I assume most of you reading this image will recognize generally what this is a picture of. So, my story won’t be a spoiler.
My wife and I completed our first portage around midmorning that day. I was surprised and thrilled, as I walked to the shore that the water appeared blood red (later, as I reflected on it, I assumed that it was due to the still low morning light combined with the high iron content of the water). I had been keeping my eye out for abstract opportunities, something I hadn’t been in the habit of doing until this trip. No time to unpack the tripod and, really no need. I shot dozens of frames trying to find the best combination of shutter speed and focal length. After that I shot dozens more. For me, with this kind of shot, I had a hard time telling what I was getting in camera. For example, when I got home and downloaded these, the reds were pretty much what I saw, but I was completely surprised by the shades of blue that the camera was able to see, not to mention the sinuous connecting filaments of light that remind me of images of neural networks.
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 really didn’t have to do too much in post except find the right crop and play with the colours, mostly in terms of saturation (in this case, desaturation). Of course, being an abstract, they could be any colours, but I am happy to use some version of what nature has given me. As with most abstracts, this one has no “story” per se. Its strength is in its graphic appeal and the extent to which it evokes a mood or an experience in the reader. I would love to hear what this image evokes in you as well as feedback on composition and colour.
@Matt_Payne - It’s not noise, as far as I can tell. I believe it is pollen or dust that was on the water itself. I did remove some of the more aggressive bits but, in the end, it is what it is and I don’t really mind.
It’s energy moving through space. Very cool! I love the pollen bits as it gives an interesting sub-texture.
For me, this is the magic of making these kinds of photos. I love being surprised by what the camera saw that I couldn’t see. I like Brooks Jensen’s description of this - Photography-By-Fooling-Around (at least I think he said that somewhere).
Kerry, this is a great find and a fantastic image! The cool/warm colors work well. The threads of light under the surface help unify the image and elevate it. I’m reminded of the 70’s science fiction movie “Fantastic Voyage”. A group of scientists get shrunk into their ship in order to save a high priority patient. Your image reminds me of lots of the scenes in that movie especially the brain. Awesome work Kerry!
@Harley_Goldman , @Matt_Payne , @Diane_Miller , @Lon_Overacker , @joaoquintela , @DeanRoyer , @JohnSnell , @Igor_Doncov - Thank you all for your very kind and thoughtful words and especially for taking the time to give it a read. Much appreciation. @Bonnie_Lampley - I have never given much attention to making abstract images. But over the last year or so, I’ve noticed that, when looking at the photographs made by others, the best of the abstracts are among my favourites. I like the idea of “Photography-By-Fooling-Around” and I plan to keep that in mind going forward. As always, much appreciation, Bonnie. @Alfredo_Mora - that is so funny, Alfredo, because when I first downloaded this image “The Fantastic Voyage” was the first thing I thought of. I’m not sure why, as a movie it was mostly pretty bad and for me, at least, not very memorable. I think maybe it had something to do with colour palette used in the movie. Probably if I were to look at the film again, I wouldn’t see the connection but it must be there, at least for you and me.