This page contains selected April 2001 submissions from photographers who wish to have their photographs reviewed by the publisher of this site,Michael Reichmann, as well as by other readers on ourDiscussion Forum.
Shot handheld on 120 Fuji Velvia pushed to 100 with a Fujica 645 folding camera, 75mm lens @F/11. The slide was scanned on a flatbed Epson 1640 scanner at 1600dpi.
The arboretum is located in Godalming (Surrey) in England. The picture was made in August, and most of the arboretum was green and yellow. One tiny sloping patch had red-purple trees in the shade. I had no tripod so handheld the shot. The F/11 aperture was needed to keep as much foreground as possible sharp, and that led to a 1/30s exposure. I had no filter. The picture has not been altered at all after the scan, except for a little unsharp masking and retouching.
What a striking image! Absolutely beautiful. There’s little more that needs be said. It works on every level.
You can add your own comments onPascal’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Wasilla, Alaska, USA
Taken with a Mamiya C33 TLR and 180 or 250 lens, using Provia F100 pushed to 200 iso, using a tripod of course. Situation: While cruising in Prince Williams Sound last year we pulled into Long Bay in Culross Passage to anchor for the night and to shoot this waterfall that I had seen and shot the year before. The falls are a moderate size for Alaska, with many shots within the over all view of the falls. This is one I liked with the contrast of soft looking water and the rich black rocks with some reds and greens here and there. If the photo calls for it I always like to have areas of dark black in it to counterpoint the detail and feel of the image
There’s a lot to like in this photograph but it doesn’t hang together compositionally. The branches top-left are a distraction. Next, the square format is tough to compose for and by its nature it is static. The subject matter must therefore force the eye to flow. In this case there is no compelling center of interest and the large black rock on the right adds too much weight to the center of the image. It feels like it’s about to topple over.
You can add your own comments on Dennis’ photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
David R. Gurtcheff
David R. Gurtcheff
Westmont, NJ USA
Photo taken on Long Beach Island, Feb 2001
Contax SLR, 24~85 zoom at wide setting. Kodacolor gold 200 scanned with Sprintscan into Photoshop 5.0. Sky and foreground put on separate layers, and levels applied to each separately. Burn, dodge and saturation tool used throughout image. Edges and corners burned in to simulate the way I would print this in my wet darkroom.
What immediately catches my eye is the monochromatic nature of the image and the subtle bit of fading light on the horizon. The tire tracks add a bit of mystery and the sky is certainly interesting. But I somehow feel as if I’m looking at two separate photographs‚ consisting of the top and bottom halves, as nothing is there to tie them together.
You can add your own comments on David’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Springfield, MO, USA
Hasselblad/50mm , Plus X film/normal development
The negative was scanned using a Minolta Multi, then corrected and manipulated in Photoshop 6.0. The final print was produced from Photoshop 6.0 and printed using Jon Cone’s Piezo inkset.
This is image a knockout. I’d love to see a Piezo print in the flesh. The tonalities appear to be gorgeous. The cross in the lower left adds just the right amount of weight to the composition to counterbalance the white clouds, and the few bright stones in the mid-ground do a perfect job of preventing it from becoming too somber. A first rate photograph with the square format perfectly utilized.
You can add your own comments on Butch’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Sunset, Big Pine Key, Florida.
Nikon D1 w Nikkor 80-400mm F/4.5-5.6 VR, Exposure: 1/320 sec – F/5.6 , Focal Len: 400mm
All of us who own long lenses enjoy shooting dramatic sunrises and sunsets over water. Why not? It’s enjoyable and the photographs are often quite lovely. Don has done a great job here and the bird flying so close to the sun lifts this from being a JASSS, (Just Another Sunset Shot). The drama added by dark sky is the other ingredient that makes this photograph stand out.
You can add your own comments on Don’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
firstname.lastname@example.org. This photograph was taken one evening some years ago at a small lake some 40 km north of my hometown. I took almost a whole film of the swan, and he (or she) was not very pleased with me being there. He probably had a nest nearby. I used a Konica T3 with a Vivitar 70-210 zoom lens. The film is Kodak Ektachrome. The photo was scanned with a HP Photosmart S20 and just tweaked a little with curves in Photoshop.
