(W-repost) On Fire

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


Heat and dust in the elephant country.
There are times when an image from a series becomes famous and other good images are ignored. This was one such image, taken in 2013, but processed for the first time recently.

Specific Feedback

I’m just wondering if the visual appeal of this image can be improved in any way?

Technical Details

Canon 5D 3; 70-200 mm; ISO 400; 1/320 sec. at f 4.5

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Hi Jagdeep,

This is an awesome image!
Not only does it show how they handle the heat, but it shows how social they are as well.
Very strong family oriented animals!

As for suggestions on the image itself, which may or may not be an improvement, but to me, there seems to be a little too much contrast and the black point could stand raising.
I say this because I can see body parts of the elephants more ‘clear’ than they should be IMHO.
For a dust cloud like that I would expect it to be more ‘dusty’ overall.
Keep in mind it’s just my take on it. :slight_smile:

Here’s an edit example to show what my thoughts are.
I lowered the contrast in ACR to -50 and raised the black point to +50.

Jagdeep, the glowing, backlit dust and the raised trunk with it’s own flying dust tell a great story. The atmospherics are special. The one part of the frame that feels different includes the sharp trunk and leaves in the upper left corner, some local contrast reduction could let that area blend in more with all of the dust.

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Brilliant image and story!!! Congratulations!

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Hi Jagdeep, this looks really nice to me. All that dust flying around with the backlighting is really something. Well done.

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Thanks @Mark_Seaver !
Great suggestion, I tried some contrast and clarity reduction in the upper left corner and here’s the result.

The redo results in a better visual balance…glad it worked.

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