River Gems

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Hey everyone! First time posting here. I’m excited to connect with y’all and I appreciate any feedback. I’ve been very interested in photographing a river by my house this summer. I haven’t done much water photography, so every session has been a blast. This shot was taken looking more or less straight down and focusing on the rocks at the bottom of the river. The interplay between light and the contrast of the water ripples drew me in.
Interested in general feedback as this is a newer subject for me to photograph. Thanks for looking!

Technical Details

Sony a7r ii, 150 mm, f9.5, iso 200, shutter speed 1/30th


I like this image and I think the interplay of the water ripples and light works very well.
I do think the vignette at the corners, particularly the upper left, is a bit heavy. Also there is an arc of light in the upper right corner that looks as if it is cut off.

Nice job overall, and well-seen.


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Patrick, welcome to NPN! What an interesting abstract you chose to share with us. Your image initially reminded me of some NASA space photos. It is nice to dive in and explore each section of the image. The colors are pleasing and well-balanced. As for the vignette that @WillR mentioned, it does appear strong all around and especially more in the ULC. This is a nice abstract reminiscent of ICM photos. Nicely done.

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Hi Patrick and welcome to NPN! Your photo immediately caught my attention. Those small bits of light offset the overall darkness and give this an uplifting feel, even though it’s so dark. I do agree with the others about the ULC - looks like you’ve lost all the detail there. Looking forward to seeing more of your work!

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@WillR @Egidio @Bonnie_Lampley thanks for the feedback! I completely overlooked the clipped shadows. I’ll have to go back into ps and see what details I can draw out.

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Welcome to NPN Patrick! I am coming in late on this one. I love images like this. Catching light in water is an excellent technique that can create all kinds of neat images, as you did here. It looks like you have already received some good advice. The various colors and the ripples in the water makes this shot for me. If you decide to post an edited version, it is helpful if you edit the title to add something like “+ repost” or “+ rework” to let others know that you made changes since they last viewed it.


@Shirley_Freeman apologies on the late response. I appreciate the tip and insight!

No problem, and you are welcome.

Hi Patrick! Welcome to NPN. Beautifully seen and photographed. Love the ripples over the rocky bottom. The lighting looks really nice. Well done and hope to see more.

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Hey Allen, I appreciate the comment!

Patrick: Welcome to NPN and thanks for a fine first post. I enjoy images of creek beds and always look for opportunities when I’m in the field. For me this is about the colors and the ripples which are subdued by the darkness. Just for fun I boosted the overall exposure and the shadows to bring out the colors more. Not necessarily better but different. Back to you. >=))>

Hey Bill I like it! I haven’t processed this time of image before, so I appreciate your take on it. I think the ripples add a really nice dynamic quality to the image. I’ll have to go back into Photoshop and play around with this one some more.