Sky Light reworkded

Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

The play of light in the reflection and the lines in the sand from the flow of the water caught my attention. I wonder about leaving as much driftwood and seaweed detracts from the overall composition.

Creative direction

I am always looking for miniature landscapes in the larger landscape.

Specific Feedback

All feedback is welcome.

Technical Details

Taken with Sony a7iv on a tripod. ISO 200, f/10, 1/50 sec.
Processed in LR and PS using luminosity masking.


Our workshop group was on Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur State Park to catch the shaft of light that streams through the Key Hole Arch during the Winter Solstice. I wandered down the beach to catch the light in another arch when this stream of water caught my eye. I did not get any farther down the beach.
Sky Light reworked x 1

Sky Light reworked x2

Thanks to @Mark_Seaver and @Chris_Baird I decided to try cropping. What do you think? Which draws you into the feel of the scene? I am thinking I like the cropped imaages better than the one that includes both.

That’s a great thought Barbara. I can see what attracted you. The flow of the stream, the sand striation, and the golden light at the end of the journey are very attractive. Some detritus can add to the scene, but too much and it can distract the eye; it’s a dose-effect relationship.

This is a tough scene to minimize it, because you’d leave footprints if you tidied up. I suppose you could do bit of cloning, but I’m less inclined to do that than I used to be. In the end, I’d probably except the fact that it’s part of nature and leave as is.

A fine photo, Barbara. If I could edit nature I might leave out the big chunk of wood in the upper right. But it doesn’t work that way. Like John, I’d leave it as it is.

Thanks, @John_Williams and @Don_Peters for your responses. I did some post-processing “clean up,” including removing some footprints left by others. I don’t think I have ever removed items I find in a scene unless it is a stray homosapien. :blush:

1 Like

This is wonderful with amazing light and lines!! The debris looks completely natural here and would risk leaving traces if removed.

But I totally agree about removing stray homosapiens. There are a whole lot of them that need to be removed…

:smiley: Thanks for the laugh and the feedback.

Barbara, it’s easy to see why this stream grabbed your entire attention. The meandering stream and the mix of golden and “regular” light provide lots of opportunities. As I look at this I see two scenes; 1) the golden light (top 60% of the frame) and 2) the winding stream and streaked sand (bottom 2/3 rds). Both cases benefit from including some of the other color of light. The beach debris is all natural, so I too would leave it all in.

I’m a little late on this one, but I really like it. The liquid gold is beautiful. I would suggest cropping up from the bottom to emphasize it. I don’t think all the dark sand at the bottom adds anything and draws my eye away from the amazing scene going on at the top half of the photo. I don’t mind the driftwood.

I like the reworked No 1 !!! Beautiful image and I love the tone and vibe of this photo. You caught the light perfectly in that it covers lots of the area and not just one spot. Really nice !!!

Thanks, Gill, for stopping by and for your generous feedback.