Merced River ice reflections

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Granite and sky are reflected in ice crystals along the Merced River in Yosemite Valley.

Technical Details

Nikon D800, Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 @400mm (2x teleconverter), 1/5 sec, f/22, ISO 100; five focus stacked images processed in Helicon Focus.

Robert, first let me welcome you to NPN! Thanks for sharing your work here.

Your ice abstract has some fantastic patterns especially the repeating triangular shapes. I like your overall composition. There is just a slight sliver of blue in the upper left corner that could easily be addressed if you wanted. Speaking of color, I’m glad you didn’t crank up the saturation in the blues which is tempting to do for scenes like this.

Everything appears to be in focus front to back. I see you used Helicon Focus which is what I use as well for my focus stacking. Nice work all around!

Welcome, Robert. I really like the stress lines in the ice and the reflections help make for some strong contrast. Definitely abstract and an enjoyable image to wander around in.


Love this! I’ve photographed similar along the Merced in the valley. Great eye to spot and work the fractured ice. Love the blues here as the blue areas seem to be the glue that holds this image together. I’m guessing the lighter areas just might be the mighty granite walls reflecting in the ice.

I also like the blue/gold(ish) color contrast captured and processed. Just wonderful.

And a great thing with abstracts is that you have options. I see Alfred’s observation with the very tiny sliver in the ULC. Additionally, there is a brighter, triangular shape on the lower left edge. Very slightly draws the eye. You could either burn that down or crop a little around the edges. Of course abstracts like this with all the lines, shapes and angles, it’s often a difficult task in deciding the cleanest crop - not always an easy thing!


@Alfredo_Mora @Dennis_Plank @Lon_Overacker Thank you all for your comments; I enjoy abstracts like this one and I appreciate the NPN community.