Sleeping grasses

This image is taken in late Autumn 2022. My main intent on taking this image was (as the title indicates) for the sleeping grasses across the water. I was taken at how red (accentuated for effect) the one patch was among all the brown. I framed this using 2 trees and its branches and roots. I was hoping for more out of the reflection. If anyone knows how to bring that out, I would appreciate it!. There is a spindly branch in the lower right of the image. I’m hoping it isn’t too distracting to draw the viewer out of the image. I’m not sure what the blue on the tree trunk is. It’s an artifact from something. I can’t tell what though. My feeling when I see this image is that of the demise of one season and the potential for a new one.

Type of Critique Requested

  • Aesthetic: Feedback on the overall visual appeal of the image, including its color, lighting, cropping, and composition.
  • Conceptual: Feedback on the message and story conveyed by the image.
  • Emotional: Feedback on the emotional impact and artistic value of the image.
  • Technical: Feedback on the technical aspects of the image, such as exposure, color, focus and reproduction of colors and details, post-processing, and print quality.

Specific Feedback and Self-Critique

I am not proficient in post processing . I’m working on it. I’ve taken the most difficult road by using DarkTable and gleaning whatever training i can get off of YouTube! I did a small amount of select colour grading (red grass mostly) . I think my composition skills are coming along. I’d love to hear anything to improve my processing, etc.

Technical Details

iphone 14 pro max. F1.8 .



I really like this! Such a lovely, quiet and serene scene. When I first saw the small image appear in the main gallery, I thought how it looked like a painting. Yes, this has a painterly look. Of course opening up the larger view brings in the contrast and details and the painting notion fades a little bit - but I thought about trying to retain that look.

The composition is excellent how you’ve framed with the pair of tree trunks, and especially how the roots anchor and frame the bottom of the image.

This is honest - not once did I notice that branch all the while I was playing with it in PS - and not until you mentioned. So to answer the question, to me, NO the branch at the bottom is not a distraction. In fact, it’s perfectly aligned and blends in with the root. If anything, the errant twigs on the right edge are more of distraction - but not so much that they take too much out of the image

Yikes, have no idea what happened there. Looks like a mask or gamut warning or something in a PS layer. Have no idea how that came about without seeing the RAW. As far as getting rid of the blue, I opened Levels layer with a darks mask and set the black pt as well as pretty much dropping the blue channel.

Aside from the technicals, I’m really enjoying the reddish foreground which ties in quite nicely with the reds that you’re trying to connect with on the far shore. I did feel the reds and orange in that area are a little over saturated. - but the connection between the two shores is strong and I like whtat you saw and framed.

As far as the reflection you wanted to bring out. I painted in some contrast and dodged a little bit in the water. The after thought is that reflections are never brighter than the source scene, so I think I went too far there.

Lastly, I added a slight Orton effect to try and retain the painterly look I initially felt. Oh, and a little vignette.

This is a scene certainly worth developing. As far as the processing goes… my approach has been over the years is to take one thing at a time… Learn a new technique and if you like it, add it to your workflow. But for sure, don’t try and do it all at once! Learning masking and “painting” on those masks is maybe the biggest skill to master.

thanks for posting, hope this helps.


Duncan, @Lon_Overacker .has said it all about this beautiful image. The composition is what struck me most ! About the development, keep asking and learning. Although I find your image is coming in the good direction .


A lovely image, Duncan. It is done in an illustrator’s style, very much what I might expect to find in a story book. The colours are delightful and the composition spot on. I think Lon’s slight rework tops it up. The blue artifacts, as Lon suggested, are very likely from having the histogram in Lr on. The blue would indicate that the blacks in those areas are being clipped. How you managed to include those blue clipping indicators is a bit of a head scratcher. Very nice work.

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Such a quiet, lovely image. It’s relatively simple but it’s also full of wonderful details and color contrasts. If it were mine, I’d probably have tried to allow a little more room between the trees on the left and the edge of the frame. Aside from that, nothing to really critique. Nice work!

I think @Lon_Overacker review pretty much nails this one, Duncan. I love the composition and the colors in the scene. Those blue tones on the trunk are definitely a head scratcher but maybe it’s an iphone thing. Who knows but it looks like Lon took care of it for you. Like Lon, I never even noticed the branch in the very lower right corner of the image until you mentioned it but also like Lon, I really noticed the branch poking into the scene on the right edge about half way up.
All in all, a lovely image.

Thank you all for your critiques. I am grateful for your opinions. I will continue to improve with these great comments.

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What a lovely peaceful image, Duncan. This makes me want to just sit and relax with my back up against the birch tree while I enjoy the scene before me. I like the rework by @Lon_Overacker as it took care of those blue spots beautifully. The little branches on the right do not bother me, but if you wanted you could try cloning them out. I could see just a bit more room on the left side, but that is minor stuff. Very nicely done!

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