Lowdown on the comedown (+1 re-work)

Here it is with some suggestions from below applied. Slightly warmer. A crop from the bottom. Some massaging of the red channel to bring down the yellows and oranges which seemed too much. A bit of cloning on the left. Thoughts??

Original edit -

More from the same beach with the fish shack(s). This was taken almost directly in front of the one not hidden by trees. A person walked out on this cantilevered ice and snapped it off, creating a big splash, but fortunately he didn’t fall - totally stuck the landing! Lucky for me it made for an extra intense leading line for this scene close to sunset. I’m not sure it would have worked without the crack. I have a slightly different perspective with the crack smaller in the frame and it doesn’t work as well as getting lower and closer did. This was as much ice as we found on Superior this winter; definitely warm. Ordinarily there would be more ice than this - not to the horizon, but to the immediate right of the shelf.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

This is more about the story of Superior than anything else. On its own I’m not sure it works, but maybe it does. What say you? Feel free to chime in with anything in terms of processing, too. Huge dynamic range here and I did my best.

Technical Details



Lr to even out a lot of the variations in luminosity - the shadows were fairly deep and because the sun was above the horizon still, the highlights pretty intense. So I started with a Linear Profile and worked from there. Lots of masking. Also some work with wb and colors in the Calibration Panel. Topaz for some sharpening and noise reduction. Cropped to eliminate some distracting bits on either side

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Excellent photo, Kris. The time of day and composition really worked well here. The crack in the snow really helped.

It sure looks cold, Kris! I love the lighting. The crack in the snow makes for a nice leading line to the trees where the shore curves out into the image. Nice.

You’ll have to thank the guys who nearly fell into the water for creating this fantastic leading line. Without that crack, I just don’t think it has the same impact. The light blue tones in the sky contrast nicely with the warm tones of the sun lit trees and the white snow in the foreground. You mentioned the huge dynamic range. Yep, but you did well to quell the edges of the histogram even if it does appear a tiny bit harsh. Nothing you could do about that. This does tell the story of how warm your winter has been.

A very nice scene Kristen, given that added boost by the guy who almost went for swim in a lake that takes no prisoners :smile: I do find it, as @David_Haynes said, “a tiny bit harsh”. I wondered if it was the dynamic range that was giving me that impression or if it was the colour balance. So, I downloaded just to see for myself. I think it is the colour balance. I played with it but very, very quick, down, and dirty. All I did was download as a smart object to Ps and do a kind of reverse split tone in Camera Raw. On one mask I pushed the temp slider over to the right (+23) to bring down the blues and in the second mask I pulled back on the orange saturation (mostly on the outcropping of land and in the snow) in Camera Raw HSL. I added a little bit of midtone contrast and that’s it. All the masks were hand painted super quick and not particularly carefully just to see what difference working with colour balance might make. I’ve posted the rework and your original so you can pop between the two and see if there is something that might interest you.

What is this thing you call snow? :grinning:I have almost forgotten what its like in the section of MD where I live as we have not had any measurable snowfall going on two years. The late day light has created some lovely warmth in this winter landscape and compliments the cool blue tones in the sky rather nicely. The crack in the ice is also a plus and makes for a wonderful leading line. Glad the person did not fall in as that water looks quite chilly!

A very nice leading line – sort of a miniature calving glacier. I love the blue shadows and warm direct light on the snow. It does feel surprising to see open water, snow this slushy, and melted-looking in the trees. Wonderful DOF to show off the ice crystals in the FG.

Glad the guy didn’t fall in. Years ago I was ice skating with a friend on a frozen lake in Germany and a guy (playing chicken with friends, I think) got too close to a patch of obviously thin ice near the shore and fell through. Good thing it was close to shore and there was a lodge nearby.

I guess I feel differently about the crack. I feel that it has been given too much attention, resulting in too large a shadow foreground. I would crop from the bottom and emphasize more the large sunny arc of snow between snow and water by using a more elongated aspected ration.

Thanks @Dean_Salman, @Shirley_Freeman, @David_Haynes, @Kerry_Gordon, @Ed_Lowe, @Diane_Miller & @Igor_Doncov - for all your reactions, insights and re-imaginings. Definitely given me some thoughts and ideas to tweak this. I’m glad it was worthy of attention on its own and not part of the overall set of images I made on this trip.



Wonderful lakeside image. Agree with you and everyone that the crack most certainly is a positive and welcome element. I too am glad this person didn’t fall it! Great potential for harm there!

As much as that crack is a positive element, I really like Igor’s crop suggestion. the crack is still prominent, but the entire scene feels more pastoral now. Maybe that’s not the proper term, but the comp feels better with that crop.

The light is of course beautiful and I like the colors as presented.


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Thanks @Lon_Overacker - always nice to get different perspectives. Not being on location can free the mind a bit.

I really like the sidelight and the complementary warm and cool colours. Looking and comparing the original and Igor’s version I think that cropping out some of the crack helps the image. To me, the crack is just a supporting element but I feel that it is just a bit too dominant and the crop brings the image back into balance.

Thanks @Tom_Nevesely - glad you chimed in. I’ve put a re-work in the OP. Have a look and let me know thoughts about the differences and whether it works better. Everyone else, too, of course. :laughing:

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Hi Kris, yes I like the repost much better and I feel it definitely makes your great image even better.

I’ve been falling behind on my commenting lately so I apologize for that. I’m leaving on a big trip soon so life is quite hectic with me getting ready and trying to get all caught up with everything at work. I wish I had more time and more importantly more energy in a day because there are so many images being uploaded that all deserve feedback!

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