I like this image but it misses for several reasons. The dark area at the lower-left is a distraction. More importantly the swan needs to be brighter. This could have been done with fill-flash or attempted digitally in post processing. As it is I miss both the uninterrupted symmetry and the visible detail that the image cries out for.
You can add your own comments on Hans’ photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Canon F-1, 80-200/4,0L (at 200 and probably 4,0), Kodachrome 64 exposed at 80ASA.
There’s a lot wrong here and I think a bad scan is to blame for some of it. The first thing is, of course, the colour‚ a nasty cyan cast pervades the whole image. This could easily have been fixed. Secondly, there is a lot of vignetting. The Canon 80~200mm f/4 is a very fine lens and can’t be the source, so my guess is a poor scanner was used. Thirdly, the light is boring. What could have been an interesting image is let down by poor tools and having been shot at the wrong time of day.
It’s important that we keep in mind that all our audience sees is the image that we present‚ be it a 5" JPG on a web site or a 16X20" print on the wall. They never see the idealized memory of the time and locale that we often harbour within us. I don’t mean to sound like a harping mother, but if a photograph is worth showing to others, it’s worth doing so as well as possible, otherwise, why bother?
You can add your own comments on Jonas’ photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Phil Goble Champaign, Illinois, United States email:email@example.comNikon F100, Nikon 24mm 2.8D lens, Fuji Velvia, f/16 @ 1/8 sec Having learned the road to the Eureka Dunes in Death Valley was passable, I drove the two hours and was rewarded with pristine dunes (unlike the dunes near Stovepipe Wells). The only person I saw that day ran a hangglider off the top of the dunes as I was arriving in my car. I was able to hastily snap a few pictures of him as he decended, but preferred the simplicity of this photograph instead. It was a great December day, as I scouted the dunes from 11am until sunset in solitude.
I’ve been to Death Valley several times and have always been thwarted by closed roads in my attempts to get to the Eureka Dunes. This photograph nicely captures the sinuous feel of long dunes and interplay of light and shadow. Very nicely done.
You can add your own comments on Phil’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Gary Beck Fremont, CAgrb@home.com
Olympus E-10, 1/160Sec, F4.0
No other processing performed, other than shrink in Photoshop, no additional sharpening or processing performed.
This photograph has recorded what was in front of the camera, but the composition does nothing to treat the eye. The rock and tree are one entity, the green field another and the town in the valley a third. They are not integrated in any way.
Aspiring landscape photographers need to spend time looking at landscape paintings and photographs by masters to try and develop a feel for composition. As I’ve written before, photography is a process ofexclusion, removing everything that doesn’t contribute to a finalcohesive image. If that isn’t possible then the final image isn’t there.
You can add your own comments on Gary’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Taken at Alternate Bay, Fiji, at sunset with a Fuji GX617.
I’m always a sucker for a well done panoramic. The sky here is lovely and the foreground has some interest. Frankly though, it needs something more. We all shoot pretty sunsets. But to create an image that communicates something more than just the beauty of a fading day a stronger foreground is needed.
You can add your own comments on Barry’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Scottsdale, Arizona USA
This was taken this past February at the Lost Dutchman State Park, located just east of Phoenix, AZ, 10 minutes after sunset. I used a Minolta Autocord and Provia 100F, and the exposure was 4 seconds at f/11. No filters were used and only levels adjustment and minor sharpening were performed using Photoshop 5.5. The colors of the original slide are slightly warmer still than those shown here and the image appears slightly sharper as well but this is the best I can do with my vintage Microtek scanner.
I like the colors and especially the sky but I’m not totally satisfied with the composition and don’t know what it is about it that bothers me, hence the reason I’ve submitted it for critique. Any comments will be greatly appreciated.
There’s a soft mystery to the light and therefore the subject matter, and I like it. But the image fails to be compelling. There are several centers of interest, but the use of the square format has created a static composition‚ as Jeff himself points out. I’m not sure how to correct it at this point.
The square can be a very satisfying format but it requires much more careful attention to the rules of composition than does the traditional rectangle.
You can add your own comments on Jeff’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Contax Aria 35-70mm zoom, Fuji Velvia, Polaroid 4000 scanner. Curves command used to enhance contrast.
Taken near Moran Junction Wyoming.
