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01-08-2014, 05:02 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Sailboat Sunset Critique
Lens: 18 135 WR Camera: k5 Photo Location: BC ISO: 80 Shutter Speed: 1/60s Aperture: F5.6 

Hey guys, Looking for what I could improve upon in this image.
I'm always looking to be a better photographer and editor, any advice to help those things would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your time
-Scott Conover

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01-08-2014, 07:09 PM   #2
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I think it is wonderful.
01-08-2014, 07:31 PM   #3
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Colors and lines are great. I like how the sail aligns with the mountains. Maybe there could be less on the left, I think it could make the sailboat more prominent, and it is important here. What is the main event, and how do you make it seen...? There is a lot here that is just great.
01-09-2014, 08:37 AM   #4
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I am still really a beginner, but I really like the image. I like how the lines of the mountains lead the eye to the sailboat.

I would agree with the above critique that if you cropped some of the left out you wouldn't really be losing anything and more focus would be drawn to the sailboat, if that is what you want the focus to be on in the first place.

01-09-2014, 09:14 AM   #5
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i'm actually of the opposite opinion, I like the overwhelming power of the mountains dominating the sailboat.

my only emotional reaction is that i'd like a little more on the RIGHT, extending behind the sailboat to get it closer to the first 1/3 longitudinal aspect. it feels a little to close to the edge of the frame.

the mountains to the left have wonderful lines from top to middle and any cropping would disrupt that.

color and exposure are really very good as is horizon aspect.

it's really about 96% solid. if this were my image, i'd probably keep it as part of rotating desktop wall paper for certain. would I spend 300 to hang it on my wall... probably not, but that is completely subjective.

so the lesson learned from this image might be, keep in mind proximity to edges of important subjects, remember what you did exposure and post processing wise to bring out the color, because that's done well, feel comfortable in your ability to visualize compositional details such as background leading edges etc. this photo demonstrates you have a good eye but it's the silly technical flaws that sometimes separate a gallery quality image from a screensaver image.

it's why I often shoot 4, 5, 6 shots of same image if possible, with different compositions, different exposure, different focal lengths. It get's very tricky as sunset approaches, because you lose light in a hurry. I don't know if this was handheld or not, but is it was, had you shot in a 3-4 shot burst, that extra second may have allowed the sailboat to reach the perfect position. or had you panned across a couple shots you might have been able to create a dynamic panorama. if on a tripod, just 1 or two extra clicks might have been the difference. you don't always have to use consecutive shots for a panorama. with a little stitching technique you could actually move the sailboat ANYWHERE in the scene in post production.

it's obvious you saw something in this scene, but I'm guessing your images did not quite capture what you saw, that something is nagging you as slightly off.

I have a systematic approach I often use if a little time and my location allows. I often shoot wide to narrow and then back out again. if I run out of time, I can always crop a slightly wide image, but sometimes by shooting narrow, I realize what I really want as my focal point. also sometimes I like the flatter plane of say 35mm, compared to 20mm, but I like the whole scene. now i'm thinking about a 3 shot panorama at 35mm instead of 1 shot at 20. and trust me, foreground and background ARE affected by this choice, as is depth of field.

Last edited by nomadkng; 01-09-2014 at 09:20 AM.
01-09-2014, 11:44 AM   #6
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Everything is cascading down to the boat. If the position of the boat is disturbed the impact is lost.
01-09-2014, 01:55 PM   #7
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Great photograph Scott, well done.
The composition, colours, exposure are all perfect IMHO.
01-09-2014, 02:07 PM   #8
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The image looks good as it is. I have a difficult time making suggestions to improve it. It still lacks the oomph probably because of the relatively flat light. All I can say is that I think it calls for more simplification bordering on the abstract to make more impact. If you were to consider the lines and layered contrast then the water looks out-of-place. Yes you will lose the boat but at this relative size I don't think it has that much contribution to the shot anyway.

I don't know. You could keep it as it is.

