Ancient Falls

Tighter view:

An overview of the horseshoe canyon in the Alberta bad lands.
Yes, there are bad lands in Canada :sweat_smile:.
I was taken by the “rills” of these formations forming these waterfall like shapes, hence the title

Specific Feedback Requested

Any feedback is welcome. What do you think makes it strong if any? What makes it week? What could be done to improve it if any? What could have been done to make it better at capture time?

In your opinion, does the tighter view show the subject best?

Technical Details


Hello Aref,

These are both great images for different reasons. The wide one gives me a sense of wonder and it’s fun to explore the larger version. The tighter view gives me a sense of WOW. There’s a real sense of scale and it feels large, massive. I love them both.

I think the composition, colors, and your processing are spot on. Well done indeed.

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I think this is an amazing formation, and well presented! My only suggestions would be that the cropped version feels crowded on the right edge. I would favor a crop about halfway between it and the wider version. I also wonder about toning down the red in the LL of the wider version.


Good call on the LL

Btw the tighter photo is not a different crop it is one of the shots that make the pano
I guess i should have mentioned that is a pano

I prefer the Tighter image simply because it tells the story while being a little bit cleaner and neater. I do like the pano version as well but just not quite as much. The colors look soft and muted just as I would expect them to look in real life and I think you composed it about as well as you could given all of the various lines entering and exiting the scene. I might crop just a smidge off the top of the tighter one, almost down to the shrubs but that may not be your objective in the story here. Showing more of the barren dirt above the “Ancient Falls” also tells a story, albeit a different one. The light is nice and soft and not harsh at all. Great conditions.
I do like something like this as well:

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It’s pretty busy but I can see the wonder of this image and why you were attracted. Maybe crop off the dark layer at the top and a smaller crop off the bottom. Your second version doesn’t have the impact of the panorama for me.

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Hey! I love this photo so much because of all the textures and tones and lines that are in it. It’s fun scrolling through the comments and seeing everybody’s preferences on composition. I no doubt have my own! Well, I don’t think you have to crop the sand at all in my opinion, if you cropped the top just above the green flora, then it would bring the composition and a little bit tighter and you would leave that green highlight of color, and the very top of the frame.

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I much prefer the wide pano over your tighter crop. The wide range of pastel colors are exquisite!

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This is a wonderful landscape image. Count me in as someone who thinks your original works best. In fact I have no nits or suggestions for improvement.

I like the original presentation because it’s allowing the fascinating landscape to be fully explored. The horizontal length allows the repetition and symmetry to be showcase. Not to mention all the colors, texture and detail. One might think a closer crop would reveal those details better, but I think at a sacrifice to the bigger nature story being told.

And the nature story? Not just about geology, but of erosion and evolution of time. Beautifully seen and captured.

Upon second look, the only minor thought for me would be a slight crop on the left to eliminate the yellow/green outcropping (at firs glance I thought it was vegetation, but no, it’s part of the formations.) Perhaps then a light variation in tone or hue? Something so that my eye isn’t taken there. I think perhaps it’s the shape and not color.

Well done. Thuroughly enjoying this one. Thanks for posting!


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Lovely scene Aref. Personally I prefer the pano version more. In terms of cropping, I think you already did a brilliant job composing it and showing all the details. Like Diane already mentioned, desaturating the LLC might help, though it is not very distracting to my eye. Also maybe putting a slight linear vignette (I think you have not put one, if you have, then brilliant, it is indecipherable), on the top to darken the mud layer a bit and at the bottom to balance it out. I personally think it will direct the viewer’s eye more towards the “falls” in the center. For the 1x1 version, for me it does not work that well coz of the orange line in the middle right edge which leads me out of the frame as it is a line with a curve and some movement. All in all, a beautiful image Aref. I was quite surprised to see these formations in the US as well, but I must say I don’t know much about that side of the world. Kudos on the image.

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Beautiful Image!
I agree it’s fun reading everyones opinion about which image they like and the best approach to cropping. Your original image is the one i prefer. If i would change the crop I would use a crop a little less restrictive than what Igor did. I would included the sage bushes at the top.
Excellent job.

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Thanks everyone for the thoughtful feedback and suggestions.

These are interesting formations with some unusual color. Although I live in Tennessee now, I am originally from Texas and there is a state park near my hometown that has some badlands that are similar to this except they are more orange and white in color.

You have a strong composition and your processing pulls out the natural vibrance of the location.

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Thanks for your feedback Brian