Naiades Dance

Image Description

This was my recent and first time in Yosemite NP. I felt a bit overwhelmed by the scale of the valley and it felt like a struggle to decide whether to focus on the grand landscape or the smaller scenes which I normally am drawn to. On the second morning after the sunrise photos were done, I found myself alone along the river and had time to quiet my mind and not do or care what others were shooting. Then I saw this. Finally! A sense of “everything was right in world” hit me . At least in the moment I felt I could finally see.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.

  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.

  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I am drawn most to smaller scenes and abstract images. I like the idea of capturing original images rather than “postcard” images. Is the image balanced? Are the colors toned correctly? I was thinking of printing this on metal (to avoid framing costs :)), any particular recommendations regarding printing media?

Technical Details

1/125s, F8, ISO 400, processed in LR


Hi Ellen! That is. Beautiful shot. I like the one ‘ring’ in the upper left corner. It always feels nice to focus on the small things, there’s less pressure to capture ‘the shot’ I think. If this were my shot I think I would play around some with the cropping. There are two distinct areas in the shot more warm to the left and cool to the right. I do like it the way that you have framed it. Did you experiment at all with the cropping? Thanks for sharing.


Welcome back! So glad you got to experience Yosemite AND came back here to share your experience!

Love this natural abstract! I especially like the warm/cool - yin/yang . the little ripples in the water’s reflection are really what is creating the abstract effect. And again the colors shine through beautifully as those ripples roll over the various tones.

As with most abstracts, cropping, orientation and all that is 100% subjective. It’s my thought that the best of the image is the middle third, and the far right with the large, dark slivers tend to pull the eye. If you want to maintain the format/ratio for that nice print, there’s a beautiful vertical crop around the center. Purely subject of course, but if it were mine and was printing, I might print square.

speaking of printing, this will make an outstanding metal or acrylic print! Can’t help you any further, but no doubt this will print beautifully. To your question, I think the color/tone/sat look beautiful to me.

If I were to guess - this is a reflection of the nose of El Capitan - warmer sun side on the left, cooler, more shadowed side on the right.

Bingo - a huge challenge for such iconic places… to look away from visual expanse, and find beauty in the little gems. Congrats on “seeing” Yosemite. Took me decades to learn this - you did it in one trip!


Lovely!! All said above! I think a crop from the right to remove about 1/4 or 1/3 could be very nice, giving the blue a less significant role and making it a very important supporting player.

Thanks y’all for your insights. I have not played around with different crops but based upon your suggestions I certainly will!

Excellent example of an abstract image Ellen! Also welcome back to NPN. The warm to cool color contrast is lovely. Wonderful patterns too. This would look great on metal or acrylic. Kudos for photographing what captures your heart and eye instead of the icon or postcard type images. Keep up the awesome work Ellen.

Thank you for your encouragement !

I really love this image - it’s got dynamism, colour contrast, texture. You get the hint of what it actually is from the ripples but can enjoy it for its abstract side. In my opinion this would be prime for being passed through to the later stages in the competition.

The only thing that I see as a slight criticism is that it’s got some broad tonal variation that I find a little distracting from the abstract nature of the picture. I’ve given a sample where I’ve tried to balance out the tonality. I also removed a very thin sliver from the left side as it appear like a ‘band’ of dark tone on the edge that was breaking the abstraction for me a bit.

Anyway - an absolute winner! Really nice :slight_smile:

I love this image, Ellen. It’s like I’m looking through mottled glass… so soft and yet has a sense of solidity, if that makes sense! You’ve captured that gorgeous seaglass green beautifully. Like you, I’m more of a small scenes photographer, and so this is just the kind of image I’d be thrilled to capture. Congrats!!

Where I’d play with it: I’d experiment with different crops, as well as see what happens in a portrait orientation (or breaking it up into 2-3 images to make a nice abstract diptych or triptych). It’s one thing I love about abstracts: there’s more room to play!

Thank you. I really like how you balanced the tones and thanks for demonstrating your crop. Much appreciated!

Cool idea regarding creating a diptych or triptych!

1 Like

Whether or not you decide to crop this image, it’s absolutely beautiful!
Yes, do print it on aluminium. I find aluminium with white top layer keeps the colours best, but as this is an abstract you might go for a direct print on the metal, which will of course change the total look of the photo. But I think it’s fit for it.
Best, Ingrid.