A Summer Sunset

New to NPN and trying out the image critique forum.
BTW. the new website looks great!

What technical feedback would you like if any?

All feedback welcome, especially thoughts on processing.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 5D Mark III, Canon EF 17-40/F4, single shot.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.


Welcome to NPN! Glad to have you here.

This is a bit unique. Love the sunset sky and colors. Wish there was more, but understand your emphasis is on the interesting elements in the foreground. Not quite sure, but I’m guessing these are salt ponds? Or once were? I say because the posts to me indicate an old boardwalk (as opposed to fencing of some sort.)

A bit unconventional with the composition by dividing the frame in half with the line of posts. But there’s something graphic with the diagonal line leading to the sunset horizon. And I think that works pretty well.

Processing wise, colors look good. The sun and area around it are blown, but of all the circumstances where this is ok - it has to be shooting in the direct sun. Pretty impossible to tame that ball of fire. I like the colors and light reflecting on the left side of the posts. The right side up front, again, not sure what I’m looking at. Kind of unsightly if I can be honest here.

As an alternate view, I think this works pretty well with a pano crop, removing some of that sludge off the bottom. I think the lines work even better.

Thanks for sharing your first post. We look forward to more and your comments and participation.


I like the scene with the diagonal posts and the visual focus of the sun. The foreground, though, seems overly light relative to the sky, so the image feels a bit dark-heavy at top. I like all the foreground detail, but feel there could be some options for retaining it in darker tones, and perhaps even making it more dramatic.

Hey Arjen, I like the leading line of the pylons and how it breaks up the repeating patterns of the rocks. The colors and reflecting lights are all very nice.
I agree with Tony that the immediate foreground looks a little busy/bright and doesn’t really add much to the shot. Also, I think if it were me I would try and compose the shot so that the pylons ended in the opposite place in the frame as the sun to create a bit more balance.

Arjen, while you had plenty of interesting elements to work with in this scene, I think it could benefit from some simplification, less would be more here. For example, I like the repeating pattern of the rocks, but find the mud and seaweed in the near foreground to be less interesting. I would have liked to see you move in closer and fill the foreground with the rocks. Also, having the cut-off post in the extreme lower left corner (LLC), is distracting, either show it all (or more preferably) none of it.

Someone once said to me that leading lines are nice, but they need to lead to something of interest. The colors in the sky are maybe strong enough to be “something of interest”, but by placing the sun relatively far away from the end of the leading line, you tend to create visual competition between the end of the leading line and the sun. My eye keeps getting pulled in two different directions, and I find that a bit unsettling. This may have been cleaner and simpler without the sun at all.

That is an atypical composition, but I actually kind of like it. I find the contrast of the beauty of the setting sun and the “dumpster” feel of the bottom to be odd, yet fascinating. Kudos on a really different image.

Thanks to all who provided feedback, I enjoyed reading your thoughts.

Just to provide some background, the image was taken during low tide at the Wadden sea,
an inter-tidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea.

The mud proved to be very sticky and limited my options to move around. I would not have been the first photographer that got stuck here. Being by myself I didn’t want to take any chances.
I got lucky with the colors of the setting sun.