Not a cloud in the sky

Greetings! First post for me and looking forward to learning and growing in this craft.
This early evening at Mono Lake had a crowd of people at South Tufa and no clouds. I went around some rocks to get away from the crowd and worked this composition.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Most of my post processing is in lightroom and minimal - basically playing with the various sliders until I like what I get. Would love your thoughts on better/different post process techniques.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Does his compostion have any artistic merit? All thoughts are welcome.

Ynez, welcome to NPN. I think your dramatic composition with the two sunstars balanced against the dried grass works well. The distant mountains, blue sky and gentle ripples on the lake also speak well to a lovely day. The flare spots around the sunstars are very appropriate and add to the sense of a bright, clear day. As a minor nit, the yellow streak of flare in the grass on the right is a bit distracting. Careful cloning would fix that.

Ynez, welcome to NPN with your first posted image from a very familiar locale for many of us CANP members.
I would say I’ve not seen an image with two sunbursts such as we see here. One from the actual sun and the other from the direct reflection off Mono Lake itself. I suspect your intent was to obtain that look and it is a bit unique. At least from my perspective. I like the idea there.
The obvious side effects of the multiple lens flares may or may not have been the look you wanted, but they’re part of the phenomenon of this type of shooting process.
A very unique & good first post overall…:sunglasses:

Hi Ynez! I think you have the workings of a good scene here, but the light isn’t as good as it could be. By that I mean that it could be a stronger photo if you had waited until the sun had set, and you were in the blue hour of twilight. The foreground would be cast into a nice soft dimensional light, and you would have some degree of a color gradient int he sky that would be reflected in the water as well. With the sun this high above the horizon, I just get the feeling that I am staring into the sun which isn’t as much the effect I prefer when looking at a photo. I would rather be transported to a moment in time that I would love to experience first hand. The fact that there aren’t any clouds doesn’t bother me. It just means that you can work with the wonderful gradients that happen in the sky after sunset. We need to work with the conditions that we are given, and find the most ideal moment to take the photo. Having good light is key.

@Ben @Paul_Breitkreuz @Mark_Seaver Thank you very much. Your feedback gives me something to work on. Very much appreciate it.

Welcome to NPN, Ynez and it is fine first post to start. I am quite enjoying this one. I am a fan of the high key look your double sunstar image presents and it works quite well for me. I might be inclined to clone out the flare to the right side of the frame, but minor stuff. Very well done!

Thank you Harley. Very much appreciate your feedback.


Welcome to NPN! First, kudos to you for attempting to find something different and away from the hoards… One of the main reasons I haven’t been to the shore at South Tufa in many, many years…

I like what you’ve seen here in combining the back-lit, highlighted bush and the bright sunstar - they of course are intimately linked. :wink:

The only thing I think perhaps you could have done differently is made this a much wider capture. You didn’t specify the lens or focal length, but this is just a little cramped with the sun. Giving more space might have been stronger. Then again tough call with the bluebird sky… Oh, and so fortunate to have Mono Lake so calm at the end of the day. I’m betting you have many other renditions and images from this evening.

Looking forward to more images.


Hello Ynez and welcome to NPN.

I like the composition, but also agree with Lon that it is a bit to cramped. I really would have liked to see more of the sky with the actual sun, it might have given you a second full star burst to mimic the burst reflected in the water. Otherwise I think you have a nice balanced composition.

Thank you @Lon_Overacker and @Youssef_Ismail for taking a look and sharing thoughts. After your feedback I looked through files and processed the first shot I took when I came upon these white shrubs - its the shrubs that caught my eye first. On this one I tried edit in PS dodge and burning and curves adjustments. I don’t think the comp is that great but I don’t know maybe I need to see differently.
I was using Canon 16 - 35mm.
Greatly appreciate your time and any thoughts/critique/feedback.

I like this composition as well. A little softer on the eyes without the sun bursts but still an alluring scene.

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