Another 2020 favorite from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan: some leaves at the bottom of a lake, distorted by moving water over top. I thought it looked like an oil painting.

Specific Feedback Requested

I’m open to any and all feedback. Does this look “artistic” to you? Or is it just a blurry photo?

Technical Details

Is this a composite: No
ISO 800, 300mm, f/5.6, 1/10 sec


Hey @Brent_Clark .

I can see what caught your attention to this scene, the ligth is beautifull and the dance of the leafs on the water is gorgeous. To me it has an artistic look because it is a piece of art.
The only thing i would change would be raise the exposure a bit, i think that having more pop on those highligths could make the image more vibrant.

Thanks for sharing, cheers

Hey Brent,

There is a fine line between artistic success and an unappealing blurry photo when it comes to ICM ICM-like/abstract images like this, with distortion or blurring across the entire frame, but I think this is an excellent example of the former. It looks to me like the leaves were moving in layers and at different speeds, which resulted in varying levels of motion blur, which gives it an impressionistic, organic feel.

My only critique would be to ease up on the vignetting a bit. It feels really dark around the edges to me, but of course, this is a matter of personal preference.

Excellent work! You’ve got a really original image here.

It looks like art to me, Brent. My test is that I spent quite a while looking at it. I do think the vignette, whether you made it or natural, is a bit much. A very interesting image.

Brent, I thoroughly enjoy viewing and making images where water (or ice) distorts what’s below or what’s being reflected. This one looks good as a painterly view of these fallen leaves. Like Dennis, I feel like there’s too much darkness around the edges. One thing that I believe in with abstracts is keeping the eyes moving through the entire frame. Along those lines here’s a version where I did some mid-tone dodging around the edges, along with some contrast enhancement.

This is definitely an artistic interpretation of the scene you observed. You saw an opportunity to create an image out of an ordinary scene, you previsualized it, you captured it with the appropriate technical settings, and processed it to fulfill your vision. So, it’s art.
There are as many ways to render this as there are people to render it but your interpretation is the only one that matters. Tomorrow, next year, or ten years from now your vision will likely change and you’ll interpret it differently. That’s called growth.
I love this image and if it were mine it would also take it’s place among my year’s best. Nice work!

Thanks all! I’m glad it generally seems to work. If only I could also hear what the people that don’t comment think :laughing:

I think that vignette is somewhat natural, but I also added a bit to it. I’ll look into easing up on it.