This is from a couple of months ago when I went to La Jolla to try and get some intimate sandstone images. It’s certainly a place that you can find swirling and colorful lines but I find the harder you look for them, the harder they are to find. My previous trip I got completely skunked. I think I was trying to hard so on this trip, I just let things come to me. I spent most of the day there just walking up and down the beach. I had walked past this little scene at least 4 times without seeing it so I’m not sure why on this last pass it caught my eye. Who knows, but it did and I’m glad.

Specific Feedback Requested

I’m pretty sure everyone will see the thumb but does this image have any kind of emotional impact on you or is it just a thumb?

Technical Details

Z7ii, F/16, 24-70mm lens @ 54mm, ISO 80, 1/25th second, 5 image focus stack

David, this is a fantastic image with pleasing color and tones. The warmth mixed with some cooler shadows work well. The shapes appear like stacked rocks or perhaps a topographic map. I did not perceive the shape as a thumb until I read your description and now I cannot un-see it. :grinning:

Regarding emotional impact, the image does prompt me to investigate the scene and explore the lines. There is a wonderful depth and 3D effect which I enjoy. The image is calm but definitely holds my interest to explore. Well done.

1 Like

Oooh nice one. Glad you finally notice it because the shades of sand in the various levels are so interesting. If I had time right now, I might bring this into Photoshop to do some contouring using the masking options in the TK8 panel. It could really boost the 3D aspects of this little scene. Marvelous!

1 Like

David, this truly is a fine approach many times. I find that if I try to “force fit” on photo outings it usually fails. This wonderful image is a result of your tenacity and returned outing that things all came together. The detail of the enlarged version is superb… :sunglasses:

Yes, the thumb really stands out, David. Great catch. I tried rotating it CCW to landscape and the thumb stood out even more.

I like detail you’ve caught in the focus stack too. Nice work!

@Alfredo Mora, Very sorry that I may have ruined the image by suggesting that this was a thumb. I get how once you see something you can’t unsee it. Oh well. Next time I won’t be so suggestive. I can certainly take this a lot farther than I did to make this more 3D like. There is a lot of depth to the image which is why I had to focus stack this so it would be easy to make this appear more 3D. Thanks for your comment.
Kris, yep, you’ve given me thought on making this more 3D than it is. It’s there. I just need to rework it to bring it out. Alfredo was thinking the same thing. Thanks Kris.
@David_Bostock, @Paul_Breitkreuz
Thanks for your thoughts on this. It’s kind of a weird image in hat it’s clearly a thumb so I don’t know how that’s going to fly with everyone. David, I have not tried to rotate this yet. Interesting. I’m at work but I’ll take a look tonight when I get home. Thanks for your thoughts on this.

1 Like

I love the successively twisted layers in this!! Glad you finally saw it – it must have called to you! I think it could be interesting to go for more tonal depth. Do you have any more canvas on the right? It feels crowded there.

I, too, did not see the thumb at first until I read your description. I would also like to see a bit more canvas on the right per @Diane_Miller as well to see the completion of the blue tint on the bottom. Overall, a strong image and a wonderful job spotting it. I am not very good at finding these types of shots as of yet.

It took me a while to see the “thumb”, but I see it now! :blush: In any case this is a beautiful calming image – at least to me.

This is a wonderful image with a perfect composition. It has a gentle, calming quality conveyed by the wide curves and arcs on a fairly smooth surface. The low saturation processing was the absolutely right choice for the subject matter. The tonal range is restricted and that also fits with the subject matter. The sand grains give it that look of a mosaic we see from early Byzantine and late Roman art. The lines are not fully continuous but broken up into the appearance of lines by dots (grains of sand) that are close together but not quite touching. That’s one of the features sandstone I like very much but not all sandstone has.

Regarding the ‘thumb’. I would personally not even mention that in my post because it makes the viewer go down a rabbit hole and appreciate this less.


Wonderful capture and image. The texture of the sandstone stands out as do the colors represented here. Great range from warm to cool. So much to enjoy and appreciate with this.

So glad this one finally came to you! No nits or suggestions from me. Well done!