Goodnight Kiss W/Recommended edits


Cooler and more magenta

Cropped from top and edges and combined cooler tones with warmers tones

This image is from Death Valley a couple of months ago. This is along that same highline ridge as my last image from Death Valley looking back towards the overlook area. This is about 3 minutes before the sun set all the way so there are a couple of ridge tops that are getting hit with light but mostly that one golden butte that’s sticking up the highest.

Specific Feedback Requested

This is very naturally processed but I’m including a second version which I’ve processed with a little bit of magenta and I’m just wondering which you prefer. As always, thanks for taking the time to have a look and provide some input on this.

Technical Details

Z7ii, 70-200mm lens with 2x teleconverter, ISO 80, F/11 @ 1/15th of second, 400mm, manual mode


This caught my eye right away David. I like the shapes in the foreground, and throughout. The orange yellow brightly lit rock is cool, and for me really fits well with the magenta version. Nicely seen!

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First post, bear with me.

I prefer the original picture. The colors look more natural to me (viewing on an OLED phone).

It looks good for a natural edit, the only thing I can think of to play with is some dodging and burning to draw the eye to the subject.

Looking at it again, I’ve personally been suckered into the desaturated look so I’d also play with pulling back the Blues a bit also.

That would be my taste, (a little less blue) but it stands quite well as posted. I bet it would look amazing printed out huge.

Thanks for the share :slightly_smiling_face:


Wonderful image, David. I prefer the original as I’m a sucker for that “Gucci” light, as a photographer friend calls that golden sunset light. The flow of light in front to dark in back is perfect. I don’t have any nits or anything. Nice work!

Boy, that is a hard decision. I like them both. I like the fg in the original better but I like the blue hills in the blue image more. Really hard choice but I’ll go with the cooler version because the colors have been worked out more consistently. The orange mound stands out more prominently against all that blue. Really hard choice though. I could just as easily make an argument for the other one. Love all those organic forms.

Oh, I definitely prefer the cooler version. For me, when you have that combination of warm yellow light and blues, it gives the image an overall greenish tinge. The colors in the cooler version feel more compatible.

Cont me in for the cooler version too, David. Awesome shot all the way around.

I’m for the cooler version, which feels that much richer to me. The lighter version feels a bit tentative.
P.S. I had a similar thought to @Diane_Miller with regards to cropping from the top to lose the lighter rock face.

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Gorgeous light on a deserving subject. Don’t make me choose, but maybe how about a blend of the two with a warmer FG and cooler BG? I’m wondering about cropping from the top to lose the lighter rock face?

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You captured the light perfectly, David! I feel like I’m there. I think I like the bottom cooler version better because it seems to capture that time of day more accurately. The top one is not just warm but almost like there’s too much foreground light than what would actually be there in real life. Not sure if what I’m trying to say makes sense or not. It’s a beautiful image either way!

David, I enjoyed both versions. The image has wonderful lines and layers in it. I do prefer the cooler version as it seems more natural to my eye with shadows being cooler. Nice work!

Great image, the light is just amazing. I would like to combine the upper half from the original with the lower half from the cooler image.

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Yet another beautiful and unique image from DV! Wow, the light is gorgeous and the timing - couldn’t have done better.

The color I’ll comment on in a sec, but first I must say the layering, and compression of the layers and what you’ve managed to include in a single frame is quite special. I think more than the colors. If it weren’t for the mountains rising up in the background, this would have an even more impression feel of “infinite geology.” (I just made that up this moment…) Literally amazing what is compressed in this frame.

I wasn’t there and so I don’t have that first hand experience of what you saw. This reminds me of the Goldie Locks and the Three Little Bears - There’s a “too much”, then there’s a “not enough” and then there’s “just right.” But I don’t know what that “just right is”. I love the light on beacon in the first, but overall feels too warm (to me) and the second one, I like the color/saturation at the bottom, but a little too cool overall. I think the baby bear version is a combo of the two as someone else has suggested.

No doubt though, this is a fantastic image and well worth the effort to, quoting Tony Kuyper, “make the image the best it can be,” because this deserves to be printed large!

Hope at least some of this makes sense… especially my fairy tale analogy… :roll_eyes:


@Mark_Muller, @andronik, @David_Mullin, @Igor_Doncov, @Bonnie_Lampley, @David_Bostock, @Kerry_Gordon, @Diane_Miller, @Vanessa_Hill, @Alfredo_Mora, @Ola_Jovall, @Lon_Overacker

Thank you for your comments and suggestions. The reason I posted two images was that I was conflicted between the warmer image and the cooler image. After processing the original image in a way that was very natural looking, I thought maybe it was too warm so I created a virtual copy and redid the image to be cooler in a more magenta way than a blue way.
I think @Lon_Overacker has most likely nailed it when he says that the best image may be somewhere in between these two. Because the sun was mostly gone when I took this, there were warm colors and cool colors and trying to find a happy medium has been tough.
I’ve posted a rework that I’m not all together sure about. I cropped the lighter rocky outcropping as @Diane_Miller and @Kerry_Gordon suggested and I also cropped off both the left and right sides to keep the ratio fairly similar. I’ve warmed some sections and cooled others but I’m not sure about any of it. Mostly, I’m not sure about the crop from the top to remove the lighter section but I can see why that was brought up. It does tick out. I would love to hear your thoughts on this. You always help makes my images better but this one is confounding me a bit.
And Lon, I totally understood the fairy tale analogy. :slight_smile:

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I still like the middle one the best. I feel like the crop puts the lit up cliff/peak in the wrong place. Just my thoughts.

Frankly, I’m surprised at the difference the crop makes. For me, the immediacy of the tighter version makes the photograph that much more compelling and makes an image that, for me, was kinda “meh”, into something that pulls me in and keeps me there. I just realized that in the cropped version you have a set of diagonals that clearly define the foreground, a second set of diagonals that clearly define the mid-ground, and a third set that clearly define the background - rather than the background and then a bit more of something else. I realize that’s what bothers me in the uncropped version - its diagonals from front to back until you get to the upper left quadrant where it all goes level. But you know how it is, David, take a poll of a hundred people and ask them which one they like best and it’ll be a fifty-fifty split every time. It all comes back to you, my friend.

What a difference!! And a wonderful exercise into seeing – and rendering.

@Diane_Miller, @Kerry_Gordon, @Vanessa_Hill …Thanks so much for your additional input on this one.
It’s been a conundrum for me so this certainly helps with my confusion. But, as Kerry points out, it all comes back to me and what I prefer. I have to say that the cropped version is definitely growing on me but I also see exactly what Vanessa sees. Oh, the choices! :slight_smile:

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I will fall in line with those who liked the cooler image. Very nice perspective. There are lots of images taken from your vantage point and you were able to make it your own. Well done.

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Thanks for your comment Don. I appreciate your input. Cooler definitely wins.