Colorful hike

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I am curious about thoughts regarding the central placement of the hiking path. I would have prefered a more diagonal orientation but the area on the left (not shown) was very unappealing. Also, I didn’t want to crop the image on the right or the top so as not to lose the colorful rock formations.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Izzy, I like the (Death Valley?) wonderful colors and how you handled them in post. I understand your reluctance to lose some of them to a crop. I generally try to avoid the inclusion of hikers, but they can be very positive in certain scenes. I find the central hiker carries too much visual weight and my eyes get hung up at that point of the scene. If this were mine I would clone him out (if you are comfortable with that) and crop from the right to create a more vertical composition. You lose some of the colorful foreground slope, but for me the compelling parts of this image are the path leading the lone hiker to the vibrant distant badlands. However, this may not be the story you want to tell.

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Izzy, this is really fabulous. I love the way you’ve worked with the colours - a marvellous palette and nicely subdued. I also love the doughy softness of these rolling hills, which perfectly matches your colour choices. That all being said and really, because of what I’ve said, I find the hikers disturbing because their presence speaks to what is really real. But the way you’ve handled the rest of the picture feels more surreal, almost to abstraction (which I love)! And it is, as I say, jarring. The people feel like toys and I’m starting to think, “Is this really how it looked?” instead of just marvelling at what I’m looking at.

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Hi Izzy, this is a very nice take of the badlands and I think the hiker (at least one of them) adds a lot to the scene. Personally I think the lower hiker is quite dynamic and adds a nice sense of scale, but the one in the center draws too much attention I would remove them. I would also consider a square crop, this keeps most of the interesting patterns while eliminating some of the less interesting ones especially on the right. Also, there is a strong green cast to this image which can easily be fixed with either a white balance tint adjustment or using the color balance adjustment in Photoshop. Here’s the general direction I would take it:


Izzy, This is a wonderful glimpse of what I assume is Death Valley. The two hikers add a nice sense of scale to the scene and I love that meandering trail through those gorgeous mounds of color. I too would clone out the hiker in the middle and I think @David_Kingham’s rework has elevated an already wonderful image another notch.

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I think compositionally it is marvelous as is (both hikers). For me it is a very evocative image. I do agree with David, the green cast is too strong and a bit of correction would be a good thing.

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Thank you all for very helpful suggestions. I’ve considered them all and finally settled on the final image where I’ve cloned out the center hiker, cropped from the right to a square format, and eliminated the green image. The final image is very similar to the one proposed by @David_Kingham.

I’m with @David_Kingham on this, keep the bottom hiker, and lose the one in the middle. I agree that the bottom hiker creates a more dynamic feeling by being off-center.

In terms of processing, I think your original post has too much of a overall green color cast to it, although I like the accents of green near the top. In David’s rework he appears to have added red and/or magenta to remove the green cast. I like what Davids rework has done to color in the bottom two thirds of the image, but I might prefer to retain some of the green near the top. But then David has spent exponentially more time in Death Valley than me, so what the heck do I know?

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Izzy, well seen and David’s rework is the ticket for. Very fine take on the badlands of DV.

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