Stray flower

Critique Style Requested: Initial Reaction

Please share your immediate response to the image before reading the photographer’s intent (obscured text below) or other comments. The photographer seeks a genuinely unbiased first impression.

Questions to guide your feedback

Thanks for some general feedback, and especially about the way I edited this. There was very little natural light on the fern (which is good, because it was mid-day and the light was quite harsh), so I painted with light.

Other Information

Please leave your feedback before viewing the blurred information below, once you have replied, click to reveal the text and see if your assessment aligns with the photographer. Remember, this if for their benefit to learn what your unbiased reaction is.

Image Description

While hiking in the Slovakian mountains I had my camera with me. Actually, I was awaiting some larger mountain scenery, but the flora was much more impressing. So, I concentrated on some abstract shots of the great plants and flowers I saw.

Technical Details

Bildschirmfoto 2024-06-10 um 11.31.35

Specific Feedback

How do you like my edit? Does it feel natural to you?

Critique Template

Use of the template is optional, but it can help spark ideas.

  • Vision and Purpose:
  • Conceptual:
  • Emotional Impact and Mood:
  • Composition:
  • Balance and Visual Weight:
  • Depth and Dimension:
  • Color:
  • Lighting:
  • Processing:
  • Technical:

I think that this is really well done. Your dodging and burning looks very good and I personally would be very happy with it.

1 Like

Hey Markus, I love images like these! I’ve always wanted to head to the lush forests in spring/early summer and come across a batch of ferns like this! I think you could push the whites a bit further, the key is to keep the shadows nice and dark though. My real concern with this though is the patches in the bottom left (less so), top left, and along the right hand side. With these, I look for either a really limited composition (just ferns and the flowers), or a broader scene that incorporates all of a number of different elements. With this one, there is a lot of competition. Rocks, star shaped leaves, ferns, flower, broad leaves (2 or 3 versions on the right), grass, pine straw (maybe). I will say, I’m rather picky with these, I shoot them all the time (images like this) and they never see the light of day because I can never seem to get what I actually want. I love the concept and the processing though!

1 Like

Hey David, thanks a lot for your comments! Personally, I don’t mind the “competitors” in the shadows as long as they are pretty dark (and I darkened and blurred them).
I tried another version with even more whites as well as a cropped version with less surrounding plants. Actually, I ended up liking my first non-cropped version more.
What about you guys?

Uncropped is better. The darkness surrounding the ferns is important. Can’t say if more darkness would be better yet. I might try to make the white in the flower pure white instead of yellowish white. But that’s being very picky given the size of the flower.

I also like the uncropped version. It feels more of a surprise, the flower as vanguard or scout. What also strikes me is the softness and lush green. Oh how I wish our woods were bearable this time of year, but I’d lose about a pint of blood if I went out. How far down did you take the highlights? I wonder if boosting them might add a bit of sparkle. Our eyes pick up so many hues and tonal values so easily that it feels absent here, something I’m always fighting with in my own images. Super find and I’m quite jealous of this arrangement. Fantastic.