Peace Offering

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Sunlight dances across the Colorado Plateau and near the Colorado River. After an amazing sunrise, the sun disappeared for the morning as it rose behind a thick layer of clouds. Just as the sun passed behind this thick layer of clouds, these beams formed on the landscape and gave a spotlight effect to the native land below. I used a long lens (400mm), cropped in-camera, and cropped in post as the scene was far away.

Also, due to heavy rain the night before, there were some atmospherics at play that helped illuminate these beams of light.

This is a different image for me, and I would like some feedback on what you think. Thanks, and happy Sunday.

Specific Feedback

For this image, I would like to hear your initial reaction to the image. Do you understand what I am trying to convey and is the subject clear to you as the viewer?

Technical Details

For some reason, it says 138.6mm but I recall it being closer to 400 with crop mode in-camera

Trevor, I totally get the peace offering in the image. This is so serene and ethereal. The haze we see in the BG is very complimentary to the overall image. The two lighter areas in the MG are the center of attraction to my eyes. I keep jumping from one to the other and exploring the mountains on the fading horizon. What a great sunrise to wake up to!

1 Like

Thanks @Egidio! It was indeed a great morning and a great opportunity to challenge my creative side.

1 Like

Trevor, I want to linger and enjoy the palate of colors, the softness of the scene., and the play of light. I am curious about the detail in the dark foreground. I keep wishing for a hint of what is there. This is a beautiful scene. Thanks for sharing it.

Stunning morning, makes me wish being there. I love the colours, the way they shift from the gold to the browns, but also the progression from smooth toward textures in the center. The scale of the layers of the hills and overall framing works well for me, seems a good choice on the focal length here. Similarly as @Barbara_Djordjevic said, on the bigger scale image in particular, I am curious about what’s in the shadows, is there a hint of a canyon in the center? I am not sure if making the foreground details more visible would make it a better image, as I really enjoy the richness of the browns and the detail of the ridge lines in the center, but my eye keeps getting drawn down there to the bottom center trying to work out what’s there.


This most definitely needs to be viewed large - the smaller size is more mysterious than anything, but seeing the larger view reveals all the wonder this image captures.

Agree with others, the “hazy” nature of the atmosphere really helps emphasize the light. In fact, my first reaction was that those rays, or swaths of light were coming from some alien ships! “Beam me up Scottie!” kinda reaction. Very cool.

And to that, I suppose alternatively you could dodge that light a bit to emphasize even more?

Like Barbara, I’m also very interested in the foreground canyon walls. I really like that you included them as this adds not only depth, but also intrigue. I suppose more detail up front could work, but not very much as you don’t want to lose the mystery.

Terrific as presented. I also see this image could be taken in many different directions.