The Sound Of Silence new view

A new view of the same subject. This photo has more rocks at the base and has been cropped to remove the large rock on the lower right.

Original view.

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

What is your first impression when you see this image?

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

Taken during a photo workshop. This is Yosemite Falls.

Technical Details

Taken with my Sony RX100vi
handheld ISO 100, F/8, 1/250 sec.
Processed in LR & PS, and Nik Silver Efex Pro 3

Specific Feedback

All feedback welcome

This is my first image critique so please take it with a grain of salt. When looking at the thumbnails of the pictures in the weekly challenge, your’s caught my eye immediately. While it was obvious that it was a waterfall it also had a feeling of an impressionist painting. I get an immediate emotional reaction to the power of the falling water silenced by the shutter. When looking at the picture as a whole, it looks perfect. The dark background framing the highlighted waterfall and the feeling of motion and energy make this a powerful image. The only thing I would change is the boulder in the right foreground. It is in focus and I find it makes my eye go towards it. I think it would help if you could de-emphasize it if possible. Great work!

Barbara, this is a dramatic take on this waterfall. The overall darkness lets the power of the brighter bits in the falls stand out (and speak loudly!). The spotlight effect looks good. Another option would be cropping to 4x5, removing the splashing on the left as a way to further emphasize the drama of the falling water.

@dimitri Your critique is so very helpful. I take it seriously. You are so right about that boulder. I will have to see what I can do to “tame” it. Thank you. @Mark_Seaver I have wondered about that area to the left. I appreciate the idea of the 4x5 crop. Thank you. Both of you have responded to the silence of the power. Your suggestions are so helpful

I missed this until now. I think the dramatic light is wonderful, and the fast SS works here to stop the shapes in the water. I would like to see a little more of the rocks at the base.

And a hearty welcome to @dimitri! I look forward to your participation here and hope you find it as worthwhile as I do!

My first reaction: Wow! A lot of drama there. I love the lighting, which makes it disorienting – it can switch to seeming like you are behind the falls looking out (like an ice cave) instead of looking along the front of it. That and the dark tone make the image feel kinda spooky for me.

I agree with @dimitri about the rock in the foreground as an eye magnet and with @Diane_Miller about adding more rocks at the base if you have them. I also wonder what it would look like if you brought the extreme dark on the upper left up just a wee bit, to allow a bit of detail/intrigue to lurk there.

My first impression of this image is a feeling of powerful water, likely a waterfall, possibly in a cave. The foreground helps to suggest this is a fairly big waterfall, and I am intrigued by the lighting. I think the foreground rocks (especially the big one in the right corner) could be a bit deemphasized to draw focus more toward the light, possibly by reducing texture and/or exposure. But overall I love looking at this image and contemplating the play of light and dark!

All the critiques have been constructive. The rocks have been the focus of multiple suggestions. @Cathy_Proenza , @dimitri , @ann1 , @Diane_Miller have all mentioned them. The large rock won’t go away with burning. Two options remain use contact-aware-fill, which did not work well, or crop it out. I found another shot of the subject and used Nik Silver Efex Pro to edit it, then cropped the frame. Your feed back would be appreciated.

Well you did everything we suggested so kudos for the effort. I must say that I prefer the original, though. The 2nd image is very nice but it doesn’t evoke the same feelings as your original. I guess the boulder has its place after all :wink:

For me, the new version is best, although both are strong. I didn’t pay much attention to the large rock, but I think it could be burned down or cloned over. For me it is much less of an issue than the crowding at the bottom. That is nicely addressed in the second (top) image. Wonderful light and action in both!!

Thanks, @dimitri, for seeing the strength on the first image. @Diane_Miller, your suggestion for more rocks at the bottom works for me. I cropped out the boulder in the second image. I think I will go back and not crop that image as tightly. I like the play of light in the second image.

Very Powerful water photograph !!! I like the cropped version !!! How do you like SilverEfex … Great tone in this photograph !!! I like the simplicity and your eyes goes right to the water.

Gill, thanks for your feedback. You hit on the points that make this one of my favorite waterfall scenes. By the way, I love Silver Efex. I see you do a lot of B & W work. It is the go-to for me. In these shots, I allowed a little of the original color to show.