Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


There was a marshy area near my house when I lived in Alexandria, VA. I loved photographing it, but it was challenging to find some order in the chaos.

Specific Feedback

I can never tell if I like this image or not. Is it too busy and boring? Is there anything I could do in post-processing to improve it? Is there anything I could have done on the scene to make it better? I feel like it’s competing with itself to be a closed circle with a reflection, and a winding path of water through plants on either side. Any feedback would be most helpful! Thank you!

Technical Details

f 4.0
ISO 320
100 mm

Hi Amy. I see what you’re trying to do, but let’s look a little closer.
You found a reflection in a frame, which is something that we all look for, but with framing, a subject must be framed and, unfortunately, there is no subject in the reflection, making it just a bright hole in the middle of the frame. If some bird was flying by and you caught it in the reflection, that would be great. The scene is a bit busy and contrasty. Now, how do we solve these issues?
You could photograph in even light, which would eliminate bright highlights and harsh shadows.
Look for simpler situations. Simpler is always better. And shoot in shaded areas for strong reflections.

Here’s an example