My eyes are getting heavy (+3 updates)

Original -

With the LLC taken down a bit more -

With added canvas -

With added canvas and a couple of orientation flips -

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Taken just a few feet and minutes from the Channeling Bonnie photo, this one is a bit less abstract and more literal.

A leaf on the surface of a lake with a very slight scrim of ice. As the water rose and fell in the wind, the ice shifted, moved and parts collided with each other forming endless patterns, shapes and configurations. This leaf is partly on the surface and partly under, but a polarizing filter lets us see through while keeping the crystals sharp and distinct. That white line that looks like lightning, flashed on and off as the water moved so I shot in burst mode hoping to get an exciting frame. A little Lightroom magic and I think it’s at once recognizable, but otherworldly, too.

Specific Feedback

Does this feel cohesive? Does the randomness help or hurt? I used the ice patterns to bookend this little leaf (2 inches), but obviously couldn’t put them in the frame with any position.

Technical Details

Handheld using a Freewell CPL with the 1ND base - using either alone doesn’t cause a color cast, but together does depending on the strength of the polarizer. It produced this odd shade of blue that I rather like.


Lr for a crop, wb adjustment and a lot of work to get rid of glaring distractions on the surface and even out the luminosity where it was split by the polarizing action. Added a lot of texture & clarity and some dehaze to the leaf itself.

1 Like

Hi Kris,
that looks beautiful. I love all the details and the color contrast. The yellow leaf pops out nicely.

Have you thought about rotating the image 180 degrees?

I additionally added some space at the left side of the frame (after rotating) so that the nice ice pattern doesn’t touch the edge. But maybe you have another shot with a bit more space on that side?

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I absolutely love this image. The dark background is so mysterious. Are we looking at a night sky? Or is this a night landscape? The contrast in color but mostly in subject matter between the leaf and the night sky is really arresting. This is a creative image. Personally, I would experiment with darkening everything left of the diagonal line just a bit. That would fit my understanding of this image. I would not crop it. I think I like the triangle coming up from the bottom. Actually, I’m not sure. It does impede the flow of the composition. I like the preciseness of the outline of the leaf. It feels like it’s floating over the darkness. It’s a good image to ask for an initial reaction in my opinion.

Hi. Really really nice photo !!! Beautiful lines and works great in color. The leaf really captures the eye and you know the blue is cold and icy.

Thanks @Jens_Ober, @Igor_Doncov & @Gill_Vanderlip - glad you found this one interesting and even good. I’ve put a few alternate versions in the OP and I hope you chime back in again about those. And that other folks do as well. This isn’t my “normal” work at all so it’s fun to see reactions and play with ideas.

The flipped version that Jens put up changes the flow a lot. Just like the wedge at the bottom, Igor, I don’t know if that’s good or bad or just different. Maybe I should have tried a CAF removal of it. Hm…it’s still open in Ps.

Cool! I like the framing - the way the three light areas and the “lightning bolt” frame the leaf. The way the light grades in luminosity across the frame is lovely. Another idea, though, is to make it more abstract/outer-space-like by darkening the blue overall. Here’s my idea (along with a vertical flip), FWIW:

I think both images work well. The original is the way you saw it so it probably feels correct to you. But the flipped version is really nice with a different flow. This is a really nice simple photograph that you can see and feel.


Another veeery cool – literally and figuratively! It doesn’t feel random at all – there is a balance that keeps the elements from feeling random. I’ll go for the added canvas version, with my penchant for elbow room. Love the dark color with its surprising texture areas and the glowing leaf! Capturing the light on that fissure was magic.

This ice series looks like a risky endeavor – hope you don’t do a face plant, camera first, in the thin ice…

I like version 3 the most. The upside down doesn’t work for me. I like the line going up not down.

This is sensational, Kris. All has been said already but I might dodge that raised bright area on the Upper right edge. It’s significantly brighter than the other 2 similar raised bright spots. Other than that, I like the 3rd one the best.

Thanks much @Gill_Vanderlip, @Diane_Miller, @Igor_Doncov & @David_Haynes and of course @Bonnie_Lampley and the edit you did. Definitely darkening helped the photo and I like the flip w/canvas add, but it introduces a more recognizable shape to the image which gives it a different feel. (Anyone else singing the Partridge Family theme? If not, you are now!) I may put this one up in the Processing Challenge section and see what folks do with it.

Wow, very nice, and I can’t believe that this was shot minutes after that “Channeling Bonnie” photo because it’s got a completely different character. I like this a lot with the beautiful colour of the leaf and the depth of blues in the ice. Oh, and my favourite version is the second one with the darkened LLC.

Lots of different ways this could go; and that is a good thing. I think I prefer your version #4 as it just seems right to me. I like the way everything in this lovely intimate icescape seems to flow upward instead of downward; just seems more uplifting to me. Of course the bottom line is do what you like the best. BTW, I love the yellow/blue color pallet.

Thanks @Tom_Nevesely & @Ed_Lowe - yes, this really was taken basically at the same time and place as the Channeling Bonnie photo. Ice and overhanging branches plus fooling around with the polarizer made for some startling changes in the scene. The odd blue was caused somewhat by the polarizer combined with the ND base filter, something I enhanced with processing once I saw it. Just though it looked cool.


This is just wonderful! Can’t add to much that’s already been said, but I really think your two main edits (burning bottom edge and canvas) really took this one up a couple notches.

I think I prefer your original orientation, but the vertical flip is a comfortable one as well. No other nits or suggestions. Beautifully seen, captured and presented.


Thanks @Lon_Overacker - it is a fun image to play with on many levels. It was also fun to kill time while waiting for eagles to show up.