Rising from the Rocks

I took this with my Leica M10 Monochrom with a red filter attached. This was the first non-rainy day in what felt like weeks in Northern California. I wanted to capture a high contrast image, so using the red filter to darken the skies and lighten the clouds seemed to be the right choice.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I’m wondering if the crop is too tight? It is SOOC, so there’s no room to expand it. Also, I shot this fairly wide open as I wanted that small rock to pop. Would a smaller aperture, say f/11 or f/16 have been better for this scene?

Technical Details

Leica M10 Monochrom, Summicron 50mm f/2, 1/1000, ISO 160

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David: I don’t do much B&W but I like this. The contrast seems right on and I like the marvelous detail in the branches. I might like to see just a tiny bit more detail in the FG rock shadows but that’s a pretty small nit. Well seen and rendered. >=)>

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Ah David, so glad you posted this. I do love the aesthetic of the Leica Monochrome cameras. Wow.

This is extremely moody and mysterious. And that works so well for the comp.
I don’t mind the crop, I think it works nicely for the subject. I think the aperture is fine…oh, maybe a little more DOF, say up to f/5.6, but not so much that you start getting too much detail in the distant objects.

You also have a mastery of processing these files, layering on the luminosity where it counts. Awesome image, sir.

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Ooooh, love this - most excellent b&w. So a red filter eh? right out of the old b&w film playbook. :laughing: It’s great to see there is still some knowledge out there on what the different colored filters do when shooting b&w.

This is bold and beautiful. I think you set out and accomplished exactly what you wanted to. The rocks pop and the sky and appropriately toned - at least in the vain of some of the classic b&w photographers.

Not sure what this could use for an improvement? Sure, maybe some room on the sides - maybe possible to extend the canvas depending on how far you want to go with CA-fill… Only other thing and this is totally subjective, is trying to bring up the whites of the cloud even further for even more tonal range. Minor thought though.

Well seen and captured. Should motivate me to get out while the sun is out - you’re right, we went a long time here in CA without any glimpse of the sun.

Thanks for posting!


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Thank you @David_Bostock @Bill_Fach @Lon_Overacker for your thoughtful feedback!

This is super cool man.
I’m not sold on this crop, but worth experimenting…
I also agree with @Lon_Overacker to bring up the whites a tad.


I think the crop works to portray a feeling of being constrained that, to me, goes well with the overall starkness of the image. If you pixel peep you can see some areas going a little out of focus, but at a normal viewing size I don’t notice it.

Thank you @Matt_Payne and @DeanRoyer for your feedback. Much appreciated!

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