Rocky Red

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


I took this on my week trip to Acadia in late February. This image was taken on my first day there on Ocean Drive. It was a nice day to photograph the rocky cliffs, no sunshine and pretty descent dramatic clouds. The surf wasn’t great, but it was the most surf I had for the week.

Specific Feedback

It’s difficult to get a unique shot on Ocean Drive since millions of photographs have taken shots here. Even through I don’t call it a unique shot, is it still interesting enough to capture your eye? I also took a wider shot at a different angle that I like too. Is this shot too cropped in?

Technical Details

Sony a7r v 24-70 mm @ 62 mm
ss 1/50
Basic adjustments, Nik CEP 5 for contrast

1 Like

Hi Donna,
what a beautiful scene. I love all those textures in the rocks and the complementary colors.
And you have nicely frozen the movement of the water splashes.

I don’t think so. This scene even has a lot of potential for the use of longer focal lengths. Looks like I could spend hours there.

By the way, I’ve seen halos appear at this edge:

Donna, to answer your questions, Yes, it is a very interesting look at this site. I’m sure the breaking surf helps draw the attention. Yes, it feels a bit tight to me on the left side, but not so much that it does not work as it is presented here… :sunglasses:
I do see the haloing too that @Jens_Ober mentions. During my own image cleanups I look for those items each time as they seem to be there often. That was a good catch by Jens in his review here… :+1:

Great image which has a 3D feel to it. Looks like I can walk right into the scene.

Hi Donna,

The textures and shapes of the boulders are great!
I like the overall perspective with the small FG area of sand and the action of the water including the white caps, the turbulence, the one wave crashing in on itself, the water crashing onto the boulders and the colors all are very pleasing!

This does make a nice tight, almost intimate scene and it does make me wonder what it would look like with more water. Not sure that more water would make it stronger though.

I tend to not concern myself with how many other photographers have taken shots of a particular scene from a particular perspective because the one I take is unique to me!
I don’t even search for that perspective that hasn’t been done to death, I just take the shot that works for me and if it happens to be the same as someone else’s, well…that’s just the way it is, I still have mine! :slight_smile:

Take the one that speaks to you! :slight_smile:

We’re planning a trip to this park sometime this summer if all goes well.
I’m looking forward to a road trip, it’s been a while.

Not having been to Acadia (yet) I can’t speak to the interest compared to what others have done, but simply taking on its own the angles of the rocks, the splashing waves, and moody clouds create plenty of interest to my eye. I am curious what was left out on the left side, but putting that aside the crop works for me.

@Jens_Ober @Paul_Breitkreuz @Eva_McDermott @Merv @DeanRoyer Thanks to everyone for critiquing my image. In the NE where I live, I never get to take large landscape photos. This trip was a real treat for me because I had so many opportunities to use my wide angle lens.

Jens, thanks for the halo catch. It always amazes me how things like that get by me. I’ll clean that up.

Mervin, good words to remember about not being unique. Most of the compositions I take at home are intimate or small scenes that tend to be more unique. This park was amazing in the winter with only a few locals around. Prepare for very large crowds in the summertime. There are places to get out of the main stream. Colleen Miniuk has a book she wrote on Acadia that is wonder. There is a nice place at the end point of Schoodic peninsula south of the small town of Winter Harbor that is part of Acadia NP where there might not be as many visitors. Hope you get a chance to see this place.

Dean, there was just more ocean at that angle. My thoughts were that including more on the left would create to much empty space. I think I probably should have included just a little more space on the left and then crop it out if needed. I do have other angles where the coast line was behind the foreground. These don’t have those wonderful stones on the beach and aren’t quite so dramatic. I hope to return again some day so I can take different approaches to my compositions. Thanks.

Ah the rocky Maine coast. Brings back memories. I think this works fine as a study of exactly that - a typical Maine ocean scene. It has some drama and the exposure looks dead on.

I know about the millions of photos thing. I just put a shot of Lake Superior’s Split Rock Lighthouse up on my flickr feed and it’s been shot to death. I tried for something different for the sake of it and because there just wasn’t anything “good” on the beach for foreground. Just patchy snow, rock and sand. No lake ice. No shore ice. Too warm. So I made some triangles out of the immediate rock, the water, the cliff and the sky. I thought I’d be able to get that at sunset, but the trees behind me cast big shadows that just looked bad no matter what I did with them in post, so my pre-sunset triangle shot is the one I went with. Unoriginal maybe, but I like it.

I think this one works well, but a little wider angle, or at least a little more on the left, could also be good. You caught a couple of nice splashes! Sounds like a good trip.

@Diane_Miller @Kris_Smith Thanks. Yes, I could have used a little more on the left side. I was so full of excitement about finally being able to take grand landscape images, but so use to taking small landscape images that I felt a little lost trying to compose so much more territory. It took me a day to finally calm down. The last time I had that much scenery all around me to photograph was my trip to the Smoky Mountains. Yes, it was a wonderful trip and I know I’ll do it again.

This is a very nice take on Sand Beach, Donna. The left side looks just fine to me; probably because I know there is nothing there. I particularly like the stormy sky and the larger of the two crashing waves against the granite shoreline and the colors also look very natural to me.

You probably were wise to plan your trip for the winter as the summer and fall are jam packed with people. I hope you had a great trip.


This is wonderful seascape. I think the splash of the waves add a very important dynamic element to this, taking this image away from a more static scene. I think the colors are great and the mix between the warm earth tones of the rock and beach contrast nicely with the cooler, almost forboding colors of the sea and sky.

We all hear this fairly frequently, and course common to think this in the iconic, well known places. I sympathize give all my frequent trips to Yosemite. Here’s my thought on this. I’ve never been to Acadia. I’ve never been to Yellowstone (to photograph, went there as a kid on vacation,) I’ve never been to Zion. If I were ever to get to any of these places for perhaps the one and only time, you can bet I’m going to photograph whatever I find that suits my eye - regardless if millions of people have come before me. Your image here? I would have NO IDEA where this was captured, so in my mind, you shouldn’t really even question whether or not you should have captured this, and most certainly it captures my eye, regardless of it’s location. There, I said it. LOL.

You’ve done very well to come away with your own vision(s) of such a beautiful place.


@Ed_Lowe @Lon_Overacker

Yea Ed, you know exactly where I took this photo. I see that you’re from Maryland. That’s a longer hike than I have. Yes, I wouldn’t go any other time of the year. It may be cold, but it’s so peaceful and I got some great conversations with the locals. I’m glad you liked this shot. This small stretch of coast line is stunning. I had so much fun walking out on those beautiful magnificent stones and they were free of ice. What a bonus. Thanks for your kind words.

Lon, thanks for telling me your view on taking photos that have been taken millions of time. I think it gave me a little challenge knowing that this place has so many icon compositions taken, but my main thought was that I would be boring my viewers. I know this is just a silly thought and hearing a couple photographs, including you, telling me this is silly has been a real help in getting me to think differently. Thank you. Thanks for liking my photograph.

Hey Donna – Like this a lot, partly because the overcast conditions allow the camera to pick up a lot of tonal range. I forget that seascapes can work best without bright sun. As for cropping, I’d agree it’s too tight – I have this tendency. And as long as we’re on the subject of too tight, I still love tight, so I’d try an even tighter crop to make the splashing whitewater into a primary point of interest in a pano image. You have both a foreground and background splash to work with.

Thanks James for your critique. I’ll try the crop you suggested and see how that works. I’m so use to taking small scenes that these large scenes were a little difficult for me to decide how wide was too wide. Since there was only ocean on the left, I didn’t want to much dead space. Live and learn :blush:.