Reflections + 2 Reposts crop bottom and darken bottom

Rework 1 - crop bottom and darken LLC

Rework 2 - clone LLC & desaturate yellows in top stone

This is another fav I took on the photography workshop I attended this spring in the Smoky Mountains. It was a very bright blue sunny afternoon and our professional instructors told us this was the perfect day to be taking photos. Since we were headed out to photograph streams, I couldn’t imagine it being the perfect day. Here in the Ithaca area we have plenty of streams and waterfalls and I always try to avoid bright sunny days. It’s always work trying to tone down the white hot spots in the water. We were taken to a stream area where I thought we had landed on the moon. Giant whitish /grey round pitted boulders filled the stream. It was incredible to see. Better yet, some of them were big enough for us to walk out on and set up our cameras. The biggest surprise of this adventure was I learned that the tall over-hanging spring trees reflected yellow on the water because of the bright sun. At first I didn’t see much yellow, but we were taught to use an ND filter around #2 and dial in a slow shutter speed that would bring out the yellow. It didn’t take long before our group was able to see these reflections. We spent the entire afternoon in this area having the most fun capturing yellow reflections. If the community likes this image, I’ll share a couple more I took over the next few days.

Specific Feedback Requested

Anything that would improve this image

Technical Details

ACR, Photoshop and Color Efex Pro for contrast
Sony aR7 iv with ND #2


Wow, what’s not to like about this one, Donna? It’s an excellent example of an intimate landscape with so much going on. I love the reflection in the pool. The swirl in the middle and the little “fall” in the background are nice compliments to the foreground reflection. I also see no movement in the foreground, some in the mid ground, and more in the distance. Great composition.

The only thing that draws me away from the main image is the lower left corner. That dark area really pulls my eye. I don’t think cropping is the answer, but maybe a bit of strategic cloning to blend with the rocks? Just a thought.

And yes, I want to see more!

Thanks David. I worked hard on this composition. At first I was only looking at composing the big water filled hole with the tree reflections. I just couldn’t make that work. It needed more to focus on. I see what you’re saying about the dark area in the bottom rt. Maybe a small crop would help and then darken the bottom a little more? I’ll work on it some and see what others say.

I cropped the bottom a little and then darkened the bottom. I think this made a difference. See what you think? The suggestions I get on these critiques are helping me so much with my processing. Thanks!!

Yes, donna, that works quite nicely. It feels a lot more cohesive. Well done. Can’t wait to see more.

This is fantastic. Along with the reflection in the foreground, the criss-crossing flow of the water to the background has a nice flow to it. And that yellow glow of reflected light is wonderful. I like the rework. Post some more!

Thanks Dean. I’m happy you like this one. I’ll post more.

Wonderful!! And interesting how the slower ss lets the reflected color in the water show more – I don’t think I ever thought about it.

I prefer the first composition and would only clone out or lighten the darkest part in the corner.

I would have had the same reaction to a bright, sunny day but glad you made it work! Eager to see more!

This is a really cool composition, Donna! Very unique and it makes me feel like I’m looking into another world that I could step into through the reflection. Great work!

@Diane_Miller Thank you. It was such a fun day looking for these reflections . It turned a not so good lightening day into a day full of treasures.

Oh these are so fun to find, aren’t they? Playing with shutter speeds can definitely help bring these out, although my experience has been faster does it, not slower, but obviously that’s not a hard and fast rule. I think the cropped and finessed rework is pretty terrific. The colors are so unusual.

Thanks Kristen. I hope to find some of these reflections in my area, if we ever get rain again. We had a dry spring and now a hot dry summer. Our waterfalls are a trickle or dry. I found that my ss for these photos were around 1/4-1/8.

Great composition Donna!
I love the cascading levels of motion and energy as I move through the image.
I agree with the suggestions from @Diane_Miller @David_Bostock regarding the dark spot in the BLC.
I would also desaturate the greens on the moss at the top. I love the colour but I feel that they are so close to the top edge that they create tension and lead my eye out of the frame.
Congrats on putting together all the elements to make this such a cohesive composition.

Thanks for these suggestions. On my rework I cropped the bottom of this image a little and darkened the hole to see if that would help. I was trying to avoid cloning it out . For some reason I wanted to keep it in the photo. Maybe because it was such a special place to see that I didn’t want to erase any of it. Kind of silly. So I decided to clone it out since @David_Bostock @Diane_Miller and you thought it was a distraction. It wasn’t an easy clone. I had to desaturate the yellows in that area. Then I used the lasso tool to grab a large area around the black spot and used the content aware tool. It did a decent job, but there was clean up to do. I also desaturated the moss on the stone where you thought it was causing tension and leading you away. I’ll load the rework shortly.
I hope my cloning job is good enough to look natural.

1 Like

Donna, I can tell it was a lot of work to get clone that hole. But your result is simply awesome. Excellent work!

Great job on the clone Donna.

Cloning looks excellent! You could de a soft-edged darkening to make it drop out of sight even more. What was eye-grabbing wasn’t so much the darkness but its sharp edge.


Wonderful image! One of my first thoughts aside from the reflections (the color up top and the pool at the bottom) was the idea of this being a 50-50 composition where you have great interest in both halves of the image. But I say that, and then will turn around and say that this two-part image doesn’t feel that way - but looks/feels like a cohesive composition and I think works beautifully. I think it must be the water, the swirls and motion and the still of the water that ties it all together. This is a very beautiful and enjoyable nature intimate.

Great job and thanks for taking the time to rework and incorporate the suggestions. I like what you did with the various saturation levels in your last post. And I like where you are going - or went with the cloning of the LLC (lower left corner). I think though that there’s enough real estate there that it’s approaching like it looks like it was cloned - although you did very well. I think maybe all it needs there would be to darken it slightly (not like original,) but just a tad darker to draw less attention to that area. actually, the clone is quite good and only a nitpicking photographer like me would nitpick this… but that area looks a little less consitent of any of the surrounding rock. And I would only get this picky if this is an image that you wanted permanently displayed in a print…

This image makes me want to get on a little stream like this and seeking out those reflected colors! soon, soon!


Donna, I am late to the party here, and you have already got a lot of good advice so I will only give my vote, and that goes to the second rework. Great image!

You’re never to late. Thanks Ola.