Tiger Wave

The toothiness (made up word) of this wave and the yellow reflections from the sunset immediately brought the up images of a tiger when I saw it in camera. This is a small shore breaker with some ICM.

Specific Feedback Requested

Nothing specific. I’m open to all suggestions.

Technical Details

ICM. 1/15sec f/9 ISO 100 141mm Lightroom, Capture One, Photoshop


Love the title; that comes to my mind too. The colors and forms are beautiful; a truly gorgeous intimate.

The image feels a bit tight, but I assume this crop was the best of the full image. This may be monitor variation, but on mine those sharp portions of the wave look better to my eye when sharpened a bit more; it makes them look more like glass and I find that appealing.

This is really cool, Andre. I think the subtle ICM works quite well here. Once Alex has critiqued, you might consider moving it into the new Abstract Nature category. It would be a welcome addition to that space.


@John_Williams My original crop was wider but I found the dark shadows at the top were distracting.
I reduced the contrast in that area and sharpened the wave edges. Thanks for the suggestions. I used unsharp mask to sharpen them. What did you use?

@David_Bostock thx. Will do.

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Andre, this is a very nice wave intimate!

I much prefer the uncropped version even with the potential distractions up top - I like how the form of the main wave doesn’t feel cut off at the top that way. I would still darken that bright sliver at the top edge, just left of the center - just basically make it dark gray to match everything around it.

The warm water to the left of the wave is a fair amount more saturated than the right side, and that distracts me a bit, even if it’s natural due to the higher angle. The right side looks spot-on to me, very classy, so I would just desaturate and/or cool the left to match it.

I also get that you wanted to convey the warm light, but I think the color of the shadows makes it feel like it was just a result of jacking up the white balance, and not natural warmth to the light. (Or maybe there were some cooler tones and they were desaturated to make gray?)

When I’m trying to punch up warm light, rather than going global with a white balance adjustment, I like to start with a cooler base and at least keep the shadows neutral, then dodging and saturating up the light areas selectively to get them to the desired warmth. I think that could work well here to make the light feel more real and the image less processed - but it’s not strictly necessary. Not saying it needs to have blue shadows, but I think they could at least be on the cooler side of neutral rather than the warmer side where they sit now.

You could also say this has a bit of a film look to it, since back then you’d choose a different film to intentionally warm the whole image (or use a warming filter).

I, too, much prefer the uncropped version. It feels much more balanced to my eye at the top and bottom. I don’t find the shadows distracting, in fact I think they enhance the gorgeous central part of the image.

I played a bit with Unsharp Mask myself, but also Smart Sharpen and High Radius/Low Amount Unsharp Mask. I’m editing this post (and deleting the version I had posted) because I misunderstood your updated version, and missed that you had already increased the sharpening in that repost. Sorry for the confusion on my part. The sharpness of the second post was exactly what I was referring too; I like what you did there.

Alex, Thanks for the critiques. I’ve really enjoyed you sharing your views on my images and reading your critiques on others in the group. Learned a lot from the session.

I’ve attached an image of what the RAW looked like. Shot in Daylight WB Sony A7r. I actually cooled of the WB a bit.
I agree, I think the left side of the wave ended up getting oversaturated after my contrast adjustments. When I edited the uncropped version I tried to add some yellow into the dark areas at the top to reduce the contrast.

Think I went a bit overboard with it.

John, Thanks for sharing your sharpening approach.

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Ah, well it was very naturally warm and I see now how the left side ended up so much more saturated than the right, Andre! That said, I quite like the look of the raw except for its darkness, and it does have some very subtle neutral/cool colors in the midtones of the water on the left that got lost with the saturation increase of the original edit. I don’t think it needs much more saturation, just some punch to the highlights (increasing the whites slider in raw processing should do nicely). If it were mine, I would pretty much leave the left side as-is aside from the overall brightening in raw, and focus more on dodging up the light on the right side. Maybe lift the overall exposure as well, raise the shadows, and perhaps cool down the overall WB? I’m glad the event was helpful for you!

Alex, I like your suggestions. I’ll give them a try. Thanks

I personally think the cropped version is a bit better but that’s me! =)
I think the choice in WB is nice and I think this image works quite well!

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Thanks for the feedback Matt. Always great to hear a different opinion. I think I’ll have to try a few different edits, sleep on them for a while, and the revisit them with fresh eyes.

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Sure thing! That’s why getting critique from lots of people can be of value!