Subdued Sunset

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Image was taken at Miramar Beach Florida just about Sunset the subtle colors and the dark clouds and some rain in the distance intrigued me. Image taken with Canon R, with 24-105 f4 mm L lens, with a ND 8 filter, at 105 mm, f13, 1/3 second

Specific Feedback

General feedback on composition and would be greatly appreciated.

Technical Details

Image was taken using a tripod

Hello Ian, glad to see you are out there for magic light. In looking at this image for a bit, I feel there are two things that stand out for me: 1) the horizon line is too much in the middle, creating a visual stasis between sky and water. Which one excited you more? Or perhaps the question is which one would create more impact in a composition? 2) the sky, being brighter, has pulled the eye up and tries to keep it held there, making the water appear darker and the impact of the rolling waves is somewhat lost. A graduated ND filter would have helped create a better balance of light. I do like the use of the ND 8 filter to slow the water down a little. I hope this helps - these are tricky photos to make when there is no subject as a focal point - just sky and water - and one needs to decide which area is of more interest. I would put the horizon line higher and make the water the larger portion of the image, without losing all the sky, though. And by lightening up the water, we could see more of the soft blur from the ND filter and more detail.

Ian, I was immediately drawn to the beautiful, soft colors. I do see what @brenda_tharp is saying about the horizon, but I don’t think cropping out any of the sky would improve the composition because of the color in the clouds. I like the play of lines. The diagonal lines of the surf, the pink of the water,
and the blue sand balance the horizontal clouds and the horizon. Nature has decided how this view should be composed.