Serenity Creek

I know I have been scarce as of late. After the @Cole_Thompson webinar, I have been hard at work seeking my vision. I found that I am very drawn to color and color theory. Lately, I have paid close attention to the works of Ted Gore, Erin Babnik, with a dash of Marc Adamus.

After the recent loosening of travel restrictions, I went to Payson Arizona and found this scene in one of the hikes there. This scene is the same location but different perspective of an earlier image of mine from last fall. I was struck by the seasonal differences seeing so many wild flowers amidst the bubbling creek.

Thank you for your feedback on this. Its taken me a few weeks to get this in a place to put in front of you all.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any and all.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Compositional feedback for sure.

If you specialize in color and color theory (I went for a Tetrad color harmony here), I would love your thoughts on this.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

This is a three image vert-o-rama at 36mm full frame equivalent.

If you would like your image to be eligible for a feature on the NPN Instagram


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Very nice image, Michael. I like the vertical format for this up-steam look. The composition is very appealing ( did you stand in the water?) The deep red tones of the boulders in the foreground have grown on me. I first I wasn’t so sure, same thing with the saturated greens. I don’t know what a vert-o-rama is or why 3 images were required. The stream looks so clean of debris that I would clone out the little twig center foreground by the highlight.

This is beautifully done Michael. The composition flows nicely from the foreground all the way to the background. My eyes are engaged throughout the frame. The spattering of color in the wildflowers adds a nice complement to the lush greens in the image.

Beautiful photo. My only nit is that to my eye and on my screen the water seems too purple.

Michael, You have captured serenity in a most appealing image. I agree with @Tony_Siciliano about the water being too purple. Since you mentioned the wildflowers, you may want to consider that there may be another image within this image. You could crop out the bottom half of the image to get a closer view of the flowers and not lose the serenity of the creek. Just a thought - make no mistake, I like the image as it is here.

A lovely image Michael and welcome back!

Quiet and serene, yet I can hear the tumbling water - that sound is mesmerizing to me - a rushing river or little creek.

Great composition with the stream leading the eye through the frame. I even like the fallen log making the viewer pause and enjoy the surrounding forest. Beautifully seen and captured.

Just a couple suggestions. Agree with Tony you could reduce the blue/purple in the water. It’s not terribly strong, but still present. My only other suggestion would be to burn down the top of that smaller boulder on t he left edge. Not a big deal by any stretch, just one of those tweaks to help keep the eye in the frame.


@Stephen_Stanton Thank you for the feedback. I tried cloning out the twig but decided to keep it, as the clone didn’t end up to my liking. “Vert-o-rama” is my slang for vertical panorama. I found I could clean up the composition with a longer focal length and taking three images and sewing back together rather than use an ultra wide focal length. I’ve had alot of success with this technique and highly recommend!

@Brian_Schrayer Thank you for the kind words. I was shocked to see wildflowers in June when visiting this Arizona hike.

@Tony_Siciliano @Larry_Greenbaum @Lon_Overacker I agree with you all after it being pointed out to me: the water is too purple. I changed the saturation of the purple and lightness to whisper rather than scream purple. Let me know if I should dial it back further on the rework.

@Larry_Greenbaum Thanks for the idea of image within an image. I might have enough resolution to find an image there. Ill think about it.

Thank you all for the kind words and feedback. I have learned tons over the past months from the critiques here.



This does not look like anything like how I imagine Arizona. Instead this looks like something from the forest here in the northeast where I live. I think the 5:7 aspect ratio is a good vehicle to tell the story that you want, it shows just the right amount of stream. My only suggestion for further tweaks is that I would burn down the highlights in the rocks in the LRC, as presented they are bright enough to pull some attention away from the flowers and forest.

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