Fading light

Hi everyone. This was taken at a valley in the English Lake District a few weeks ago. Initially I had planned to shoot at the waterfall further up the valley during blue hour, but the place was ridiculously busy with tourists during the school holidays.

I had a wander down the valley floor and found this composition just as the light was making its way down the valley to the mountain (Blencathra) in the distance. I quite like the contrast of shadow and the tiny bit of remaining light, especially on the trees dotted around.

Not entirely convinced as to whether or not the stream is prominent enough…

All feedback gratefully received.

Many thanks

I agree that light play in the distance is very nice. That area plays a smaller part in the photo, so I wouldn’t be afraid to crop a bit of the bottom and left to focus on it more.

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I think your composition works really well here and to answer the question, yes, I think the stream is plenty prominent. In fact, it’s providing a great lead-in line letting the viewer follow the stream to the fading light on the hills further down valley.

I suppose you could shave a little off the bottom, but personally I wouldn’t crop from the left because I wouldn’t want to get any closer to the bend in the creek. The light on the tree tops really makes a difference as do the clouds nicely filling in the frame up top.

Really not much to be critical of here. Nothing really dramatic or exciting about the lower half, but again I think it adds to the overall composition and impression of the landscape. The only thing I might suggest is perhaps boosting the saturation/color of the landscape where the light is striking. But still, nicely processed as presented.


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Chris, I think this is a very balanced composition. The stream is very pleasing and the mountain in the BG is well placed. I could wish a little more room on top (especially with the clouds almost touching the top edge) but my conundrum with this image is the lit area on the distant hill is too small to be the centerpiece of the image. At the same time, I feel that cropping the bottom part will take away from the image a lot. Perhaps you could shoot this a few minutes earlier when the sun is still shining most of the distant hill but maybe not. The light may never work out that way. All in all, I think you have come to a great composition and I hope to see more from this place!

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This is beautifully composed, Chris, with that thread of the stream leading the eye so nicely up to the glimpse of sunlight in the distance. I appreciate that the tonality needs to be subdued but just wonder if a touch more contrast might be even stronger. Whatever, it is a fine image.

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Thanks everyone. I agree about the light, it definitely needs boosting a bit so I’ll fix that.

I’ll definitely be back and allow myself more time so the sun creeps further up the valley floor.