It lies beyond

Critique Style Requested: Standard

The photographer is looking for generalized feedback about the aesthetic and technical qualities of their image.


A look at some of the lovely dormant foliage on the big island in the middle of Horn Lake. It looks like you can paddle through, but you can’t. You can, however, get out of the boat if you want and walk across to the back, but it’s a lot more fun to paddle the edges. I think this is basically a semi-floating peat mat anchored by trees and large bushes. Horn lake is probably a kettle bog so varies in height according to rainfall and snowmelt. Paddling it is like being on a river in the sense that you can’t see far ahead and it’s not open except at one end where the island peters out.

Specific Feedback

I took some pains to line up the slice of water going into the back and to accentuate the colors of the leaves in the red plants. The contrasts intrigued me and since so much of our plants are dormant, they are in this state a lot of the time. I have some shots without that tiny tree in the LRC and they just don’t work as well. Funny.

Technical Details

Handheld messing with new polarizer


Lr for processing - because a global adjustment to even out luminosities made the sky all weird, I masked them both separately for individual treatment. It was a cloudy day, but not stormy so I didn’t want too much drama up there. Instead I used a variety of color masks to manage highlights and shadows. Also the HSL panel to play with color luminosity - especially the yellow grasses that edge the island.

Wow, Kris, this image has presence. Wonderful depth and it really draws you in. Nice one!

Hey Kristen, you’ve done a really good job to balance the image and make sure the sky doesn’t draw away from the interest below. That can be really challenging and something I mess up quite often! The spacing around the image works well, my only concern is with the ripples in the water at the bottom of the frame. They keep pulling me down to the bottom. I’m wondering if they are from the boat and if it would even be possible to make an image without them. I messed with a 16x9 crop but it felt too cramped that way. Not a deal breaker by any means but I wonder if it is possible to get the glassy reflection like you have just above.

Thanks Davids, who I promise I don’t really get mixed up. :laughing:

I was hesitant to post this one because it feels hum drum to me in some ways, but I really like these kinds of subtle landscapes so I did and I’m glad it resonates with you.

Without that little bit of water @David_Bostock, the depth just didn’t translate. In summer the foliage in back is filled in as well, so I think that also adds dimension rather than a solid wall of leaves.

The ripples are from the wind @David_Wallace - I was standing on the bank for this one and yeah, I wish the reflection was less jagged, but I did my best to darken and soften by reducing exposure and clarity with a radial mask. Some days the wind just never quits.

1 Like

I love scenes like this in our corner of the universe. The range of colors is very attractive, and I like the way you let the water guide us back into the forest edge. For me personally, I find the bright sky to be distracting from the main area of interest, which I see as the strip of golden grass separating the water from the reddish shrubs. I struggle with compositions like this, as I am attracted to the small components of the scene but am always drawn to trying to put the larger landscape in context. I’ve said “I” and “me” far too often in this post, sorry.

Thanks @jefflafrenierre - glad you like it, but the sky has to stay the way it is. If I darken it, weird artifacts and halos come up and well, that’s just bad. Glad you like it otherwise and don’t sweat the me/myself and I in your response. It’s sometimes the only way to frame thoughts.

This not ordinary. Not by a lot. Wonderful greens and lovely depth with a nice variation in tree sizes. The little one is just plain cute! The dark reflection in the quiet water is a lovely feature. Too bad about the sky – a little darker might be nice. I hate it when I’ve reached the limits of pulling out detail. Happens too much.