Sand Patterns

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


While browsing through my Lightroom catalog, I discovered this picture that I took last year in the Namib Desert.
While I was wandering through the red sand in Sesriem National Park with my camera, I discovered this pattern. The interplay of sunlight and shadow immediately caught my attention. If I hadn’t been so attentive, I would have trampled this pattern a few seconds later without realizing it.

Specific Feedback

I had quite some fun editing this image. There are a few things I’m not sure about.

  1. There is a small light-colored stone in the lower middle half of the picture. Do you find it distracting?
  2. The picture shows the original crop. I have the feeling that there is a little bit of space missing on the right and bottom edges of the picture. As so often before, I regret not having taken another shot with a slightly wider focal length.

Is there anything that I can improve in post-processing?

As always, any feedback is welcome!

Technical Details

Sony Alpha 7III with Sony FE 24-105mm F4, handheld.

Basic adjustments in LR, add some contrast in PR. Desaturated the reds.

Critique Template

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  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
  • Technical:

A great find and well photographed, Jens. Alien Footprint? Given your concern with the right and bottom, have you looked at balancing it a bit more by taking off a touch on the top and left? The tiny stone doesn’t bother me a bit-looks like it belongs there and I think your post processing is fine-I can’t see anything I’d change.

Jens, this is a wonderfully seen and presented image. I don’t find the small stone distracting at all.

As for the second question, I think the overall composition is nicely balanced and do not feel like the right and bottom edges are too close to the subject. If you wanted to, you could take the image into PS and expand the canvas . Then use Content Aware Fill to fill in those areas. It may work nicely since those areas are sand.

Post processing wise, I think you did a good job with the final result. I love the soft directional light and how the light accentuates the curves in the “dunes”. You can even see the rim lighting on the lines in the sand.

Jens, I think this looks great as presented. The tiny white stone fits right in…it’s too small to be much of a distraction. I also think you’ve balanced where the shape sits in the frame well. I see a Groucho Marx face here, so I’m grinning broadly.

Jens, the lighting in this image is sublime. It gives both dimension and texture to the photo. Honestly, it couldn’t be better if you had set it up yourself. The stone does not bother me, and adds some interest I think

@Dennis_Plank, @Alfredo_Mora, @Mark_Seaver, @WillR
Thank you all for your feedback.

I tried to improve the balance with a crop. But that didn’t help. So I leave the image as it is.

Yeah, that’s quite a cool name for that image. :slight_smile:

It seems to be a good abstract image. I’m glad it made you smile. :slight_smile: