This is an astrophotography image I have been working on the last couple of days. However, something I can not place my finger on seems ‘off’. Therefore, I am hoping that some of you guys can provide feedback that will help me ‘discover’ what is wrong – any and all is much appreciated!

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any and all are welcome!

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I am having a difficult time regarding two different aspects.

The first being whether or not the image is level. To my eye, it looks like it is leaning a small amount to the left. However, when cropping and correcting I repeatedly end with a worse result. I am considering whether or not it might be the fog messing with my eye?

Secondly, I am debating whether or not the far tree to the right (in the background) creates an unequal ‘weight’ in the composition? Should I perhaps crop the image?

Any pertinent technical details:

Sony A7R, 24mm, f/2.8, ISO 400 (if recalled correctly), exposure blend of the sky at 8 sec, and the foreground at 2-3 minutes.

Thanks for viewing/reading!

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.
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Now, take this with a grain of salt because I’m very much a novice myself, but maybe the impressions from an untrained eye will be of some help…

It almost seems to me that both of your issues may be rolled into one… The additional weight of the tree on the right, and the way in which it breaks the “horizon” as compared to the rest of the background treeline may be creating the out of balance feeling that you’re getting.

There’s also what seems to be a slight dip in the topography on the left-most side that may be adding to this. While your shot may be level, the ground isn’t.

Depending on your feelings about manipulation, maybe cloning out the tree on the right to create a bit more symmetry? Or, less aggressively, go for the crop as you were considering - although… I think this might be an issue because your main subject tree may then be a little cramped for “breathing room”.

Anyway, I hope this helps. I’m not sure if I’m completely out of my depth here, but I figured I’d give my uninformed opinion.

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I tend to agree with Dan’s comments. IMO, the lighter horizon on the left is making the image naturally heavier on the right, for me that is not an issue. I might try heavily cropping the bottom black foreground, it may help remove some of the perceived imbalance. To my it help the image with the crop. I do like the simple clean composition of this image.


To me, any concern about being level or various trees creating an imbalance, I’m curious about all that dark foreground? It doesn’t appear there is anything there but grass and so no subject element to possible make a near/far composition? Also, if the intent is really night photography, then why not have more night time sky?

I think the stars are captured well here (just wish there was more!) and I really like the trees and mist giving the upper half of this image great mood and atmosphere. If there’s any crop suggestion it would be cropping a significant amount off the bottom. I think it’s the darkness below that is creating the imbalance, not the trees or anything up top. I think a square crop starting from the top would look quite good with perhaps an every so slight increase in luminosity of the lower part.

Just my .02


This is wonderfully moody. I really like the ground fog and the three main trees.

I agree with Lon’s suggestion to do a square crop from the top, and then increase the luminosity just a small amount.

Another vote for the square crop. The grass has no information and doesn’t provide a silhouette either. There is a nice night glow to this which is in the upper part of image.