This was taken at the recent Out of Oregon workshop after the waves had receded leaving beautiful wave-like reflective patterns in the sand.

Specific Feedback Requested

Happy to take any thoughts on crop, edit and, of course, composition.

Technical Details

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Hi Jeffrey –

First, I am sorry to have missed you at OOO due to my COVID situation. I was looking forward to seeing you when I saw your name on the attendee list. Thank you for submitting this photo from the conference for this critique. I think the soft colors and gentle patterns work well here. The little bubbles (?) in the sand are the only thing that gives away the subject for me, so I think this works well as an abstract, too. I like the processing overall, as well.

With abstract photos like this, I feel a little more freedom with cloning than I do on some of my other color photographs. So, I might consider removing some of the speckles to simplify the scene even further (for example, the speckles along the right upper edge). I would also consider a crop off the bottom, mostly because the tonal and texture differences along the bottom edge might distract from the simplicity of the rest of the scene. Finally, I might consider evening out the tonality in one spot along the right edge. I have attached a rough approximation of a potential crop and the last cloning suggestion. These suggestions all focus on taking a simple photo and simplifying it even more while leaving a few little hints of the context.

Finally, if you have other similar photos, this photo could work perfectly within a set, in addition to working as a standalone photo.

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Jeff! Welcome to NPN!
I can’t say I would disagree with anything Sarah said above! For me, it works pretty well, but I’d love to see more DOF on the upper and lower areas of the photo… I kind of feel like it doesn’t necessarily have a subject either, which sometimes is OK, but for me, for this image, it needs something else… the bubbles are a good touch, so perhaps following Sarah’s advice it will work a bit more. Keep em’ coming.

Simple, yet so beautiful. It takes a lot of sensitivity to see this.

Thank you, @Sarah_Marino . I was looking forward to seeing you again, too. Thank you for the very helpful and specific advice and critique. I will definitely play around with the crop again and try evening out the tonality. I look forward to connecting again soon.

@Matt_Payne - thank you for your comments as well. Yes, I did struggle with the DOF on this image and feel it probably would have worked better with either a smaller aperture or focus stacked given I was pretty close.

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Thank you, Igor.