Layers of texture

Walking toward Mesquite Dunes in Death Valley, I stopped for breath and to enjoy the scene. This is the result of 2 or 3 focus-stacked images. Any suggestions welcome, especially on increasing either impact or feeling. Some have suggested cropping most of the bottom, but that seems to make the image top-heavy.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

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Dick: Well seen, captured and processed. Really good tonal range and the disparate elements work together very nicely. My only suggestion would be to burn down slightly the one hot spot above the mountains on the right as it does pull my eye a bit. Nice take on one of my favorite places on the planet. >=))>

Perfect use of black-and-white. Excellent shapes, diagonals, and texture to this image. I agree that perhaps cutting off small part of the bottom would be beneficial.

Nice arrangement of tones and shadows. I would crop 1/2 of the sand at the bottom. I’m also not sure about that totally black sky.

Dick, this is a fine set of layers (and textures) that looks great in B&W. I’m enjoying the play of light and shadow, especially on those shrubs in the middle with their bright bottoms and dark tops. The sensuous curves of the dunes do a fine job of leading from the foreground to the distant mountains. Yes, I could see this without about half of the sand, but that either leaves you with an unusual shape or cropping some of the shrubs and each of those has it’s own drawback. Something else to possibly try would be to increase the contrast in the sand area.

Yes, those clouds are a globby white

Thanks to all. Please take some credit or pleasure in helping to create a better image.

Hello, Dick, I like this version much better: it manages to keep all those wonderful layers of different greys which make it such a good image for B&W without overdoing it. I don’t know if I’m right but I sensed (in the original) that playing with the luminosity sliders of each colour ,might have gone a tad too far, which made some bits too bright and some too dark, both from the point of view of detail and “realism” (plus the sky issue) in an effort to maximise contrast. But I think you have a great image and love the recent edit. Philip

A very compelling image, Dick. I really like the mood you created with this and I do like your final edit a little bit more than the original. Before I looked at the other comments, I felt that a tad more room on the top would be nice as it felt just a touch too crowded there. I also felt (and still do) that the black patch on the left of the image disrupts the flow more than I really like, but I don’t know what you could do about it.

I don’t understand why some of the branches are black like that. I think that hurts the image somewhat.

Igor, I checked the exposures from which this image was made, and the branches are black in places. I expect the harsh heat combined with the dryness has chemically reduced some of the wood or its bark to carbon.

Thanks. I thought they were just in the shade.

My wife was also distracted by that black blob. I moved the black output for that area from 0 to 10

, I like the result better. Thanks to you and her for pointing that out.

My wife saw that black blob right away. I changed the output from 0 to 10 and that was about as far as I can take it. An improvement. Thank you.

Love this Dick! Great layers and varying textures. Lovely image.