Storm Born

I took this image on a recent trip to Scotland. The image was taken quite early in the morning. I’d gone up for sunset but a bank of clouds and rain were having other ideas. The storm become more intermittent and the light started breaking through the clouds and lighting up this mountain and ridge I had spotted on a previous visit.

I started off loving the shot and then the opposite, so I re-edited it. Im pretty happy with the result but am plagued by doubt on this one. I have a similar shot taken a few minutes earlier that I also like :thinking:

Any feedback will be appreciated.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

I’ll take any feedback but mostly interested in opinions on processing

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

How do you think the mountain sits in the frame? What is your opion of the rain shower coming in from the right? Actually, I’ll take any feedback

Any pertinent technical details:

Sony A7ii
Sony 70-200 F4G
70mm | f/10 | 1/30s | ISO100
0.9 soft GND

Allow other members to download your photo to demonstrate processing examples only?

Yeah, why not :grin:

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Very nice image. What doubts do you have? Is it the mist coming in from the right? I think it’s fine. It would also have been good without any mist. This mist has been processed well in my opinion. It’s a fine image. There’s no need to look for faults here.

Great light, great subject. Super jealous of the shot. It does feel like the crop isn’t quite right with the negative space on the left drawing my gaze away from the lovely light carving out the rock face. It feels like there could be slightly more contrast in the rain shower coming in from the right, but that may just blow out the subtlety. Other than a bit of cleanup of the sensor dust, I’d be pretty close to labelling it done.



Thank you, I really appreciate that!! I think you may be right; looking for fault where there may not be any. I think my dilemma stems from the framing and where the mountain sits. But I may be overt thinking it. Thanks for taking the time to respond :grin:

Hi Richard, thanks so much for your comments. Glad that you like it. It was such a surreal experience being up there taking the pic.

I did have a go before with adding some additional contrast to the rain shower, but like you suggested kind of killed it.

Yeah, regarding the crop/position of the mountain, it probably inst quite right. Are you thinking of negative space at the bottom left of the image? or just the left in general?

Dust!! Oh no. I thought I’d got them all. runs back to lightroom to double check


@Richard_Bauld oh my. I just opened the image again in LR. I must have had my eyes shut when I edited the dust spots out. There were loads. feeling a bit embarrassed right now hahaha :rofl:

Hi Eugene! The composition works very well for me, and I think the placement of the mountain within the frame is quite nice. Though I appreciate that the foreground cloud adds to the sense of atmosphere, I think in this case the cloud is covering up one of the most dominant parts of the photo — the mountain and that wonderful edge of the cliff that is lit up by the direct light. In that sense, the cloud feels like it is obstructing the mountain, rather than working with the composition. If that cloud was instead covering the lower left portion of the frame, and the mountain was unobstructed in the upper right, I think it would have added to the depth of the scene by creating a peek-a-boo sort of moment. I think the light you have, combined with the background clouds are enough to carry the shot as is. Do you have any shots when the foreground cloud wasn’t within the composition, or elsewhere in the composition? I know that those scenes are very dynamic and constantly changing.

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Some beautiful storm light you’ve captured at the Quiraing here. The processing looks very natural and straightforward however I think there’s a lot more that can be done to make the image more compelling. The edge control is the problem for me here; too many bright elements at the edge of the frame competing for attention and drawing the eye in different directions. You’ve got the mist, bright clouds and those pools of water in addition to the light breaking through onto the central land. I would burn down those bright clouds, maybe the pools of water a bit. The mist looks about the right brightness. Second thing would be to put the focus on the light hitting those ridges, especially the upper one. Highlight dodge with some extra warmth should work the light nicely.

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I have been guilty of that too many times to count.

I was thinking more of the entire left side. Though cropping may unbalance the entire image. I think Kah Kit is right in that maybe there is some competing brightness on the left side drawing my eye away from the rock face. I wouldn’t want to lose the lovely gently curving slopes that culminate in the hard rock, so perhaps burning would be better than cropping.

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Hi Ben! Thanks for the feedback. Yeah, I see what you mean (and agree) that the ridge is the highlight of the scene. Like you say, the weather was pretty dynamic. A few secs later that rain/cloud on the right had dissipated and was just a haze in the image. I have another shot with no cloud and just light falling on the ridge and another one taken at a wider angle that I’m working on at the moment (so excuse the dust spots and interim results). The wider one I quite like as it gives the peek-a-boo effect you were talking about. I’ll DM you some screenshots. Thanks again for the feedback!!

Thanks Kah Kit, I was actaully having a go at what you were suggesting after @Richard_Bauld was mentioning the negative space on the left. I think it has helped a bit. Both of you got me thinking about negative space and I’ve cropped it in slightly at the bottom. Seems to really help. Thanks to both of you for the feedback!

Thanks for all the suggestions. Here is the image following some adjustments. Think it works a bit better :grin:

Great image Eugene. I have nothing to add really. Your refinements look great too. The only reason I comment is about the comp - you were concerned about the elements coming in from the right hand side and that makes perfect sense. We train our eyes to read from left to right, so images that are taken in from right to left (such as this) always tend to feel a little uneasy. In addition, our eyes usually work from shadows to highlights and cool to warm, all of which occur in roughly the same way in this image. Check out what happens when you flip the image horizontally - all of a sudden it seems to make sense! So for mine that says to me the composition is spot on, and that it’s our Western eyes, minds and preconceptions playing tricks to an extent.

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Cheers Sam! Really glad you like it!! I’m currently sitting here looking at the image on one screen and the opposite flip on the other. My concerns over the comp were more that the rain/cloud was there rather than the direction it was coming from. I still think it obscures things a bit. I mentioned to Ben Horne that I had another image where the mountain stands more ‘proud’ and the whole scene is a bit simpler (for lack of a better word. I think you’re right about being drawn from one side of the image to the other, but not really considered the psychology behind it. I think that like you say, western cultures are naturally drawn from left to right . Saying that the first thing that catches my eye in that shot is the cloud (right or left) which is odd as it’s not the subject of the image…goes back to the original dilemma :rofl:

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