Early spring in the high country of the Rocky Mountains is different than spring at lower elevations. Colors tend to be more more yellow than green. The lack of green and lingering snow make photographic composition a challenge. On this day the golden color of the willows was beginning to deepen as temperatures climbed above freezing. That color and positional relationships between several roadside Aspen caught my eye. After awhile I noticed a pattern. The Aspen seemed to dance into the distance, much like the water carrying brooms in Disney’s Fantasia. I took a few quick shots not knowing if I could record what I saw on film. Luckily, the shot worked.
Overall I find Miles’ photograph very appealing. It works well on almost every level. I sayalmostbecause the two foreground trees are somewhat disconcerting‚ the way they are framed almost equidistantly from the edges of the edges of the frame.
As I look at the photograph I find my eye jumping from one side to the other, not being able to find a place to rest or a path to follow. It would be instructive to be able to see some variations on this composition where there was, say, just one foreground tree, or where one of the two was further to the side of the frame.
You can add your own comments on Miles’ ph
Larry Adkins Tustin, California firstname.lastname@example.org This photograph was taken at the Zzyzx Desert Studies Center, an educational oasis in the Mojave desert. You are looking across Soda Springs (the water) and Soda Dry Lake (the white expanse) to the town of Baker, California (the colored lights) situated on the highway between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I have taken many pictures at this center, but this one was taken on a very atypical wet and cloudy day at dusk in February of this year. The camera was a Nikon 6006 with Kodak Max 400 film. There is no computer manipulation here other than contrast optimization.
One of the classic rules of composition is to never let the horizon line run through the middle of the frame. Larry has broken this rule and should be punished (joke); except that the reflection adds balance, and the tips of the reeds at the bottom of the frame further modify the frame. Overall it’s a successful photograph.
You can add your own comments on Larry’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Dundas, Ontario, Canada
White Tail Deer feeding; Shot at Dundas, Ontario, Canada
Konica T3, Hexanon 50mm macro , Kodachrome 25 , remote camera and dual flash. This was a remote camera setup with dual flash. Shot on a cold winter night.
There’s appeal to this photograph but it’s ultimately let down by two things. Firstly, the use of a single flash from an oblique angle makes the light simply too harsh. (Ken indicates that a second flash was used, but I don’t see its contribution). Secondly, I find not being able to see the deer’s mouth disconcerting. The image is too obscure in a number of ways to be really successful.
You can add your own comments on Ken’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Kodak VS, Canon A2, exposure data unrecorded
This shot was taken in Moab, Utah in mid March. We had spent four days chasing the light. We never quite got the perfect light except for a few fleeting moments the last evening we were there. The colors and quality of light were amazing.
People who have never done photography anywhere on the Colorado Plateau find it hard to believe that the colours that they see in photographs from the region are real. Lynn’s image nicely captures the remarkable quality of the light and the red sandstone. If it wasn’t though for the small break in the clouds above the ridge I’d be less complimentary, but with it the image holds up well.
You can add your own comments on Lynn’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Collin Orthner Red Deer, Canadacorthner@home.com Nikon F100, 20mm f/2.8 Approx. 12 seconds at f/2.8 Fuji NHGII 800 This was the most spectacular show of Aurora Borealis I have ever witnessed. This image was made on March 30, 2001 at about 11:45 PM looking over the lights of Red Deer. The moon is visible near right center. I am guessing at the exposure because I was shooting like mad for about 45 minutes with three cameras and trying to take in the show at the same time. At one point I simply laid on my back and watched for about 5 minutes. It was truly a magical experience which this or probably any other photograph cannot convey.
Collin’s aurora photograph is quite something. The intensity of the reds is remarkable and the inclusion of the city lights adds needed perspective. Nicely done.
This year sees a maximum of the 11 year solar cycle and there have been many intense aurora displays, some this year as far south as Colorado. I’m looking forward to doing more aurora photography myself when I go back to my place summer place in northern Ontario this June.
You can add your own comments on Collin’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
The image was assembled from three frames taken using a Canon Powershot S20 digital camera. Frames were merged in Photoshop 5.5 using layer masks and then a gaussian blur overlay added and faded down to recreate the feeling of the soft early morning light. The photograph was taken in late february this year on a climbing and walking trip to Scotland. The three shots that make up the image were grabbed quickly on the way to Glencoe. Its very hard on a day like this to decide whether to hang around and take photos or rush off up a mountain, so I ended up doing a bit of both that day. For a larger version of the same image and some more landscapes from Scotland and elsewhere, visit my web site Land & Sky at;http://freespace.virgin.net/nick.thomas3/index.htm
Nick’s photograph nicely shows that expensive and bulky equipment isn’t necessary to accomplish good landscape work. A point-and-shoot digital is all that was used here, and if you visit his site link above you’ll see more fascinating panoramic photographs taken with this camera and stitching technique.