01-09-2014, 04:13 PM   #9
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It's a good picture with two competing elements, the boat and the mountains. The mountains dwarf the boat, yet the boat draws attention from the mountains. Had the boat been the main subject, the mountains would have been a wonderful background, but as it is, the mountains are the subject and the boat distracts from that. You could try various croppings to emphasize the boat a bit more. EDIT: Alternatively cropping away half the water gives the mountains more attention. It is a lovely picture just in need of the best balance of subjects water, boat and mountains.

Last edited by arnold; 01-09-2014 at 06:51 PM.
01-09-2014, 05:07 PM   #10
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In terms of focus and settings, it spot on. The colours are really great, too - forest green contrasting with sunset gold and mountain blue. Only thing I would say is to maybe crop it such that the water edge would be right on the 1/3 of the photograph. I know cropping that photo now in such a way might not work out, but if the shot had been taken in that way, the boat would be more prominent and the photograph would look more balanced (the main comments you got so far). Of course, I wasn't there and I don't know if that would have been possible at all. It just seems like the scene was a perfect setup for a classical rule of thirds landscape shot. But I like the idea that the mountains are dwarfing the boat, that that is part of the message; its a nice interpretation and makes the photograph work.
Tones are amazing, though. Would look great as a big print, poster size.
01-09-2014, 07:26 PM   #11
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It is neither necessary nor advisable to be a slave to the Rule of Thirds.
01-09-2014, 09:36 PM   #12
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Probably without knowing it you practiced an ancient classic Chinese painting method going back to the Song dynasty -

You created great depth by layer after layer of mountain ridges of different shades with little detail. It creates great majesty and depth without over powering the foreground.

Well done.

Don't have a good example but this will do...

Last edited by wildman; 01-21-2014 at 03:21 AM.
01-11-2014, 04:26 AM   #13
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Sparkle Quote
I think it is wonderful.
Thank you for your kind words
QuoteOriginally posted by Jacquot Quote
Colors and lines are great. I like how the sail aligns with the mountains. Maybe there could be less on the left, I think it could make the sailboat more prominent, and it is important here. What is the main event, and how do you make it seen...? There is a lot here that is just great.
Okay, I see your point. Thanks.
QuoteOriginally posted by london.paul1 Quote
I am still really a beginner, but I really like the image. I like how the lines of the mountains lead the eye to the sailboat.

I would agree with the above critique that if you cropped some of the left out you wouldn't really be losing anything and more focus would be drawn to the sailboat, if that is what you want the focus to be on in the first place.
Okay, same as above, got it. Take out some of the left to get rule of thirds a little more accurate. Thanks
QuoteOriginally posted by nomadkng Quote
i'm actually of the opposite opinion, I like the overwhelming power of the mountains dominating the sailboat.

my only emotional reaction is that i'd like a little more on the RIGHT, extending behind the sailboat to get it closer to the first 1/3 longitudinal aspect. it feels a little to close to the edge of the frame.

the mountains to the left have wonderful lines from top to middle and any cropping would disrupt that.

color and exposure are really very good as is horizon aspect.

it's really about 96% solid. if this were my image, i'd probably keep it as part of rotating desktop wall paper for certain. would I spend 300 to hang it on my wall... probably not, but that is completely subjective.

so the lesson learned from this image might be, keep in mind proximity to edges of important subjects, remember what you did exposure and post processing wise to bring out the color, because that's done well, feel comfortable in your ability to visualize compositional details such as background leading edges etc. this photo demonstrates you have a good eye but it's the silly technical flaws that sometimes separate a gallery quality image from a screensaver image.

it's why I often shoot 4, 5, 6 shots of same image if possible, with different compositions, different exposure, different focal lengths. It get's very tricky as sunset approaches, because you lose light in a hurry. I don't know if this was handheld or not, but is it was, had you shot in a 3-4 shot burst, that extra second may have allowed the sailboat to reach the perfect position. or had you panned across a couple shots you might have been able to create a dynamic panorama. if on a tripod, just 1 or two extra clicks might have been the difference. you don't always have to use consecutive shots for a panorama. with a little stitching technique you could actually move the sailboat ANYWHERE in the scene in post production.

it's obvious you saw something in this scene, but I'm guessing your images did not quite capture what you saw, that something is nagging you as slightly off.

