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Critique Request - Landscape - Composition


Please critique my work below. A higher res link will be provided for a short while here.

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I am decently new to shooting landscape work, having most of my inspiration come from Arizona Highways or similar.

The above shot used:

  • Canon 60D w/ 16-35 f/4L focused at 28mm
  • Exposure: 30s at ISO 160 at f/11
  • Formatt-Hitech 100mm square filter system w/ Polarizer and ND (I forget the power used)

It was processed in Adobe Lightroom.

The composition seems weak to me, now looking back on it. The waterfall is an area of interest while so too is the swirl created by the movement of the leaves floating in the water. But, I can't quite decide if they are working together or competing for interest. There is no foreground object per-se, so I'm almost wondering if I should have zoomed up to 35mm to get in tighter on the waterfall or should have framed a horizontal shot instead?

Color and contrast, I think, turned out well. Everything is green up here in the PacNW USA, but the few trees that were turning early provide pleasant contrast to me.

I don't think f/11 hurt too bad (diffraction) - but would be keen to hear other's take on the overall sharpness of the image.

Looking forward to the feedback!

Why should this post be closed?


1 answer


My first response is that a really like this picture.

However, there are some details I'd probably change, or at least experiment with.

Here is a scaled down original for comparison with subsequent versions:

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The picture looks a little dingy, at least on my monitor. The first step is to at least use the full available dynamic range. here is simply making the blacks black and the whites white:

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I think the large part of the picture devoted to the pool doesn't add much. I do like the swirling leaves, but I didn't even notice them until you pointed them out. The main feature is the waterfall, surrounded by all the lush vegetation.

There are different possible treatments of the waterfall. Here is the brute force version:

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I think that looks to sterile or clinical. Here is another option:

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This sets the trees at left off against the waterfall at right.

Here is trying to make the picture a little brighter by allowing a little bit of clipping in the white highlights of the waterfall:

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This resulted from making the bright highlights 1.15 (which causes clipping) instead of 1.0 before.

There are lots of possibilities. You have a really nice picture to work from.