Image Description

I wanted to get over the pass and back to the campground before the storm came. I had just finished an overpriced salad at the Panamint Springs restaurant and still feeling hungry. As the truck climbed upwards I looked into the my rearview mirror and saw a sight I had never seen before. Unfortunately there was no pullout and light was fading really fast. I finally found one and ran out as fast as my old legs would carry me. There was no time to think about clever compositions and foregrounds. Just point upwards and hope for the best. There wasn’t even time to change lenses.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

  • 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

My biggest questions has to do with color. I exaggerated it but the scene required it. But I’m not sure about the yellow at the near bottom.

Technical Details

GFX50R, 45-100mm@45mm, f/11


Well that’s a darn nice photo for a dash to the side of the road snap! Those are amazing clouds; the layers remind me of the lenticulars we get over the mountains around here. I’m partial to color, so this works very well for me and I have no problems with that yellow. Amazing as the image is, I’m really liking your title too. Oh, and that sliver of moon is a wonderful little touch.

Oh my! Glad you were able to find a place to stop and get this shot. It’s an incredible scene as a photo. I bet it was spectacular in person. Your story adds to the viewing too. Very impressive cloud formations, and the colors work very well. I like the yellow. I’m glad John pointed out the sliver of moon - I missed it on my first look. Those clouds are so impressive I looked right past the moon. :laughing: I’m sure you would like to have had time to think about it and set the proper lens and composition, but this is still an excellent image IMHO.

Hi Igor,
wow, that looks awesome. I know exactly the feeling when you’re in the car and the sky starts to explode. Unlike you, I don’t usually have my camera with me.

In my opinion, it isn’t an issue that you had no time to find a foreground. That cloud looks so spectacular it is more than enough to serve as the main subject. And I love that crescent moon.

So I like that image as it is. But I was curious and I played around with it because I often struggle with the yellows in such colorful sunset shots.

I cooled down the WB slightly and pushed the yellow hue a bit to the orange direction.

Here is your original image, so you can swipe back and forth:

I can’t really tell which version I like better. You should just print your version and hang it on your wall.

Igor, just WOW. What a moment! And so well captured !


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This one took my breath away, Igor. IMHO it is absolutely exquisite. . . and I agree with @Jens_Ober , hang it on your wall! I appreciate the adjustments Jens posted as they remind me how just the tiniest adjustments are all that may be needed. Considering you just jump out of your truck and shot, the composition totally works, for me, and the soft warm colors soothe my soul. Thank you for that.

Hello Igor,

I really enjoyed the story behind how this was seen and captured. I’ve been there and done that many times but in my case it always ended with an “Oh well” it was worth a try, maybe I’ll have better luck next time.
I did manage to get a decent rearview mirror shot once but the outline of the mirror didn’t help and camera resolution back then wasn’t enough for a valid crop.

The clouds in this image look like closely stacked or layered lenticular clouds being sliced off at the top of the mountain.

Great composition and the colors are awesome!
The slope of the mountain provides a good hint for where the lenticular process was coming from.
As others, I missed the moon the first time I viewed it but seeing it now really adds to the scene and the mood.

I also agree that it’s a wall hanger :slight_smile:

Well, once again, luck favours the prepared because, Oh man, Igor, this is outstanding in every conceivable way - the colours, the composition (the silhouette bottom left really knocks it out of the park), and the absolutely gorgeously lit curves of the clouds. As the great Fats Waller used to say, “Such beauty must be deserved!”

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Gorgeous! A “moment in time” that you won’t soon forget I’m sure. Reminds me a bit of like a waning Sierra Wave. I too missed the moon, but once noticed it just elevated this image even more.

Colors are quite natura to me. Sure, saturation and WB are often personal preferences - but no doubt we each have experienced glorious colors in the sky and so this works beautifully for me.

I’m glad @John_Williams mentioned the title as well. And the Mariah I’m thinking of is in reference to the wind that created these wonderful clouds. Might you be referencing, “They Call the Wind Mariah”? Great song from “Paint Your Wagon.” Interesting (and I just researched this,) the song was originally wrote and performed for the original Broadway play “Paint Your Wagon.” And then again in the film verion in 1969.

Just like we ofter use the term, “I can’t unsee this…” Well, I can’t unhear the song now when viewing your image.


Igor, this is a spectacular image. It works perfectly well as is. Any suggestions for hue and saturation changes are just personal preference. I see no need for any. I’m glad you got this keeper on your recent trip to Death Valley. As you know, getting good photos there can be challenging.

Your recognition and speed served you very well, Igor. What a striking image! The shapes and colors in the sky are very pleasing, and the diagonal of the landscape adds some interesting tension. The colors are very believable IMO, not overly exaggerated at all. Lovely image!

What a grand shot, Igor. I have to agree with all the wonderful feedback. Those layers in that big cloud are amazing. How lucky were you to see this glorious sight. I’m wondering too if the name came from the song, “They Call the Wind Mariah”. Like Lon said, it was a great song. I like the yellow.

Clint Eastwood had a singing role in that film. Fortunately he never did that again.


Great capture. It works for right out of the box for me.

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@Merv, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @Lon_Overacker, @linda_mellor, @Steve_Kennedy, @Donna_Callais, @Don_Jacobson, @Steve_Layman, @Tony_Siciliano, @Kerry_Gordon, @John_Williams

Thank you for all your great comments and encouragement with this image.

Thank you for the rework. I have been looking at it and I can’t either. I can decide parts of which I like more. I think I like your handling of the yellow sky more. I also like that the upper sky is looking more bluish. I prefer having the warmer tones in the cloud on the left itself. I think that’s why the decision is hard to make. I took a lot of liberties with the colors in this image so there was a lot of interpretation. The sun had gone done considerably and therefore I had to bring the colors back.

Oh, and one other thing. I tried to add information into the silhouetted ridge by raising the blacks a bit. It just looked weird and so it stays as is.

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