Above is an alternate version with more saturation on the mountain and sky.
Critique Style Requested:Initial Reaction
Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.
Questions to guide your feedback
Do you get a clear sense of a storm having just passed by with this cloudless and dark sky? Although this is only a fraction of the scene around me, do the strong and dark colors transport you to a post-storm setting?
Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.
Just as we did this year, last year we spent some time in Silverthorne, in the heart of Summit County. Since mornings are often hard for me to be up early, I often try to take advantage of late afternoon light and sunsets. This photo was captured in the late afternoon after some heavy showers. I was trying to get some photos of the Dillon Reservoir at sunset and ended up with a rainbow gift. Storm clouds were beginning to dissipate leaving behind a dark blue sky with some burst of highlights. I guess Nature was smiling at me.
After applying a linear profile to my camera, I began to recover a few things in the image you see. I wanted to make sure that although this is only a slice of the scene, a viewer could feel inside the 360-degree experience. I brought out a hint of blue in the dark gray skies and fixed some minor distractions near the mountain base. I had some color range masks to bring out some of the trees on the islands and across the reservoir. I did some minor dodge and burn on the illuminated mountain. The rainbow appeared very intense against the dark skies. I did not do anything to it.
Have I missed any distracting elements? Is the portrait crop suitable? The full image is in landscape format, but the mountains to the left of what you see here were leading a viewer’s eye out of the frame. There were also some very bright sections on the left side of what is included here.
@Egidio I would say the storm is over because the sun is on the far hill, and the rainbow colors are bold. There is enough light for the color to reflect in the water. Yes, there is hope in his picture with the promise of a sunny day.
A beautiful capture! It’s a very nice and unusual feature to have one part of the rainbow more intense, and it certainly chose the best part. No nits at all, but an idea to play with might be to make the hill even more gold.
Barbara, thank you for your feedback. I’m really glad you caught the rainbow reflection in the water. I thought about adding a bit more contrast and saturation using a color grading mask but ended up leaving it as is (very subtle).
Diane, thank you for the compliment and feedback. I applied a soft mask on the center of the rainbow to reduce the luminosity in that section. It was very intense and a bit distracting to my taste.
I love the idea you gave about bringing up more gold on the hills. That gives me a reason to play with TK9 in that specific area. Thanks for the suggestion. If I end up getting something believable, I’ll post it as a rework.
Egídio, you’ve caught a beautiful rainbow in a lovely setting, definitely captures the lift of spirits after a storm rolls through. The subtle hints of ridges in the distance where it’s still raining hard add a good sense of depth.
Egido, this is a lovely image. Wow, what a great rainbow!
Looking at your new more saturated version, I think I like the additional saturation on the mountain, but it might be a little too much in the sky.
@WillR and @Diane_Miller , thank you again for your suggestions. Going back to the original post and adding just more golden to the mountain seems to be the right approach. That allows the clouds and rainbow refraction to stand out more against the sky without added saturation, particularly to the left of the rainbow. I’ll add that revision and move the darker sky to last in the display.
Do you get a clear sense of a storm having just passed by with this cloudless and dark sky?
@Egidio, what a lovely image! Yes, I think you succeeded in your stated goal. I like the second version the best, as overall it looks a little bit warmer than version #3. Brightening up the hill does improve the image, I think. But they are both nice!
Egidio: I do get a sense of a storm that has passed given the rainbow and the clouds/rain to the left of the rainbow. However, I think that the overall beauty of the scene is the dominant factor, not that a storm has passed.