Rays for Days

Hi everyone, I’d love some critique on this image please. I’ve been breaking out the long lens recently which is a bit alien to me and eager to learn and develop.

This image was taken a few weeks ago looking down Newlands Valley towards Buttermere in the Lake District. I was driving down the valley to another location when the light exploded so I pulled over and quickly composed this shot. I love the way the light rays flood the mountains in the mid and background but gently kiss the foreground slope.

The image has been processed to feel warm, this was intentional to convey the scene how I felt it. Do the shadows in the FG need cooling down? I’m also thinking the foreground is too dominant and needs cropping from the bottom to balance it better.

I like how the light on the various layers lead you through the image to the peak in the BG but I am happy to be guided if you feel this doesn’t work. The image has been cropped down to feel more balanced and has had some dodging, burning, warming, negative dehaze (to add atmosphere and glow to the rays) and an Orton effect plus a bit of warping to the peak and the slope on the upper right corner to help frame the image.

I look forward to your thoughts.

Many thanks



This is absolutely fantastic! Aside from the gorgeous light, impact, etc., one of my first thoughts was the barren landscape - no trees, vegetation? (ok, closer inspection, it looks like there’s ground cover, small bushes covering the hills? - but still stark and barren looking.) I think the stark landscape really, really has an impact here and the light, rays and haze is really allowed to shine here.

I wouldn’t change a thing. I love the WB here and as far as the foreground, NO, NO, it’s not too dominant. I think it’s balanced nicely with the midground - and even the bright sky above (I don’t see a viable crop - I suppose you could crop the sky, but the impact wouldn’t be the same.)

Outstanding image. Congrats!


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Hi Chris,

Great light!. I think it works as is but here are couple of suggestions if you’d like to experiment. Maybe a bit more space on the top of the frame could work - hard to say without seeing both. And perhaps add some colour contrast to the shadows.

But I think what makes the image for me is the mood. Well done.

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Thanks very much guys. I did have a lot more of the sky in shot but the clouds spoiled it. They were sparse and quite bright which pulls the eye upwards which I was trying to avoid.

I agree about the contrast, I did add a bit but on reflection I think it needs more to add some detail and texture to the foreground.

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Hi Chris, this is really good. I love every thing about it with the exception of sky. I would crop this in a heartbeat so only the rays can shine. Well done.

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Great work. I like this as presented. Cropping the sky is a viable option, but I think I prefer it left in.

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