Where's Waldo?

Critique Style Requested: Standard

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


Back again with more of the snow-ladened trees of the Santa Cruz Mountains. This was one of the first photos once I made it out to the main road along the ridge. It was still early in the morning and thus the blue color cast, which I kept to convey the coldness. It is a crop from a vertical scene that was not composed carefully enough which contained some annoying out-of-focus elements at the bottom of the frame and a blank featureless sky.

What did capture my imagination was the repeating pattern among the redwoods and the frosted cotton ball effect of the oaks in the ULC, which immediately reminded me of those Where’s Waldo books.

Specific Feedback

Any feedback you would like to leave is appreciated.

Technical Details

Nikon D850, Nikon 105mm f/2.8 at f8 1/60 ISO 100. Processed in ACR, followed by PS CC


I agree that this is a pattern shot. It’s also partly a fractal composition where elements repeat themselves, which gives a soothing feeling to the viewer.

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I love the repeating patterns in this image. To think that they are huge, snow-covered conifers is awe-inspiring! At the same time, the absence of depth makes it hard to tell whether we are looking at very large objects or very small ones. This makes your image a fine nature abstract, in my view. The composition works really well, with any possible monotony being broken up by the more feathery and woolly trees occupying a nice pocket on the left. The blue cast feels cold, which is great.

Just one possible suggestion would be to clone out what seems to be a power-line
(?) in the URC, which acts as a distraction and gives away the scale.

I really like this Youssef- from the the wonderful edge to edge pattern to the colour and tone. It’s a really interesting image to look at and study all of the little details. I do however agree with Laura about the power lines in the top right. They unfortunately pull my eyes a bit too much.

Very interesting scene, does it actually have a hidden subject somewhere? I couldn’t find anything. I would recommend removing the telephone lines in the upper right. Also, the contrast feels very heavy for a snowy scene in diffused lighting. I would raise the overall luminosity a bit and soften the contrast to match the lighting better.

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I was going to make similar suggestions as Eric has here. Nice image!

Love this intimate view Youssef! My first impression actually is one of the genres of photographs that depict normal scale scenes as miniature (often through the use of tilting lenses or blurring in PS) I’m hoping you understand my reference. In other words, these trees, the forest come across as miniature to me - which I think is a very cool effect. At least for me.

For sure, the power lines can go. I would also agree with Eric about elevating the luminosity. Of course in the realm of personal choice, but I think the images from this series all seem a little dark and heavy (slightly) and could be a bit brighter; although that may not match what you experienced this day.

Love the patterns and the intimate view you’ve framed from the larger scene. Beautiful - and so quiet and peaceful - although we know the experience wasn’t quite that!


Thank you Lon. And yes I do understand what you mean by the miniature. On the contrary, it was quite peaceful that morning, but also cold and the air was heavy. It is nice to see that the “heavy” sense is coming through.