Jobs Pond Abstract

What technical feedback would you like if any?

Looking for input on the white balance and color saturation used in processing this image.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

How do people feel about the composition, especially the prominent spruce tree on the left side of the reflection

Any pertinent technical details:

Canon 5D MkIV, Canon 70-200mm f4, ISO 320 at 200mm, 1.3 sec. at f16.

This reflection abstract is from my 2018 trip to Vermont for fall colors. This pond was all spruce trees at the shoreline, but on the mountainside above it was the most colorful stand of red maples that I have seen in a long time. The early morning light hitting the mountain created the most intense colors in the reflections. This was actually difficult to process, I reduced saturation significantly, and and would like peoples thoughts on whether I dialed it back too much, or whether it is still too saturated. My perception of the saturation level may be too strongly influenced by how I saw the scene with my eyes. So I am looking for more objective evaluations from other folks.

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

The scene and composition look beautiful to my eye. I toyed with a right crop to eliminate the far right spruce but concluded I like it better as is. I might kick up the vibrance a little, but otherwise, the saturation looks good to me. Beautiful autumn abstract.

Ed, this is quite the reflection abstract with it’s eye popping colors. The colors, shapes and brightness are nicely balanced. I wasn’t there so I don’t know what “reality” looked like, but my first impression is that the yellows and oranges are still a bit too saturated. I would also suggest a bit of dodging of the bright white aspen/birch trunks, especially in the upper right, to give them a bit stronger presence.

Thanks Harley. I do see what you are saying about the right spruce, and I think you hit on something. It may be better with a slight crop from the right. I assume by vibrance you mean increasing the saturation of the less saturated colors?

Thanks Mark, I appreciate some independent input on the saturation. I actually reduced red and yellow saturation about 20%, but was worried i need to take it down a little further. I also think it may be too warm, and that may be contributing to the reds and yellows popping too much.

Correct but I am suggesting the use of a vibrance layer in PS rather than boosting saturation (i.e. a saturation layer). It provides much more subtle changes and as you say, typically boosts the less saturated colors but does boost overall and works quite well.

Ed, there’s lots to like here. I think the comp looks fine. You have good balance of primary colors, and the taller evergreens, especially the one on the left, make for a good rule of thirds presentation. And I particularly like how the bare trunks break up the colored parts. In fact, I would think that you could flip it vertically to make an interesting impressionistic option. That said, I don’t know if you have any frames faster than 1.3 second, but it would be interesting to see the reflections with just a bit more detail, which might could work well with that impressionistic option. As to the saturation, it’s certainly got the wow factor. To me at first glance it still seems too saturated, but please bear in mind that in my area of the Gulf Coast, any subtle signs of fall color are so drab as to be virtually nonexistent. This would make a colorful wall hanger, but with a strong caveat: make sure you have plenty of ink :sunglasses:

Thanks for the comments Bill. Unfortunately I don’t have any frames that were a faster shutter speed, and there was a bit of wind starting to kick in.

Obviously, when seeking comments I thought I had this still too saturated (despite pulling it down already), and a couple of the critique comments here seem to agree. Attached is a re-post with red/yellow saturation pulled down even more, and a slight crop from the right.

I don’t think the colors are over saturated at all. Looks like a nice painting to me. If anything, I would add a touch of contrast via a curves adjustment layer with the blending mode set to luminosity. I like the original better than the repost.

Beautiful autumn abstract, Ed. I think the repost is a definite improvement. The slight crop tightens the composition and I think the lower saturation gives the image a more painterly, delicate look.

I find the colors a bit too strong. You either go with the pastel approach as your rework suggests or you could shoot later in the day. I just think this was shot without optimal light.


I love these types of reflection abstracts. They’re fun, at the same time challenging picking out the most favorable composition.

Igor touches on it a little. I’m pretty much ok with the saturation, but the first thing I thought was this was slightly too bright. And the more I think and after Igor’s comment, it’s really the surface of the water that seems a bit bright, which almost seems to wash out the reflection - if that makes sense. This one’s tough to play with in PS as the compressed small files, the reds/oranges clip real fast. I think just dropping say a 1/2 stop of exposure and perhaps even burning down the top edge would be nice tweaks.


I prefer the saturation of the repost, but like the original crop more. Both images work as shown, though.

White balance and saturation looks ok to me, but on my work monitor (uncalibrated), the contrast appears to be lacking somewhat. I might suggest a small boost there. Wonderful colors!