Mammatus Mood

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This was taken several years ago, shortly after we’d moved to Colorado, from the balcony of our apartment. I don’t remember if it was just being a show-off, or if we got a storm out of it, but it was pretty impressive to me after years of not seeing nearly enough clouds. I was also pretty happy to have caught the golden hour light.

Specific Feedback

I think my focus was a bit off, but it was hard to tell because the wind was starting to push the tree branches around. It’s also possible my shutter speed was too slow for what was happening out there.

Technical Details

Canon T1i (my previous camera), ISO 200, f 16, 1/20, 24 mm, handheld. It was the first time I’d picked up the camera in over a month.

Critique Template

Use of the template is optional, but it can help spark ideas.

  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
  • Technical:

I love the shape and color of the clouds. The way it looks like a descending force on the earth. It is a bit soft but it is understandable that it was hard to focus in these conditions. I think if you could lighten the bottom left a little to give a little more texture it will be nice - though it still should be much darker than the top. However the bottom right light is distracting and takes my eye out of the frame. so maybe that part can be darken a little. But really powerful picture that really draws your eye.

Denise, getting late light on Mammatus clouds is a special event. The mix of bright in the lower right and dark to the left with the puffy clouds above is exactly what’s expected under these conditions. The clouds are soft in the larger view, but “feel” right at normal size. Since Mammatus usually signal a violent storm, somebody got hammered later…