Critique Style Requested: Standard
The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.
I’m losing patience waiting for spring to come to Minnesota’s prairies, so I headed south to a Nature Conservancy preserve in a remnant tallgrass in Missouri this past weekend. A large tornadic supercell passed by just a few miles to our south, and as the sun appeared just before sinking into the Kansas horizon, the trailing mammatus clouds of the storm complex brought to mind the mythological Pawnee thunderbird, Huhuk. The website native-languages.org describes Huhuk as, “as a huge long-necked bird like a swan, with a forked, jagged tail. The beating of his wings cause thunder.” His wings were certainly in motion on this day.
There is some amazing storm photography out there emphasizing the atmospheric battleground that sits above the Great Plains. This storm doesn’t have the same punch-you-in-the-face drama of some of that work, but my hope is that it still makes you truly feel the power of the moment, and perhaps even sends you back in time to a landscape that now hardly exists. Would you have approached the composition in a different way, or processed this any differently?
28 mm f/13, ISO 200 at 1/60 sec. Processed to somewhat enhance the contrast in the cloud formations while adding a bit more brightness to the prairie grass while still holding back a bit on the yellow saturation.
I did digitally remove several fence posts and a very distant but somewhat discernable gate. I generally feel uncomfortable removing things from my images, but the reality on the prairies is that it is almost impossible to find a grand landscape that doesn’t include anthropogenic features. Since my intention is to try and communicate a sense of what this region looked like before its agro-industrial transformation, I don’t think it is too dishonest to do some minor editing to accomplish this goal. I’d be interested in hearing counter arguments to this approach.