The image itself has some flaws. The foreground bush at left is a distraction and the snow on the mountain on the right is burned out.
You can add your own comments on Nick’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Minolta 600si, Minolta 50mm f1.4 @ f8, on tripod. Fuji Velvia. Scanned by
Kodak Photo CD service, colour balance tweaked in Photoshop 5LE.
This was taken at the Pinnacles Desert in Western Australia. I got there just before sunrise (about 4am) and kept photographing until the hoardes of tourists started arriving at 6am, by which time the pinnacles were transformed into a bright yellow and the sky to a deep blue. You can see some of my other images from that day at my website:www.virtualtraveller.org
This photograph is well composed, and the subject matter fascinating, but it misses because the contrast range is simply too great. Possibly a higher quality scan would capture some detail in the shadows and highlights, but as it stands it’s simply too harsh.
You can add your own comments on Philip’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Alan Kerr Queenstown New Zealand Southern Lights Photographyhttp://www.Minoltians.wsthe gallery dedicated to Minolta Photographers
T aken in the Lindis Pass in the South Island of New Zealand with a Maxxum 700si on Velvia.
An impressive and enjoyable image. The dappled light on the hills creates a soft warm feeling even though the image consists solely of greens and blues. Well seen and nicely executed.
You can add your own comments on Alan’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Santa Cruz, CA. USA
Pentax K-1000 35 mm camera, Sigma 24 mm f2.8 lens, approximately f16 at 1/8 sec. with tripod, Fuji Provia-F 100 film
A thick patch of clovers grows beside a small creek in the lush forest of the Santa Lucia Mountains in Central California. This creek is one of many beautiful creeks and rivers that flow briskly out of the Santa Lucia near Big Sur. This photo was taken on a cloudy Winter day and the overcast sky provided near perfect lighting for photography. Photo taken in February, 2000.
A nicely executed photograph of a classic subject type. I’d have taken it myself, (where I live doesn’t look like this is February), but I have to say that like the red rock canyons of the southwest that I enjoy so much, such fare is becoming a bit of a clichÃƒË†.
I think as landscape photographers we all need to stretch ourselves a bit more to uncover new subject matter seen in new ways.
You can add your own comments on Clayton’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Erik H. Pronske
Erik H. Pronske, M.D.
Yucca cactus taken at sunset at Guadelupe Mountain National Park in west Texas in March.
Minolta Maxxum 9, Tokina 28-80/2.8 at about 28 mm , e xposure about 1/30 sec at f/8 , Kodak Ektachrome VS
This is a graphically strong image that nicely captures the light of sunset and the character of the Yucca plant. It might have been enhanced by showing a bit more of the mountains in the background as silhouettes. As it is, it feel a bit constricted at the bottom of frame.
You can add your own comments on Erik’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
San Francisco Bay Area, CA,USA
Nikon D1, Nikkor 18-35 lens.
This picture was taken in Grand Stairacse-Escalante at dusk, as my wife and I were driving to Colorado on vacation. Unfortunately, my microdrive was almost filled up, and all I could get off was 2 exposures taken at the ‘jpg fine’ setting. I normally shoot in RAW mode (NEF), but space was limited. The dynamic range would have been better. Minor levels and saturation adjustment.
I like this image, but it isn’t completely successful. The concept of juxtaposing the cloud with the cliff works nicely, but the top of the frame is too dark. A bit of a shift to the left would also have moved the main subjects slightly off center and made for a more dynamic composition.
You can add your own comments on Andy’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Fort Worth Texas
ElanIIE Canon EF 20-35 USM , 1/8 F/11 Manual, Velvia , Tiffin "p" XL 2stop GND , Tripod & MLU , 10% crop off the right
Taken not far from Quail Ridge in Sedona, AZ
A strong image, well seen. I’d be tempted to crop the right of frame even more though as both the ridge line and the cactus seem to peter-out, detracting from the tightness of the composition.
You can add your own comments on Patrick’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Canon A1, 17mm, tripod. T-Max 100. Arches N.P., July 1988
Some climbing was necessary to get to this "double arch" location. When I revisited Arches recently, I wanted to re-shoot this scene in MF, but could not find the spot again.
