This looks like a fantastic candidate for a B&W treatment. Did you experiment? The disturbed water next to it is also something I might experiment with cloning out to see if the results are better by keeping the eye on that tail.

1 Like


Terrifica capture! That lone tail with the whale sinking back to the depths works beautifully; great isolation of this event in context of the vast ocean… Very cool - and perfect timing.

I really like that the horizon is most obscured - just enough for reference and sense of place. I might agree with Kris a bit about a panorama - but most because most of the upper sky is not needed since it’s all uniform. But the lower part - I just noticed the subtle reflection of the tail as well - an added bonus! I don’t mind the ruffled water to the right - kind of goes along with the activity at the water’s surfce - just by the nature of having these animals swirling around in the water.

The only nit I have is it seems there’s some jpg compression going on that is causing some subtle banding - like a vignette; probably due to jpg compression and possible some adjustments in processing. Sometimes saving a bit larger with more pixels can alleviate that, but not sure. Not a big deal unless of course you’re thinking about printing this.

Excellent image, great nature story that also demonstrates that sense of isolation.


Jennifer: this is a great example of less is more and in this case a lot more. Very well seen and done.

I like the idea of a panoramic and I did process in black and white too. For some reason, the color version provided more emotion for me. Thank you for your comments!

I have a lot to learn about jpeg compression. If I do print this, I will reprocess it to try to reduce the compression. Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you!

No problem, Jennifer - advice is merely based on opinion and ultimately all decisions are yours. I think of NPN as workshopping in a way - we all have ideas and techniques we’d apply, but some we never think of and so the input helps spark new ways of thinking, even if it doesn’t change our original approach.

1 Like