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03-12-2019, 06:01 AM   #1
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The Sheeffry Hills
Lens: SMC Pentax-M 28mm F3.5 Camera: K-5 Photo Location: Ireland, Co.Mayo ISO: 80 Shutter Speed: 1/200s Aperture: F8 

Landscape photo taken in beautiful area around Sheeffry Hills in County Mayo, Ireland. Would like some feedback.

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03-12-2019, 07:28 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Location: Irvine, Ayrshire
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Now, first of all, please bear in mind that I am a novice (at best) - but I thought I would make this my first critique as I really like your photo.

I may be going about my critique all wrong - but I thought I would share it anyway, as I do enjoy really getting into a good piece of art!

The water is the first part I see, it pulls me into the image passes me onto the trees and the fences which help my eye explore the lowlands. It (the water that is) has a deep, dark, mysterious quality to it - cold - yet alluring. From the treeline I find myself wandering up into the hills beyond, and from there to the snow-crested summit, and thence the clouds.

The clouds are of particular interest to me - as there is a very interesting juxtaposition between the darker clouds to the left, and the lighter, fluffier clouds to the right. At first I found this a little distracting - it was like the grey clouds were looming - I found my eye getting drawn to them and if you follow it down, it leads you off the image (though in doing so, it does rather nicely complement the slope of the hill). But, the more I look at the image, the more I find myself fascinated by that very juxtaposition - that very feeling of looming - it helps to capture the dynamics of the weather here - it makes me feel like I should expect rain: that I've had a period of sunshine and can expect an overcast period soon.

Following the theme of juxtaposition, the darker clouds also contrast with the snowy summit, helping to add some depth to the image, and to highlight the peaks. The slope of the grassy peak to the left of the snowy region also forms a diagonal with the river, which again helps to lead me through the image, leading me to the snowy focal features (across the treeline no less).

I feel like I could get lost in this image - but there are few things that I'm not particularly fond of. Now do bear in mind that everything I am about to say is just an opinion - the next guy over can look at it and call it a feature - just as I originally saw the contrasting clouds as being distracting, only to change my mind and call it a feature moments later!

When I look at the image, I wonder if it isn't a little underexposed. Obviously, this is a trade-off between capturing the white of the clouds and the snow, vs the darkness of the foliage and the water - but I wonder if a gradient filter may have helped here (either in situ or touching up in post). That said, the dark foreground giving way to the lighter mid-grounds and the hills and with the background lighter still, I do still appreciate that there is such a gradient in colours there.

These are all minor things though - things I appreciate being there - but there is one thing I don't appreciate being in the photo. What is that? Is it a box? A gate? You see it don't you? It's to the left of the river, about a third of the way up from the image - this weird horizontal straight line... I think it might be a sluice gate?

I'm afraid I find it rather distracting - I'm following the river with it's gentle curves and layers and suddenly BOOM - green wooden thing with harsh artificial edges - and in my opinion, the photo would have been better without it. That said, I am not sure how one would actually go about getting rid of it - it's in an awkward place! My only suggestion would have been to drop the camera down a little and to the left to try and occlude it behind the foliage and rocks - but that will probably upset your composition of the river - so I think we may have to just live with it! Some obstacles are like that - my personal pet peeve is overhead wires... they ruin everything (except photos of overhead wires, which they manage rather well!)

So, that was my meagre opinion - do bear in mind that this is the opinion of the veriest tyro in photography - but I found it fun to write, and if it helps you even a tiny bit, then I'd call that a win, and if not, well, my sincerest apologies - I tried!

Hopefully some of the more experienced photographers will weigh in too!
03-12-2019, 08:23 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by cprobertson1 Quote
and if it helps you even a tiny bit, then I'd call that a win
Thank you for your review! I think it would definitely help as I did not even think about some details that you've mentioned!!
03-12-2019, 08:56 AM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by antoxa7 Quote
Thank you for your review! I think it would definitely help as I did not even think about some details that you've mentioned!!
Ha, I'm afraid I only ever seem to notice details like I mentioned above when it comes time to review my shots later on. I haven't quite mastered the art of noticing them at the time!

Oh! I forgot to say, nice photo btw - as I said, I can get lost in it quite easily!

03-12-2019, 12:09 PM   #5
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I would do a like but there is no facility to do this.
I have struck this before on some posts, I don't know why.

03-31-2019, 04:19 PM - 1 Like   #6

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1. The river does not seem to be perfectly horizontal.
2. I would partially polarize the shot to remove some of that reflection off the river.
3. I would crop 1/4 of the sky off the top.
04-03-2019, 06:44 PM   #7

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It's a beautiful area worth exploring in all kinds of weather and times of day. If you can return to the area, try to shoot when the light is less flat (flat meaning there are no shadows). At the same time you want to avoid hard shadows, but without any shadow you can't perceive the distance and size of things well. You could achieve this at dusk/dawn, but also just waiting around if the clouds look interesting. And if you find that clouds or haze are moving in and out, wait a bit to see what happens, even 15 minutes can make a significant difference. Have your camera ready, ideally on a tripod with a composition framed, and pay attention to how the landscape changes.
The snow on the mountains looks more interesting because of that, so another thing to try is using longer focal lengths to pick from the landscape what makes it interesting.

With this frame, I would crop the left part of the image and leave the river to lead to those green trees. I tried 10:8 aspect ratio keeping the full height of the image and it seems to work a little better. As it is, the peak on the left is distracting for me because it's very obvious, but there's nothing brighter in the bottom of the image to balance it and the rest of the elements don't lead to it either.

It is underexposed, check the histogram, I downloaded the photo and darktable shows the brightest part is well below clipping (and it's from clouds and snow, which should be bright in this light).

Last edited by aaacb; 04-03-2019 at 06:53 PM.
04-04-2019, 11:09 AM   #8
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For me I either want more to the left side or less. Since it is so level on the right I want to either see the hill go the the level ground or instead just have the snow capped peak. Given that and other people's suggestion if you could reshoot it maybe move to the left and point the camera so it crops at the snow line on the left. This might also help with covering the box along the stream with the bushes more so it doesn't stand out. Maybe try getting lower too better hide the box. Other than that try some post processing to achieve what others have suggested. It seems like there is a quality image to be found here.


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