I have a systematic approach I often use if a little time and my location allows. I often shoot wide to narrow and then back out again. if I run out of time, I can always crop a slightly wide image, but sometimes by shooting narrow, I realize what I really want as my focal point. also sometimes I like the flatter plane of say 35mm, compared to 20mm, but I like the whole scene. now i'm thinking about a 3 shot panorama at 35mm instead of 1 shot at 20. and trust me, foreground and background ARE affected by this choice, as is depth of field.
WOW! Thanks for such a detailed critique. Yes. I think I will take your advice and zoom in and out while making different crops. That's a great idea. thank you so much!
QuoteOriginally posted by Sparkle Quote
Everything is cascading down to the boat. If the position of the boat is disturbed the impact is lost.
Okay, Thanks for your advice
QuoteOriginally posted by VladM Quote
Great photograph Scott, well done.
The composition, colours, exposure are all perfect IMHO.
Ha ha ha, Thanks, Very kind of you.
QuoteOriginally posted by dtmateojr Quote
The image looks good as it is. I have a difficult time making suggestions to improve it. It still lacks the oomph probably because of the relatively flat light. All I can say is that I think it calls for more simplification bordering on the abstract to make more impact. If you were to consider the lines and layered contrast then the water looks out-of-place. Yes you will lose the boat but at this relative size I don't think it has that much contribution to the shot anyway.

I don't know. You could keep it as it is.
I agree. Not much Oomph. ha ha More simplification? Interesting, Thank you!

QuoteOriginally posted by arnold Quote
It's a good picture with two competing elements, the boat and the mountains. The mountains dwarf the boat, yet the boat draws attention from the mountains. Had the boat been the main subject, the mountains would have been a wonderful background, but as it is, the mountains are the subject and the boat distracts from that. You could try various croppings to emphasize the boat a bit more. EDIT: Alternatively cropping away half the water gives the mountains more attention. It is a lovely picture just in need of the best balance of subjects water, boat and mountains.
Good critique, very accurate. Thank you. Different crop and balance, Okay. Thanks
QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
In terms of focus and settings, it spot on. The colours are really great, too - forest green contrasting with sunset gold and mountain blue. Only thing I would say is to maybe crop it such that the water edge would be right on the 1/3 of the photograph. I know cropping that photo now in such a way might not work out, but if the shot had been taken in that way, the boat would be more prominent and the photograph would look more balanced (the main comments you got so far). Of course, I wasn't there and I don't know if that would have been possible at all. It just seems like the scene was a perfect setup for a classical rule of thirds landscape shot. But I like the idea that the mountains are dwarfing the boat, that that is part of the message; its a nice interpretation and makes the photograph work.
Tones are amazing, though. Would look great as a big print, poster size.
new crop to 1/3rd. Okay. Thanks for your critique.
QuoteOriginally posted by Sparkle Quote
It is neither necessary nor advisable to be a slave to the Rule of Thirds.
Agreed. Somtimes it's a little too daunting to do RO3rds. Good to keep level on the subject. Thanks
QuoteOriginally posted by wildman Quote
Probably without knowing it you practiced an ancient classic Chinese painting method going back to the Song dynasty -

You created great depth by layer after layer of mountain ridges of different shades with little detail. It creates great majesty and depth without over powering the foreground.

Well done.

Don't have a good example but this will do...
Thanks. I see what you're saying


Thanks everyone for your critiques. I think if I were to shoot this again. I would zoom in and out taking different crops. Colors sound to be right on and balance needs work. Appreciate all your advice. Love the feedback!
01-12-2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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I think it's a great shot. Love the colors...love the layers of the mountains. Frankly, I don't mind the size of the boat because I don't see it as being the primary subject, but rather just a bit of an accent that helps give a sense of scale to the mountains.
01-14-2014, 07:20 AM   #15
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Beautiful
I feel like i would love to see it maybe more panoramic though
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