Specific Feedback Requested

I would like to know if the upper left corner is a distraction and if it would benefit from cropping the image in some way. Thanks.

Technical Details

f/5.6, 1/25 sec, ISO 1000
Processed In Lightroom Classic

1 Like

Hi Ted ā€“ I think this is a great abstract subject, so nice work on seeing opportunity in this scene. I like the repetition of the little burls across the scene. I think the full composition works (maybe with a bit off the bottom) but would work better with two adjustments, one of which you can address now and one that would need to be addressed in the field. First, the uneven tonality across the scene means that the left side feels like a bit of a black hole because the deep shadows. If the textures and tonality were more even across the entire frame, I think the composition would feel more balanced.

Second, when I am photographing scenes like this, I want everything to be in focus. This often means creating a focus stack of 5 to 15 files, often at f/11 or f/14, and then stacking them in Helicon Focus. Since the upper left in particular looks like it is not in sharp focus, you could consider cropping it out. I also think some more gentle processing in general could help, as it looks like some of the details are a bit obscured in the highlights and shadows.

Here is a possible tighter crop that eliminates the darker left side and the out of focus section in the upper left corner.

Thanks so much for your advice Sarah. I thought it needed some cropping, but wanted to hear from you first. This was an image in my archives from a few years ago and I re-visited it when this critique session was announced. Really appreciate you giving your time for this. Iā€™m a huge fan of your work, especially the black and white, so it means a lot to get your feedback.