Glade Creek Grist Mill in West Virginia in the Autumn

What technical feedback would you like if any? Any technical feedback is welcomed.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?Any artistic feedback is welcomed.

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)
Sony a7riv. Vertical image shot at 55mm, ISO 50, f/10, 1/6 sec.

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Hi Sheila,

I’m sorry you’re having trouble posting an image, please take a look at this post: How to post a photo

You can still edit your original post by clicking on the pencil icon at the bottom of your post and add the photo.

If you still have problems please send me a message and I would be happy to help.

Thank you. I edited it.

Hi Sheila, welcome to the NPN community and congratulations on posting your first image. It’s a lovely fall color scene! I like how the rock formations, in the foreground, create a diamond shape and frame the cascading waterfall. You also did a great job of framing the house with the colorful trees, while managing to avoid getting the sky in your frame. And with the time of year you chose to photograph this scene, you were able to get some beautiful colors.

I have a few suggestions, which may help to further enhance the image. These are just some ideas of what I might consider doing, but you do what works for your vision and photographic style:

  1. From my perspective, the image is a little flat, tonally speaking, and could use some color balance adjustments. Currently, the yellow tones in the image lean more toward the green hues. You may want to add some more magenta to the balance out the yellows. I also found the red and yellow tones could use a hue adjustment further to the side of cyan. If you utilize Photoshop, I would suggest using HSL, Color Balance, and Selective Color adjustment layers to help balance out the tones in the image. If you don’t use Photoshop, I would suggest working with the Calibration, Hue, Saturation, and Luminosity of Lightroom or whichever post-processing software you use. Also, if you need a reference for a tutorial on balancing fall colors, Blake Rudis has a youTube channel, called “f64 Academy” and he recently posted videos for adjusting colors for fall images, for both Lightroom/ACR and Photoshop. I found those videos to be incredibly helpful, myself.

  2. Since the foreground rock, on the bottom-right, is not as sharp (i.e., out of focus), I would suggest either cropping in a bit more from the bottom, creating a slight vignette around that area, in order to draw attention away from it, or sharpening that area a bit, using a local or masked adjustment. Since the foreground takes up a decent amount of space in the frame, I would lean toward cropping or adding a vignette.

  3. The cascading waterfall is nice, but I think a slightly faster shutter speed would have helped to create further separation between the highlights and shadows in the water. Alternatively, a lower shutter speed would give you a more silky look. From my perspective, the lower part of the falls has nice separation, but the upper part is a bit muddled. In post, you could potentially add some further contrast to the water, by dodging/burning the waterfall.

  4. The mill, itself, is pitched toward the left, which is probably just the way it naturally sits on its foundation. However, when there are man-made structures, some people prefer to straighten those, as it help to create a more serene feel. I could see it going either way, but you may try straightening the image, based on the vertical lines of the mill, to see if it helps reduce any potential tension.

  5. Finally, this is really a matter of preference, like much of the other suggestions, but I do find the smaller streams of waterfall, on the mid-to-left of the frame, to be slightly distracting. You could try cloning those out, to see if it helps to eliminate distractions.

I hope you don’t mind, but I took the liberty of making some adjustments to the image, in Photoshop, to give you a sense of what I might recommend for color balance and contrast. I’ve posted the modified image, below, for reference. If you like these adjustments and have any questions about what I did or need further input, I’m happy to share further details.



Hi Sheila, and welcome! This is a gorgeous scene, well captured. Jimmy has some excellent suggestions to make a very good scene even better. I especially would like to second the mitigation of the leaning mill. It looks like the boards partially visible on the right may be vertical, but I’ll always choose to correct an awkward element if possible. If this was not cropped, I’d hate to lose anything from the edges by a rotation , and the water does feel like it’s falling vertically. The part of the image starting just above the top of the water might be warped discreetly.

Please take these comments not as criticism but as being offered in tribute to a gorgeous image!

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Thank you Jimmy and Diane. I wish I had posted this image BEFORE I had it printed and framed. Your suggestions were very helpful. I will play around with the image to try to implement some of them just for the practice and learning.

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I’m happy to hear the suggestions were helpful, Sheila! :grinning: Even though you have already printed the image, I commend you for working on adjustments for the practice and learning opportunities.

As an FYI, if you respond to people, it’s best to tag them by using an @ symbol and then choosing their profile user name. For example, I can tag you as @sheila_reeves. Otherwise, those people will not be notified if you mention them.

Looking forward to seeing more posts of images from you!

Hi Sheila! Welcome to NPN!

This is an excellent first post. Jimmy and Diane gave great suggestions. I can’t wait to see more of your work.

Sheila, Welcome to NPN. I hope you will find the site and critiques as helpful as I have. I like @Jimmy_Arcade’s color adjustment’s. I also like the falls just as they are. This is a matter of personal taste. I think the falls as you have it shows nice motion while retaining definition. I look forward to seeing more of your images.

This is very nice Sheila. The composition works for me. I especially like how the brightly colored foliage frames the mill while the foreground tells a story about the structure.

On a technical note I’m not sure if this is just due to web sharpening or not, but the foreground appears to be blurry. This is a case where you might have benefited from shooting this image at f14 or f16 to get a bit more depth of field.