Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Meadows in northern Arizona are called “parks” for reasons unknown to me. This one offered a simple composition that I liked.

Specific Feedback

I don’t have any ego tied up in this image. I’d a like a critique because the few changes I made when processing it were to variables that I always have trouble with–white balance and color, mostly. Constructive criticism would be welcome.

Technical Details

ISO 400, f/7.1, 1/400th.


I quite like this. I think mostly because of that simplicity. There’s just a peaceful, quiet feeling I get.

I think the WB is just right and the colors in general, my first thought was “pale.” But that’s not meant negatively, in fact I think the colors look quite natural - just as if I were there experiencing the scene. And the simplicity that is represented by… no fences, no power lines, no contrails, etc. Just simple and open space. This makes me feel good.

I just like the combination of the open prairie (or meadow?) with the stand of pine and the small hill. Of course I’ll have to mention the sky. There’s nothing going on, it’s quite empty (negative space?) YET, somehow the expanse of sky adds to the open and spacious country. An ode to a simpler life.

The only nitpick I have would be the processing for the web seems to have created some banding in the sky; either from too much compression or perhaps too many pixel-containing layers that have been modified - and then compressed for the web? More apparent in the larger views.

Thanks for sharing!


Lon, that’s a very helpful critique. And an encouraging one. It tells me that I did what I meant to do with this one. Whether it was worth doing is a separate question and the answer will depend on taste.

I think the banding must be the result of compression. I was working from a RAW file and almost all of the editing was done in Lightroom, Processing was minimal. There were no layers.

That empty blue sky is a frequent concern when photographing the Southwest. The usual solution is to frame the shot so the sky doesn’t play a major part. Sometimes that isn’t possible or desirable and I thought that was the case here. Some will probably disagree but that’s okay.

Thanks again.

Hi Don,
My thoughts on this lovely prairie scene pretty much mirror those of @Lon_Overacker. I do like what you were going for here with the WB and color. I could see a crop of about 1/3 of the sky; just my personal taste. Even with that crop you would still have plenty of sky that would give that wide open feeling you were going for. Just my opinion of course.

Thanks for the comments, Ed.

I’m a sucker for these type of minimalist compositions consisting of a few strong shapes. I find this image to be quite artistic even though the subject is really fairly ordinary. Just goes to show how important a composition is to an image.

Me too, Igor. Thanks for commenting.