GÃ‚¸nter was right to want to go back with medium format. This is an appealing subject, well composed, but it cries out for the detail, texture and micro-contrast which 35mm just can’t provide.
You can add your own comments onGÃ‚¸nter’sphotograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Horst R ‚œdding
Horst R ‚œdding
240 M ‚œdling
Hasselblad 205 TCC Planar 2,0/110mm Kodak GPX 220 . Scan: Imacon Flextight Photo, Photoshop 5,5
If I remember right, it was in the south of Utah, on the way from Glen Canyon to Blanding. There was about three thunderstorms around me and the light changes every five minutes. I never saw anything like this. I changed the colour a little bit into more red, like I did it in the darkroom, but not more.
Wonderfully dramatic. The large expanse of black sky creates tremendous mystery and raises this photograph above the pack. Also scary. Beautiful though.
You can add your own comments onHorst’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Gold Coast, Australia
Canon EOS3, 28Ãƒ±70mm 2.8L at the 28 end.ƒ¼/22 at about half a second exposure using Provia 100F. I think I used a polariser and a 81B warm up filter, and of course, a tripod. I focused on the Banksia (Bottlebrush) flower on the bottom left and let the depth of field do the rest. It is taken from South Nobby hill looking north up the Gold Coast towards the Surfers Paradise skyline. Taken mid-winter 2000 at dawn.
The shapes of the land and water masses and warm light make this an interesting image. The foreground flowers are a bit lost though with the earthen cliff above them taking too much attention. I’m not sure how best it could be re-framed though.
You can add your own comments onDavid’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Austin, TX USA
Canon Elan II, Canon 17-35L lens at 30mm, f8. Kodak E100VS film. Scanned with HP Photosmart, then adjusted via layers & curves in Photoshop 5.5 to match the original. Yosemite National Park, El Capitan. My first trip to Yosemite. Early November morning after the first snow of the season. What a treat!
A classic scene, nicely captured. My only observation is that the shot might have benefited from the use of a split neutral density filter to tone down the sky a bit.
You can add your own comments onSteve’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Rick Popham Torrington, CT USA email@example.com Nikon F2; 24mm/2.8; Fuji Velvia On a trip west a few years ago I camped for the night outside the Devil’s Tower National Monument. A terrific thunderstorm battered the campground during the night, and I rose before dawn to find the area blanketed in a heavy mist. I made my way through the wet vegetation to the Belle Fourche River, and waited for sunrise. As the sun rose, the red cliffs along the river lit up and Devil’s Tower glowed behind the lifting mist.
A nicely seen and well captured image. The mist surrounding the tower is beautiful. The reflection is strong as well, but I find the vegetation at left distracting. For this reason, and assuming that standing in the river wasn’t an option, I’d have been tempted to use a longer lens and crop-out most of the bottom half of the frame.
You can add your own comments onRick’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Auckland, New Zealand
Vaucluse coastline at dawn, Australia, December 2001.
Canon D30 with 28-105 USM zoom.
A lovely location and dramatic sky. I find the foreground distracting though and would have been tempted to step a bit closer to the edge and cropped it out‚ allowing the receding cliff to dominate the lower frame.
You can add your own comments onFred’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
A late afternoon sunshower at Galway, Ireland on holidays a couple of years ago. The combination of the gloomy bay and the burst of sunshine caught my eye. Camera was Nikon F4 with 28-85 AF Nikkor, on tripod.
I like this image a great deal. But, two things struck me immediately‚ the top cloud level is a distraction because it makes the whole image look un-level, and as submitted the image is too dark.
I’ve taken the liberty of correcting these two issue so that it can be better seen. For some reason the shot is somewhat splotchy as well, but this may be the result of a poor scan. Otherwise a strong landscape composition, well seen.
You can add your own comments onVincent’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
Clapham Junction, England
I took this image on my EOS3 somewhere on the coast of Spain. It was about an hour after dawn, as the sun evaporated the last of the early morning mist. Scanned into Photoshop and sharpened.
The classic "S" curve at work. The warm saturated colours and appealing composition make this a striking entry. Very exotic. I wouldn’t change a thing.
You can add your own comments onRalph’s photograph on the Critique section of ourDiscussion Forum.
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