Mt. McGown - Sawtooths

This is my virgin post. I look forward greatly to hearing critique. I’m a big believer in continual growth in photography.

I’ll start with one of my self critiques. I think perhaps more contrast would benefit this image. I’m a bit conflicted when I add those adjustments though.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any feedback is welcome.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any feedback is welcome.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Single shot image. Olympus M10 /Oly 12-40 lens/ shot at f/8. A barrel of bug spray.

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Welcome to NPN Brent. I’m sure you will enjoy it. I think only a slight bit more contrast on the mountain would be my recommendation. The reflection is lovely and the stream is a wonderful lead in.

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Welcome to NPN Brent! This is a lovely mountain scene and the reflection is so perfect. I think the contrast that your seeking is midtone contrast. Here’s a quick video of how you can achieve this using the TKPanel, this simple adjustment can transform an image like this.



Thank you @Eva_McDermott and @David_Kingham

Yes! The midtone adjustment is exactly what is needed here. Thank you both so much. I can see how this would benefit not just this image but, many of the photographs I take.

This is an excellent photo! Great composition. It already looks pretty great to me, and my first impression was to add a bit more midtone contrast too. It’s one of the first things I do to images after raw edits. I could see a very slight vignette (perhaps just to the bottom) working here to direct even even more attention to the mountain.

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@Brent_Clark I have the image open in PS right now playing around with the great feedback from you guys. And you’re absolutely right. I had put some slight vignette on the lower portion of the frame but hearing your critique prompted me to add a bit more. Specifically in that lower right corner. It does add to the image very nicely.

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Welcome to NPN! And WOW, what a great first impression! This is simply a spectacular landscape. Almost don’t even know what to say.

This is gorgeous as presented. The summer grasses are wonderful - and being opened up with the stream and reflection, yeah, lead-in to the beautifully lit peak… Oh, and the trees. I love the tree falling IN to the scene making for a wonder framing element with the landscape opening up to the mountain and complimentary sky.

If it wasn’t mentioned, I may not have suggested any mid-tone contrast - But having seen Dave’s edit and others suggesting, I think it’s a good tweak. And all that means is taking an already spectacular image and just raising it up a bar.

My ONLY suggestion then if you’re going to incorporate some sort of added contrast to the mountain, would be the exclude the meadow - especially the stream/reflection. Plenty of contrast there and so I would mask out any changes there. But you make like differently.

Well, from a quick peak to your website and galleries I can see we’re in for a treat in having another great nature photographer join us. We look forward to more of your work AND for your participation in the critiquing and commenting of others.! Welcome!



Thank you so much @Lon_Overacker for such a warm welcome! I think that is excellent feedback concerning the masking in the fore.

I also look forward to to participating more here in this wonderful forum. I have to admit that I’m always a bit timid about offering critique. But, I suppose it’s time I tried to step out of my shell as far as that is concerned.

I’m very impressed with the wonderful work I see from so many photographers here. It’s very exciting.

Lovely first post, Brent. I like the slight boost in mid-tone contrast. I could be done with an adjustment brush too to exclude the meadow (as Lon mentioned above). I might be inclined to clean up a few ragged edges of the trees the exit the frame: nothing major, just cloning out the branches that “re-enter” the frame from the larger trunks (top edges along the thirds lines).

Looking forward to seeing more of your work.

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Thanks @Marylynne_Diggs! Great catch on the branches. This is a particular weakness of mine… Missing the detail stuff that can pull an eye from the frame or distract. I think I’ve pulled out the offenders you mention. I’ll post the tweaked photo this evening that incorporates all this wonderful feedback :slight_smile:

Brent: Welcome to NPN and thanks for a terrific first post. I love your camera position to get the reflection just so. Beautiful scene superbly rendered. :+1::+1:>=))>

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Thanks @Bill_Fach! It was probably a comical site to anybody that may have seen me trying to get my camera up into position for that little reflection. LOL I was a hot mess scrambling around in the wet marsh fiddling around with my tripod while taking swats at the bugs :smiley:

An absolutely awesome post, welcome to NPN. My only question is if you are going to offer the techs then the focal length and aperture aren’t much use without the shutter speed and ISO, kind of like sharing a recipe without all the ingredients.

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Good point @John_Neukirch! ISO is 200 - 1/45 shutter and 14mm focal length (28mm FF equiv) . Shot on a tripod with remote shutter release.

Welcome aboard and beautiful first post!! I am with the others in thinking the original looks great, then saw David’s post and like it even more. Excellent stuff! Looking forward to seeing more of your posts and your input to other folks.

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Very nice, at 1/45 second, was it handheld or are you a coffee drinker? :grin:

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Thanks so much @Harley_Goldman!

Thanks @John_Neukirch! Definitely a tripod. I drink my body weight in coffee daily LOL

Here is the edit which incorporates feedback:

  • Adjusted contrast in midtones
  • Masked out the midtone contrast adjustments in the meadow and reflection
  • Added a skosh more vignette on the lower portion of the frame (LRC mostly)
  • Removed some of the branches coming down from the top of the frame (hope I got the ones you were talking about @Marylynne_Diggs)

I am amazed at the wonderfully constructive feedback and warm welcome received today. You guys all rock!


Sorry for the late comments Brent. Agree with everything stated and the excellence of the image as displayed. Oh, and anyone with a sense of humor is greatly appreciated…so thanks for that! I think the edits thus far have taken a great shot and made it excellent. For my eyes, the only thing causing tension in an otherwise gorgeous scene is the visual weight/heaviness of the dark leaning trees pressing in on the image from the R. side. This may be just me and while it can add some natural vignetting, the angle of the lean and size of the trees “vignettes” the image enough for my eyes, I’d be dodging shadows to reduce contrast in that particular region with a darks mask. The colors are just great and harmonious. Really an enjoyable scene to behold!

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Thanks @Jim_McGovern. I hadn’t noticed that until you brought it up. It definitely looks worth trying. I’ll take a stab at that this evening!