San Rafael's delight



Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Yet another fantastic campsite during Thanksgiving week in the San Rafael Swell.

Specific Feedback

I appreciate any comments thanks. I am struggling to get the white balance and colors to emphasize what I saw in a believable way. What I saw was yellow/gold stripe and diagonal in the foreground, pink-tinged cliffs in the background, and a blue hour sky. What I felt was a sense of serenity in the vastness.

Technical Details

Canon EOS RP + EF100-400 @ 100 mm
13.0 s @ f/9.0, ISO 100

You found a lovely scene but it is very underexposed. A simple adjustment (pulling the right end of a Curves adj layer to the left) will give a file with more to work with on the WB and colors. On the raw, just balance increasing Exposure, possibly with pulling the Whites slider right a little. I also leveled the apparent horizon. (Maybe went just a bit too far.) Hard to be sure the layers are actually horizontal but it feels tilted. More likely the ridge line is a false horizon. It looks more natural to me to have it receding.

The sky is a bit pinkish so I would start with global WB tweaks (in the raw file) to make its color to your liking and see what that does to the rocks.

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I love the lines formed by your composition , but definitely agree with @Diane_Miller and love the version she came up with.

@Diane_Miller @John_Williams
Thanks for your comments!

Diane, your version is much better, thanks for the tips. I mostly tried to match yours in the revised version. I agree that the sky was too pink, so I cooled it a bit, with the rocks becoming consequently more yellow from the global change. Might be good to use a PS sky mask to handle those separately when I get more time. The only thing I didn’t do is level it because I know this landscape and it is just tilted! So it reads wrong to my eye to make it level :grinning:

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