Snow shelving

Big boulder along Sligo Creek, just outside of Washington, DC.

Specific Feedback Requested

Seeking any and all advice and comments. Thanks in advance.

Please view the large image!

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No

Canon 80D, 1/13 s, f/8, ISO 320, EF 24-105mm f/4 @ 45 mm, CPL.

Raw file processed in LRClassicCC and Topaz Denoise AI. TK resize/sharpening for web.

Nice strong use of diagonal lines and textures. Might be strong as a B&W also.

I love the texture in this image. Even the snow has good texture. You can almost feel it. I wouldn’t bisect the image like that though.

This has a lot of interesting and graphic elements, the ingredients needed for a good abstract image. The combination of the white snow and the warmer colors of rocks/lichen is also a pleasing color combination. In terms of composition, I agree with @Igor_Doncov that having the snow bisect the image right down the middle creates a static look. I think the pattern in the upper left is stronger than the lower right. I might consider cropping a bit from the bottom, which would give more relative space to the lichen in the upper left.

Ronald, you recently expressed concern about your sharpening for display at NPN. This image looks fine to me in that regard, the resulting texture came out well. The snow in particular looks great.

But your technical details look slightly odd for this type of subject. Why did you have to run Topaz De-noise on this image? Noise removal can potentially affect details. Why was it shot at only f8, I would have expected to see f11or even f16 for this type of subject. Was this taken hand held instead of from a tripod? Field technique can affect image sharpness too, not just output sharpening settings. In the case of this specific image the sharpness/texture looks fine. But I only mention field techniques as a general reminder for other images.

First off, great eye to spot this intimate landscape, Ronald. The details are wonderful in the large version and the little snow covered ledge makes for a great diagonal. This would also make for a wonderful B&W IMO. My only suggestion would be to crop this somewhat to move the diagonal a little off center and get rid of some of the less interesting part of the boulder. I hope you do not mind, but here is a rework with what I had in mind. I really like this.

Thank you @Michael_Lowe @Igor_Doncov @Ed_McGuirk and @Ed_Lowe for your comments. @Ed_McGuirk, my experience with Denoise AI is that it does a better job of denoising than LR, so I do minimal noise reduction in LR and ALWAYS run Denoise with just a bit of sharpening. The 80D has fairly good low-noise performance, but can need some help depending on how much I’ve raised the shadows. f/8 is sharpest for the lens, so I always try for that, unless I need a smaller aperture for DoF or larger for a faster shutter speed. In this case, the rock wall was planar and perpendicular to the line of sight, and it wasn’t moving, so f/8 was adequate. Always on a tripod with remote release, Live View and manual focusing unless forced otherwise. I’ve adopted your advice for sharpening settings in LR; I’ll see how my next posting looks.

I made these comments here in the context of the sharpness question that you asked in my recent Arches post. I mentioned field techniques because I didn’t want to necessarily assume that you used all the best field techniques to maximize sharpness, but it’s good to hear that you are as much a stickler about this as I am. Not everybody is in this age of cell phone photography :grin:.

At NPN you don’t always know the experience level of someone else. If nothing else it may help remind others that sharpness is driven by both field and processing stuff. My LR capture sharpening suggestions originally came from David Kingham, and usually work pretty well for most stuff.