Critique Style Requested: In-depth

The photographer has shared comprehensive information about their intent and creative vision for this image. Please examine the details and offer feedback on how they can most effectively realize their vision.

Self Critique

I like the sun star and that the brightness of it gave me enough light to catch a small wave bouncing off a rock.

Creative direction

A beautiful sunrise that makes you feel happy you’re alive to see it.

Specific Feedback

Does this image give you a feeling of wanting to be there? Could the composition have been better at a different angle. I was on the trail and there was no know way I could get down to the area below (it was straight down) so I was as close as I could be. Does my processing do this justice?

Technical Details

Sony a7r v 24-70 mm @ 34 mm
ss/ 1/250
ISO 500


The second morning in Acadia, I decided to try my luck at a sunrise. Not knowing this area very well, I chose a walkway behind Bar Harbor that follows the shoreline. The tide was fully out. The area is called the Mt. Desert Narrows. It’s were the boats come into the bay to Bar Harbor or other small towns. The hills were flat enough that I figured I could get a shot of the sunrise no matter what spot it came up in. It was a very cold morning and the wind was whipping down the narrows. I was glad I had my full layers on. It certainly turned out to be worth the effort.

Hi Donna,

I really like this quite a lot! :slight_smile:

I agree that the sunburst is a very nice feature!

I like how the sunlight is between the horizon and the cloud layer, and in a unique way.
I also like the silhouette of the breakwater/jetty in the MG section, and the little splash of water at the shoreline is a real bonus.
The reflected sunlight on the water is classic but it’s also unique in this image.

The image is just bright enough to show details but dark enough to show mystery and appeal! :slight_smile:
My attention is drawn into the scene in a natural way.

I like how you framed this with the sun slightly off center as well.

Great colors too! :slight_smile:

Lovely! :slight_smile:


Quite the beautiful moment in time. I love when there’s a sliver of opening along the horizon, knowing the sun will make it’s presence known and light up the scene, even if for a few minutes. This looks like one of those moments.

After just commenting on your previous post from this place, here’s the irony of the situation where we’re concerned with photogaphing a PLACE that has been photographed a million times… yet there probably have been more sunrise/sunset pictures in the history of mankind than any other event. Events or Locations? And my response is the same - It’s a moment in time, and if it moves me, I’m going to photograph it. In fact, I look at it even further. It doesn’t matter how many sunrises we’ve seen or have been photographed, your single image, is a moment in time that will NEVER be replicated. To me, that’s special.

Back to your capture. That little splash of a wave makes all the difference with this image. Could you raise the overall illuminosity? Sure, but it’s all personal choice and vision here. The colors and processing are excellent. Thanks for sharing.


@Merv @Lon_Overacker Thank you guys for your comments on this image. It makes me feel very happy and gives me a little more confidence that I can take a photo that is liked by you two without suggestions. Don’t get me wrong, I do like suggestions. I have learned a lot from them, but I feel like I got this one right. I’ll remember that morning forever and that’s one reason I love photography . I had no idea if I would even get a sunrise that early cold morning.

Hi Donna,

I have the feeling that this scene spoke to you and it was in a language that only you understand.
When that happens, it’s difficult for others to suggest improvements (unless they just don’t understand).
Emotions are the ears that you use to listen to the scene.

I can only imagine the near overwhelming emotions you felt when this moment arrived.

In regards to photographing scenes that have been done so many times before, I think Lon said it very well.

It’s your image, your moment, your connection and your memory, nothing else matters. :slight_smile:

This is one of those images that I think is a product of place and time and is best loved by the photographer for having been there and then. I have a ton of these, too, and since I basically only shoot to please myself, that’s ok with me. You like this and have fond memories and that’s the most important part sometimes.

You not only got a gorgeous and unique sunrise to match the very special feeling you had, but it must have been even more wonderful when you realized you had captured the sunburst! Nature’s special gift – just for you!!

@Merv @Diane_Miller @Kris_Smith This was a very special trip for me. I had signed up for a workshop there in Feb., but it was cancelled. I was really bummed. I decided “what the heck”, I’ll go anyway! It was a great decision for me to have made. For much of the time, I had this stunning place to myself. In fact, toward the end of my stay, we got 3” of snow one night. We were supposed to get 12”, which I was happy we didn’t get. The park closed the Ocean Drive entrance anticipating more snow. I parked at the gate and walked in. I walked the 1.8 mile stretch and back to my car and never saw a soul. It was eerie and incredible both at the same time. For a park that gets 4 million visitors during tourist season, how can that not be special. I certainly will return again. Next Saturday I’m heading for a week camping trip to the Smoky Mountains. I had a wonderful workshop there last spring and decided to return again. I hope to have some more yellow water reflections in the stream like I had last spring to photograph. Thank you for your kind words about my image.

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