Oxbow Bend w/suggested crop and enhancements

Original post

Crop suggested by John Williams with tree enhancement suggested by Susanna and removal of White swan suggested by Lon plus a few other tweaks.

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


This image was taken right after my last posted image, about 10 minutes down the road on my way to photograph a grizzly bear. I usually don’t stop for scenes that have been shot a million times but I was there and the light was good so I pulled over and grabbed a few images. I zoomed in to eliminate a lot of what is recognizable as the Oxbow Bend but there is no doubt about where this was taken. I have a slightly cooler version of this if you think this is too warm although I cooled this substantially from what the auto white balance captured. Let me know if there are ways to improve this. Thanks as always, for taking a look.

Specific Feedback

White balance, crop, or anything else that I missed.

Technical Details

Z8, 100-400 @135mm, ISO 200, F/5.6, 1/1600, hand held, manual exposure


Sweet light, David. I don’t blame you for stopping. If this was mine I would be getting this printed very large and hanging it on a wall. I’m out of practice shooting landscapes, so I will let those that are provide any advice.

1 Like

I like the image. The right weather and lighting conditions can make a shot of even an iconic landscape unique, and I think you have that here.


1 Like

I like this too. Great light on the trees and the clouds over the Tetons makes for a dramatic image and gives them a different perspective from the iconic shot. Well seen and captured.

1 Like

You aren’t kidding beautiful light. The mix of lovely fall color with the dramatic sunlight in the background is a winner. At full size, the ducks are like an Easter Egg. This works fine as is, but I also like a 2 to 3 ratio crop of the center as well.

1 Like

Hi David — This is a beautiful scene. The mountain in the background, framed by the glowing autumn trees in the foreground, is so striking. I have a suggestion that would help my eye move through the scene — the trees, specifically — and that is to brighten the trees on the right side as well as those to the left of the first bright stand (right of center). You might be able to do it with a contrast layer (in PS — hit the plus sign, bottom right, switch the blending mode from normal to overlay, and use the white brush (at a low opacity — I’m guessing, but 5-10%). You might also increase the saturation of the leaves that are remaining on the trees or are showing through the trees so the yellow stands out a little more. I think that if you can do this, it will help the visual flow. I hope this is helpful. You were definitely in the “right place at the right time”!

1 Like


Gorgeous view! Kudos for stopping! I’m all for stopping when conditions are telling you too! Despite the icon status. That’s just how I view places like Tunnel View in Yosemite! You just never know what drama the conditions might bring - I’ll always give a place a look just in case…

This is quite beautiful as presented. My tiny little suggestion would be to clone out what looks to me like a white swan or snow goose near the far left short. Not a huge deal, but draws the eye almost like a dust bunny does in the sky… :slight_smile: The rest of the waterfowl however are a nice treat, especially looking at a large view and for sure a print.

I particularly like that the clouds are broken a little bit and some blue sky shows through. Otherwise, quite enjoying this beauty as presented.


1 Like

@Shirley_Freeman , @WillR , @Allen_Brooks , @John_Williams , @Susanna_Euston , @Lon_Overacker …Thank you for your suggestions and thoughts on this one.

John, I have a similar scene that is a more traditional crop and also a more traditional Oxbow Bend scene that I will post in this thread when I get home tonight. Thanks for your thoughts.
Susanna, John’s crop suggestion may fix the flaw that you mentioned allowing your eye to travel through the whole scene better. I’ll try your suggestion as well because I do like this crop. Thanks for your in depth help. I am not great in photoshop. I do all of my work in LR and only sporadically use PS so this helps me out. thanks so much.

Lon…I’m with you regarding Icons and specifically, tunnel view. I have never been to Yosemite and not gone up to take a look at tunnel view. Maybe the greatest spectacle on earth and who doesn’t want to see that.
I’ll take care of the trumpeter swan. Thanks for pointing that out.

1 Like