while on a morning family hike this scene caught my eye. I liked the warm side light on the trees as well as the clear reflection in the calm lake. As my family was waiting for me I did not have time to set up my tripod or look for further compositions. In that moment I decided to not focus stack for the grasses in the foreground as I thought it might lead the eye more towards the trees in the background, if the grass was slightly out of focus. Thinking about it now with more time on my hands I am not so sure about that decision anymore…

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is welcome!

Technical Details

1/160 sec at f 5.0, ISO 100 shot on Sony A7IV with Sigma 100-400mm. Handheld panorama of two images. Stitched and edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.


What caught my eye is the contrast between the FG grasses and trees. Looking at your photo closer I see the FG reflections on the water, split by the grasses. The only thing I would do is clone out what appears to be fence post midway up and on the left and right. I like the softness of the grasses and I think it works well with the natural softness of reflections from water.

Very nice photo

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Hi Ronja,

Very nice scene, I just have one major adjustment and a few minor ones you can make. While the scene isn’t crooked, it feels crooked, because the lake shore is so slanted. So you can’t fix it by rotating the scene, because then the trees will be slanted, so I used the warp tool to straighten it out instead. This makes a huge difference by eliminating that distraction of it feeling slanted. You can cool down the white balance a little, and you also have room to raise the white point. I would crop some off the bottom as well. That extra space down there isn’t necessary and just pulls my eye down away from the subject. I would also darken those two bright trunks right next to the right edge.

Hope this is helpful!

Your friend,

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Hi Eric,
thank you for these brilliant ideas! I would have never thought about straightening the shore, but it makes all the difference! so happy you mentioned this! I also like the crop and tonalities a lot better! Really appreciate your feedback and will re-edit the shot with your suggestions in mind!
Thank you and all the best,

Thank you, David! I really appreciate your suggestions and opinion on the grasses. You are absolutely right and I will clone out the fence posts in my re-edit. Cheers, Ronja


This is so pretty! Quite gorgeous actually. The light is beautiful and I too like the juxtaposition between the reeds in the water and the main tree landscape.

GREAT tip from Eric on the shoreline! While I’ve done my share of tranformations, I had never thought about regarding shorelines. Always great to learn new things!

My comment is technical and around technique. I see you used an aperture of f5, which has a fairly shallow depth of field. And it appears your focus point was on the trees, which of course are the most important element. What happened is that the reeds are fairly soft. Not a huge deal since they are just a supporting element. But they are also important in the overall near/far composition.

You can do a couple things (for future…) One. you can use a smaller aperture like f/16 or f/22 - but would assume you would need a tripod. You can also combine two images in a focus stack. And if this is not something you’ve done, you don’t even need a tool for this. There is enough clear separation that you could literally have 2 images stacked in one PS layer and mask the blurry half… not sure if this makes sense. But in the end, I would like to have had the reeds a little sharper. Minor though considering the bigger picture.


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Thank you, Lon. Yes you are absolutely right, I should have gone in with a smaller aperture (and rather lower the shutter speed or dial up the ISO a bit if needed as I didn’t have time to use a tripod in that moment) or at least collect all the images for a focus stack in case I need it later. Definitely a lesson learned :slight_smile: Thank you very much about your kind comment!