The Toungue Above The Rapids

On the last night of our 10 night raft trip down the Grand Canyon, I finally found a view that allowed me to take a detail image of the sort of mirror-surface “v-tongue” of water I was seeing above most of the rapids we rafted through the trip, as it reflected the warm evening light off the distant canyon walls.

Any pertinent technical details:

Nikon D850
Nikon 70-200 F4 lens set to 120mm
1/3 second at F/20
ISO 64


Wonderful color this abstract rapid shot. The Grand Canyon is one of the most amazing places on earth that I have visited and the colors in this image reflect the subtlety of the red Canyon walls and the greens of the many beaches along the Colorado River. This is a very simple image with beautiful flowing lines and textures. Good job!

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Jim, nice work here, the water looks like liquid metal. The processing looks good to me too. There is not much that I would change on this one.

But I think the top half of the image alone would also make a wonderful panoramic abstract in it 's own right. Crop just above the rocks, and emphasize the wonderful light, lines and color in the water.

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This is very clean James. I like the very well thought out composition with the water flowing over the foreground rock, and all the “braided” water in the upper left. The photo gives a very calm feeling, and is very dynamic.

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Oh this is cool! All my critiques are going to be very nit-picky, because I like this image.

My favorite part is the top half because the light and colors are more interesting. That part of the image is much more abstract as well (there’s no anchor, like the falling water in the bottom part). I would like to see an image that focuses on just that part of the water.

For my own taste I would like to see this image very slightly more magenta and very slightly cooler, while maintaining the gold colors. The very top right doesn’t have a lot of interest going on it it for me, so I would darken it just a bit. I would also crop just a little bit off the top and bottom like so. To me, the elements of the image meet the edge of the frame just a little better this way.

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Great feedback - thanks. I’ll play with those notions.

Jim, Fantastic image -and right up my alley. I love this. And I love it as presented, colors, texture in the falls area and the flow and reflection of color and light up top.

I often just overall color balance by the color of the frothy white water. That looks pretty pure in terms of color and so my overall impression of color is good as is.

I think one could have spent a lot of time at this spot, and I’m sure you enjoyed your time there.


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Hi Jim, I just got off my third rafting trip through the Grand Canyon and know oh-so-well how incredibly beautiful that alluring “V-tongue” is (it’s on par with the smell of petrichor in the desert and the sound of sandhill cranes, IMO). Your lovely image coveys the structure, the color, and the movement of the waves in the Colorado River so well. I especially like the combination of warm oranges (energetic) juxtaposed with the hints of blues and greens (peaceful and calming). I could look at this image all day and reminisce about my times on the water…thanks much for sharing.

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It must be great in that canyon. My friends rave about their rafting trips.

After being a member of NPN for so long it’s hard to look at this and not think about Lon Overacker’s images of same subject. Or be influenced by them. I would make this image much cooler than it currently is. And I would raise the dark areas to give it a lighter atmosphere. The really dark areas on the upper left … I’m just not sure about them. I just feel they go contrary to the spirit of this image.

I prefer the original image without the crop. The composition is good and the water flow is rendered well with the shutter speed utilized.

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This is an absolutely stunning image mate and there’s very little I’d change. The only thing that gets me is the highlight of the water in the bottom right. To me it’s slightly brighter than the water flowing over the rock and competes a little for attention. I wouldn’t change a thing otherwise and I think this would make an absolutely fantastic print!

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