Warm and Cool Tafoni Edit....Added a Square Crop as Suggested


Square Crop

On my return trip from a recent family vacation we stopped along the central California coast which was near to a location I knew had Tafoni. I had most of an afternoon and an early morning to photograph before heading home the next day.
As I was walking around, I noticed this blue glow behind some of the typical orange colored tafoni. It made for a nice contrast in both color and texture as the blue sandstone behind the tafoni was almost smooth. This was a very small scene so I had to be a contortionist to get me and my tripod into a spot in order to shoot this. This was a 7 image focus stack.

Specific Feedback Requested

Any and all feedback please.

Technical Details

Z7ii, 24-70mm lens @ 35mm, ISO 100, 1/15 sec, f/13, 7 image focus stack, manual mode.


Beautifully seen and captured David! Great find with the blues and excellent job presenting the warm and cool colors. This works wonderfully. The texture of the sand is excellent too.

I’m not sure if this is a suggestion that would improve, or not. But wondering what a light crop bottom and right would do? Not so much that you create a 50/50 split, but I think maybe there’s more space bottom/right than needed? It’s a all about the smooth cool tones meeting the warmer tones - AND those wonderful taffoni sand patterns. These are always fascinating - like a big cut-away of an ant farm or some inset dwelling. Very cool!



David, I really like this a lot. Wonderful shapes, textures, and color. I like it as is, but I did a quick crop like @Lon_Overacker suggested and found that it helped to accentuate the cooler tones in the upper left. Either way works well. Great catch on this one.

Wonderful scene, David. I like the way you presented it with the transition of color. My first thought after “beautiful!” was what would a square crop look like? I often try that with scenes like this. That may be too much, but maybe along the lines of what Lon mentioned. Other than that, really just wanted to say how much I like this.

Glad to see you back and posting your great images. This one’s no exception. I’ve always found Tafoni to be very expressive without really understanding why. The colors you’ve chosen to use are very natural and that’s pretty common with your images. I like this composition as is. The yellow part is more interesting and should be given a larger amount of space. And that’s what you’ve done. Great job.

David, wonderful image. The subtle cool and warm tones, separated by the row of holes in the middle, combined with the texture of the Tafoni, make for a compelling composition. I almost see a Scream-like skeleton face at the top.

Hi David. This is very beautiful.
i love the color contrast you get here with all the nuances of blues and yellows working together.
I believe you got the composition right. (one small detail i would fix is a little black “whatever” on the the first 1/3 on the top edge).

@Lon_Overacker , @Igor_Doncov , @David_Bostock , @Jack_Krohn , @David_Mullin , @joaoquintela , Thank you for your comments and suggestions.

Lon, Jack and David B, I actually have a square crop of this which I will post tonight when I get home. Thanks for taking a look.

Igor, Always good to hear from you. I agree that Tafoni can be extremely expressive and I think it’s because of all the shapes and textures which let your mind wander a little bit. Kind of like clouds where you see animals, figures etc. and let your imagination run wild. As I’ve stated above, I also have a square crop which I like but not as much as this current crop because I feel that the tafoni, which is the orange part of this image , is really what the image is about. Thanks as always for your comment.
David M, I see the exact same scream face in the very upper portion of the dark band of tafoni. Glad you saw that. Like Igor mentioned, these tafoni images are so expressive and if you look long enough at most of them, you can find your imagination taking over. Thanks for chiming in David.
Joao, Thanks for your comment. I’m trying to figure out what little black spot your referencing. Is it the little black spot right at the very top of the frame in the blue sandstone? Thanks for your help and glad you like this one Joao.

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I agree with this assessment as well… it’s a very nice image!

That’s the one…

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This is such a wonderful image David! I love the form, the texture, the soft light, and that nice balance between the subtle warm and cool tones. Before reading the other comments, I also thought that a square crop of just the left side would be quite fitting for a subject like this, and then I read Jack’s comment on the very same thing. In any case, such a wonderful image of a fascinating subject.

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Wonderful how the soft light works with the very interesting shapes here! This is a very worthy addition to your previous work in this genre. I like the original crop as you suggested, to give more emphasis to the orange shapes, with the softer cool areas playing a supporting role.

@Matt_Payne , @Ben_Horne , @Diane_Miller
Thanks very much for your suggestions. I added a square crop to this image which I like. I think in the landscape version, I liked the big triangular shape that is slightly lighter in color than the rest of the orange sandstone. Now that I see them side by side, the square crop is tidier I think. Thank you all for your thoughts on how to improve this image. I have never posted an image that doesn’t get better after having NPNer’s take a look at it. For that, I am grateful.
@Lon_Overacker , @David_Bostock , @Jack_Krohn , I think you were right on the crop. Thanks very much!


Looks great David, nicely done!

Great image David. Love all the elements that the others have already mentioned. “Tafoni.” That’s a new word for me. I have a couple images from Barbados with this type of formation and I always wondered if there was a name for it. Love the final square cropped version.

Crop nails it David! Love it - thanks for taking the time and the considering all the feedback!

I love the square crop David! The blues, earth tones, sand sculpture shapes, and textured detail are mesmerizing.

Oh, I really like the square crop David. This would be a gorgeous print.

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@Matt_Payne , @AndreDonawa , @Lon_Overacker , @Eva_McDermott , @Jack_Krohn . Thanks very much for taking a second look and giving me your feedback on the square crop. It certainly does seem more balanced. Thanks again! I Love this community!