Paynes Creek + Rework

REWORK (still not enamored with it - sort of meh):


One of our favorite short hikes is to go down to the mouth of Paynes Creek where it enters the Sacramento River. The geology is cool (volcanic mudflows - what you see at the bottom of the frame here) and the setting is dramatic where the canyon opens out. Of course, my eye wanders to the reflections, though. This was a scene from the end of December, on an overcast day. It really is 100% reflection (well, except for those blobs of foam).

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I’m wavering on the composition, which was difficult. I’m not sure the large area of yellow/orange works so well with the sort of blank “background” on the left.

Technical Details

iPhone 14 pro.

Bonnie, the quality of the reflection is amazing. It takes a long look to be sure that this is all reflection. I think your comp. works well, with the cloudy sky looking very good. I could see burning-in the brighter yellows on the right along with some desaturation. That would give the two tree reflections roughly equal visual power.


I too am having some reservations about the right side of this scene for the reasons you already mentioned. Maybe a crop of the right side or try @Mark_Seaver’s suggestion of some burning and desaturation of that side. If you decide to work on this some more I would definitely get rid of the blobs of white foam as they catch my eye. This looks like a great place to wander and look for reflections!

Thanks @Mark_Seaver and @Ed_Lowe for you thoughts. As I figured, that light yellowish area doesn’t work so well. I gave it a try adjusting it (rework posted), but I’m still not sure I’m in love with this. Thanks.