Out the Back - plus a re-work

Mesquite Dunes in blue hour. When I saw these shapes it reminded me of being out the back in the surf looking towards shore as the waves break. I imagine this is a static version of being out in huge Hawaiian surf.

What technical feedback would you like if any? Anything

What artistic feedback would you like if any? Balance of the composition. I cropped the original hoping to find a balance between left and right and top and bottom

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

1s, f/16, ISO 100, 358mm

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I really like the shapes and the blue feel to this one. I would be inclined to crop to just below where the bottom dune exits the left edge. With the large kind of blank area at the bottom, it feels bottom heavy to me. Nice take from Mesquite.

Maybe a slight crop from the bottom but not much. I really like this blue hour take of the dunes, too. Quite peaceful!

I echo Harley’s and Adhika’s comments but would crop bottom half way between bottom and where bottom dune exits left edge.

I love the wonderful luminosity of the dunes Nathan. I agree with the others on a crop from the bottom.

I love dunes and desert scenes. Alas we don’t have such things in Scotland. I love the blue toned recessive backdrop that could be mistaken for some sort of weird sky but is obviously a compression effect of long lens and the hills in the background, I guess with associated blue haze. Nice tones and gorgeous light on the sand.

I love the tones an the warm/cool contrast of this image. I agree with others about cropping some off the bottom, it feels empty down there.

Tremendous beauty, am enjoying the colors greatly, especially in the winter. Agree with most commenters that this would work better as a pano losing some of the untextured sand in the bottom of the image.


Never been on a surfboard, but I can most definitely see and get what you’re describing of the breaking waves from the back side, kind of frozen in time. Very cool. I see it.

What I love even more are the steely tones. Mixing that blue hour light with the warmth of the dunes is creating quite the beautiful look.

I suppose my arm could be twisted on a bottom crop. It certainly wouldn’t hurt the image I don’t think. But there’s also something to be said by the very soft and faint detail… kinda looking at a 00 grit piece of sandpaper from a couple feet away (not sure if that comes close to making a connection…)



I like the warm and cool colors here, and the luminosity of the highlights on the dunes. I love the long sweeping line of the bottom-most dune, it just pulls your eye across the scene. I also agree with the others comments about a crop from the bottom. With strong horizontal lines like these, a more panoramic aspect ratio would work well.


Oh my goodness, I’m so glad I came back here - so I could apologize! Yikes, so sorry and hopefully it’s a good compliment, but when I saw the image I just assumed it was Dave’s - a bit similar to his annual EP awarded image. My bad. Good news is that my opinion doesn’t change, this is an outstanding image.

Sorry for the mix up!


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@Harley_Goldman @Adhika_Lie @Jim_Gavin @Eva_McDermott @Ian_Cameron @Craig_Moreau @Jim_McGovern @Lon_Overacker @Ed_McGuirk thank you for commenting on this image. I agree that the bottom can use a bit of a trim I’ve posted a 16x9 ratio version which might be an improvement.

Ian, desert places like death valley are definitely worth travelling for. For me the place is like Disney Land for photographers. I’ll definitely go back.


Nathan, Beautiful take on the dunes. I really love subtle colors and tones. Nicely balanced composition. I’ve gone back and forth on the two crops - both work but I slightly prefer the 16x9 crop.

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The 16 x 9 is my favorite, too.