Spartina Grass in Early Morning Light

Just a simple scene of Spartina Grass as the first morning light hits it on Pensacola Beach.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Any and all.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any and all

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Nikon D2x w/ 70-200 @ 130mm, 1/25 @ f/11, ISO 100, Tripod

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Nice reverse S curve here Bill. I really like the gold colors and the ripples in the reflection and the water color transitioning from cyan blue in the bottom portion of the frame to a soft peach color in the mid ground. At first glance, the reed with the black tip going into the water was distracting with it’s reflection but the more I look at this the less it bothers me. Maybe dodge the dark area along the water line in the upper portion of the image to make it a little bit softer but really no nits from on this image Bill. Well seen.

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Bill, this is an excellent image, the light and color are wonderful. I also love the abstract reflections of the grass in the LRC, the combination of the ripples and your shutter speed have created some beautiful shapes. I actually like the reed with the black tip, I think it serves the role of being the element that breaks up the repeating pattern of the reed reflections.

While I think this images works very well as presented, it may be worth considering a horizontal flip to get the shoreline moving left to right. This is a matter of personal taste on my part.

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Bill, you name it a simple scene. I think you well thought about the composition and the great use of colors. In my view it’s just as it should be !

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Great image as shot. Thanks for sharing.

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I have exactly the same suggestion as Ed. This is excellent, Bill. Thanks for sharing!

Thank you @David_Haynes, @Ed_McGuirk, @Ben_van_der_Sande, @Ralph_Yakaboski, and @Adhika_Lie for your comments and suggestions.
David, I darkened the Waterline in the BG intentionally, but perhaps I overdid it somewhat . I’ll try dodging it.
Ed & Adhika - It’s so funny about your suggestions. Not funny HAHA, just funny how I feel about that. I realize that it shouldn’t make any difference, but somehow flipping an image just drives my OCD CRAZY. I would just about rather hit myself with a hammer than flip an image! I know, makes no sense whatsoever, but since I have to live with the demons in my head, I gotta kinda keep them happy.

Bill it’s your image, and I fully understand where you are coming from. We all have certain lines that we won’t cross, so no problem. I hope you are not offended by the suggestion.

My own personal OCD issue is needing to see things left to right, which is where I was coming from. I think you image works very well as presented. But I was just throwing out possibilities.

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@Ed_McGuirk , No, I NEVER take offense to any suggestion! I wouldn’t post it if I was touchy. I prefer brutal honesty when it comes to critiques, comments, and suggestions. I figure we post in the Critique Gallery so we can continue to learn and share with others; otherwise, we’d just post in the other gallery and collect Attaboys. Attaboys are for sissies! HAHAHA.

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I will point out that I am left handed, so this may have something to do with my OCD to see things left to right.

Sometimes simple is better and this is certainly one of those cases. I do like @Ed_McGuirk’s flip suggestion, but I understand your concerns about it because this is gorgeous as is. It would be boring if everyone liked the same thing. For me I think it comes from the fact of reading left to right and that is just is the way I see things. I like your philosophy on posting in the critique galleries; pretty much the same as mine. The colors are lovely in this scene as is the light. I also am enjoying the S curve of the shoreline as it draws my eye into the scene. Beautifully done!

You know, Bill, it’s easier to recommend this to somebody else than actually do it myself. I am not against flipping an image but every single time I flip an image something inside me goes bonkers, too. I leave it for three days and then I can start liking it… or not. I think it’s because I associate an image with the scene that I have experienced in the field. It’s easier when I recommend it to somebody else because I was not there when the image was captured.

But this is an absolutely fine image even without the flip. Simplicity at its best.

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Like the simplicity and the lovely colors, and shapes here, Bill. Also liked the quips on flipping or not flipping. Either way looks great and who would know? My 2 cents is…take it as you find it and leave it alone.

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I’m so glad someone feels the same way! LOL. I have flipped them before for artistic reasons for printing so wildlife wouldn’t be looking off the page of the book, etc., but in those I really had no choice; and it still killed me!

I feel that the intended use could also play into that decision. I have no problem with any manipulation of a photograph made for fine art. Flipping, distorting, blending anything to tell your story or convey your feelings. When presenting an image for art sake always remember its your art. You hope your audience likes your vision but it should remain your vision. Certainly if it drives you bonkers don’t do it. For this image I actually like the shoreline leading in from the right.


Thanks @Kelly_Ireland for your comment, and I agree. I am not a purist by any means. There’s a lot of techniques I don’t particularly care for (HDR that looks like HDR, over saturating, intentional camera blurs, etc.), but I certainly don’t mind if other people do choose to do those things. I usually limit my post processing to cropping, cloning, dodging & burning because that suits my style. I don’t mind other folks flipping images either, and I have done it, but only for certain circumstances. I’m just OCD about flipping because in mind mind, I know what the scene is supposed to look like, and it just freaks me out to flip it. I’m just weird that way, I guess. Hey, I never said I was normal, or even close to normal. HAHAHA.


A bit late, but had to comment still. What a simple beauty. So much to enjoy about this from the quiet calm, to the design, colors and light. Seen and crafted beautifully.

This is an observation more than a critique. One of the things that catches my attention is the color change between the main grasses up front (more yellow) with the background grasses up top which are more red. I’m guessing the angle, distance and even perhaps light coming from the sky - ie. partly cloudy? Anyway, it’s hardly worth mentioning… And along those lines, the color transition from cool blues in the water to the warmer reds and yellows is quite pleasing.

Not to belabor the flipping topic… I much prefer this as presented. Not because of your (understandable OCD reason…) but because it “feels better” to me orientated this way. I think there have been numerous discussions over the years and really this is just one of those personal preferences, no rights or wrongs here… Counter to @Ed_McGuirk’s reasoning of the left to right direction of the shoreline, my “left to right” view of things stems from (at least my) mental exercise of viewing an image left to right - in other words, In this case my eye first enters the scene on the left - and then is stuck there in the grass… I don’t notice the water really. With your original image, the scene is open and inviting starting on the left; I see the water, the shoreline, then the grasses… It’s just a better viewing experience for me. But it’s all just a matter of personal choice and preference. Oh, and too that, it’s much easier and I don’t have any issues flipping, rotating the more abstract images - patterns in ice, in a rock face, etc. etc. But in a scene that is potentially recognizable - not so much.

End of my .02.


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You want brutal honest? Well, this is honestly good. It appears simple, and conceptually it is. But simple implies boring and there is enough richness within to keep you searching.

Regarding flipping compositions - it’s much ado about nothing. I think we spend too much time thinking about it.

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I like the simple but elegant line of the shoreline Bill. The combination of blue and gold is wonderful as are the lines in the rippled reflection.

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I’m the opposite. Now that I’ve seen it flipped. I can’t unseeded it.

I like the simplicity of this image and the contrast between the golds and the blues

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