What do you see?

It’s pretty clear to me, but maybe not you?

Whenever I travel to Yosemite I can’t help but stop at this rock along the Merced river. No matter how many times I stop here, I always find something different.

Thanks for any comments,


You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

processing, color/sat?

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

any thoughts welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

(If this is a composite, etc. please be honest with your techniques to help others learn)

This is a 4-image focus stack. Shooting upwards and at slight angle I pretty much shot an image near each corner and blended in Helicon focus.

Nikon D800E, 28-300mm @68mm f/14 1/5s iso100

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Really cool, Lon… I see a Roman Centurion face.

Amazing find Lon! I see the face of a Roman Centurion too, and he is in agony. Well done!

It looks like a creature out of a graphic novel. Really cool! No thoughts on processing; it looks good as is.

A giant bird-like thing behind a guy in a hoodie. The thing has grabbed the top of the hoodie with the guy in it. By the way, excellent image.

I see a fascinating rock wall, with nice textures and interesting colors, nice and sharply presented! :wink: Ok, I also see a head, and when rotated 90 deg ccl I think a fish?

Rotated 90 degrees clockwise, I see a San Jose Shark. Sorry, being from the Boston area and a rabid hockey fan and player, I have the Stanley Cup playoffs on my mind, go Bruins !!!

I would warm this up a bit, right now this Shark has been had by the Blues :cold_sweat:

I am seeing the shark. The “other” Sharks are up against the wall, but so is this one. Cool colors, lines and shapes.

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Lon, another one for the shark with the rock rotated. The colors are a real plus in getting our minds to visualize a variety of ideas in the end. I assume the rust color is a bit of iron-ore, but merely a guess on that point. A very solid image with the geological abstract(s) outcome overall…:+1:

Thanks everyone! I hadn’t seen the fish/or shark, but it’s clear now.

Hilarious Ed! Well, not so funny after Sunday’s game. I’ll look forward to a little fun - IF the sharks can get over that wall and turn the “blues” in to gold… What I see is more holy… and the Shark’s could use some divine intervention… :innocent::rofl:

You get 2 LOL’s and an ROFL :rofl: too Harley…

Go “Sharks!”

The face in agony reminds me of Dante’s Inferno. I still couldn’t see the shark though! I Would brighten this up a tad, Lon. I think the color is beautiful though.

O.K. Harley. Indulge me if you will for something different.
“The Scream” by Van Gogh. Not the same architecture but it elicits the same mood for me.

Yep, I can see the feeling and even the look of The Scream. But I believe it was Edvard Munch rather than Van Gogh?

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KKK, a clansman.

As you like to comment, there are numerous possible crops with an abstract. I have trouble with verticals generally. Here are what came to mind quickly.

I flipped this one on it’s side and cropped the shark look out of it. Go Warriors!

Dang. Still looks sharked.

I have seen several of your images of this subject and I personally feel that you generally shoot them from too far away. The rich detail is not presented to it’s optimum value. I would create closer compositions. My dos centavos.

A rather anguished monk with a broken nose. Colour and sat. look absolutely fine to me, Lon - the whole image has wonderful impasto=like texture.

Thanks again everyone for playing along with the “What do you see” exercise. Definitely something to let the imagination kick in.

Interesting you mention this Igor, but every time I visit this wall, I scamble up the scree base and spend time inspecting, even feeling the wall with my hands noting the fine and varied detail. I’m sure everyone has their little moments with nature. This place is one of mine.

But I will say that most of what I see on this wall are shapes, geometry, colors, lines, etc. Not so much micro details. No doubt those details, textures, etc. are there and I have one coming up that is closer that may be closer to what you’re looking for.

Sadly, the Shark is retired for the season. The blues definitely oversaturated the colors here…

I wasn’t referring to how close you examine the subject. I was referring to how close the subject appears on the image. Sorry for the confusion. I actually was going to shoot that same place a few weeks ago but my health did not permit me.

I see a rock wall with all sorts of fascinating textures, shapes, and colors. I saw the shark after others mentioned it. Regardless of what it is or could be, this photo really caught my eye a few days ago and I have been meaning to comment on it since then. I think the processing and composition are spot on, and the subject is fascinating. I have also been meaning to tell you that your work has inspired me for years, since my time on the former NPN site. I really struggled with photographing trees and your work inspired me to try harder. Now, trees are one of my favorite subjects. I learned so much from studying your inspiring portfolio, so thank you!

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Thank You so much @Sarah_Marino! Wow, I’m so flattered. And thank you so much for taking the time and the very kind and generous words!


As humans, we’re pretty much programmed to look for faces in everything. I can see one here quite easily. And once I see it, I can’t unsee it. Maybe you should flip this upside-down?