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Critique Submissions

This page contains selected April 2002 submissions from photographers who wished to have their photographs reviewed by the publisher of this site, Michael Reichmann, as well as by other readers on our Discussion Forum

Because of the large volume of submissions, as the month progresses you will find that this page loads slowly. Be patient.

For details on how to submit a photograph for critique please see the Critique / Contest page. 

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Previous Month's & Years Submissions & Comments

Chris VenHaus

Chris VenHaus
Waukesha, WI USA
drmr@execpc.com

Taken at Death Valley N.P. a couple of months ago. Canon A2E, Canon 50mm f1.4, and Fuji Velvia. I used PS to lighten the foreground a bit, although the slide has even more shadow detail. Colors are fairly much spot-on with slide. The light blue deposits on the ground are actually salt deposits which are colored blue due to the cool light. A larger image, and other images from my 1 week trip to Death Valley may be found on my home page: http://www.venhaus1.com

Michael's Critique

There's a wonderful sense of depth to this photograph that is aided by the reflection of the colours of the sky in the foreground water. This leads the eye upwards and focuses attention on the mysterious black mountain range that bisects the frame. Compositionally appealing.

You can add your own comments on Chris' photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Dennis McKenzie

Dennis McKenzie
Wasilla, Alaska, 
djmckenzie@webtv.net

This image was taken in 1966 south of San Francisco using a Pretri Pinta SLR and 50mm lens with Red filter. Worked in PS in 2002 for the Quad tone effect I was after. I remember climbing out on to rocky points where I would not dare to try to go today. And waited for the right moment for the wave to break on the rock. I am after a more impressionistic look and feel to the image with strong dark areas conterpointing the lighter ones.

Michael's Critique

I find this to be a powerful image that very effectively captures the power of the surf. The merging of the sky and water to the right of frame is at once visually confusing, yet evocative.

I would suggest burning in the rock face to the left of frame. The spray in front lightens it too much. I feel that it needs to be darker to create the right balance with the huge white wave to the right.

You can add your own comments on Dennis' photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Stan Richard

Stan Richard
Des Moines, Iowa, USA
snkrichard@msn.com

210mm at f/4, auto-exposed on Fuji Provia 400F

Deer grazing on a golf course in northern Wisconsin, snowing late afternoon on Christmas Day 2001.

Michael's Critique

A very simple and pastoral moment. The foreground tree nicely balances the two deer. The high-key effect is just what's needed. But, for some reason there is terrible vignetting, with the center of the frame consequently about 2 stops brighter than the edges. Very distracting.

You can add your own comments on Stan's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Rahaf Merkine

Rahaf Merkine
Haifa, Israel
owyn@hotpop.com.

The camera I used at the time was the Canon EOS 5000.

I photographed this image while climbing Mt. Potosi which is located Near La Paz in Bolivia. My friends and I started our ascend from our base camp, which was located at an altitude of 5200m, to the summit (6088m) at around 1:00 a.m. It was pitch black at first but at about half the distance the sun appeared from underneath the clouds. What a sight !!!! I just can't describe it in words. Well, after the sun had been shining for about an hour I looked back down the slope and I noticed a group of 4 Mountaineers who were slowly making there way on the icy terrain we had climbed a few hours back.

Michael's Critique

A very dramatic scene, but I feel that it's let down by the exposure. The clouds are burned out. If the exposure had been about a stop or so less they would have shown detail and texture, and the foreground would have become darker and more mysterious.

Photographs like this are about shapes and textures, or detail. This one satisfies neither category.  

You can add your own comments on Rahaf's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

David H. Jernigan

David H. Jernigan
Aransas Pass Tx 78336
djernigan@cableone.net

Photo taken in the Bay Harbor Sub-Division on the Intercoastal Waterway, mid Texas coast

Michael's Critique

There is potential here, but it hasn't been realized. The foreground land it left needs to go. It could have been eliminated by stepping forward a bit when taking the shot, or been cloned out afterwards.  The towers in the upper left need to go, as does the distant shore. Also, the print needs to be darkened to enhance the silhouette effect.

The issue here isn't digital "fakery", but rather that a silhouette like this requires simplicity and an element of mystery. As is this image has neither.

You can add your own comments on David's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Phil Regendanz

Phil Regendanz
Pickering, Ontario
phil1997@vif.com
 
Olympus OM-1, 28mm/2.8 Zuiko lens, Kodak 400 neg, 2 min./f 8, scanned w/Nikon 4000ED, colour and density corrected in PhotoPaint 9
 
September 2001, Lake of Two Rivers, Ont., at midnight.  As with most of my efforts at nighttime exposures this one looked totally different on film than it did to the eye.  Water texture and moon flare were semi-predictable but the fog and its reflection were invisible.   White specks are stars, highlight at the middle right edge is our cabin at Killarney Lodge.

Michael's Critique

Night photography can be fascinating, and this example shows what unexpected results can result with long exposures that reveal so much more than the unaided eye can perceive. Unfortunately the composition isn't very exciting, and the horizon is tilted. Also, too much JPG compressed has caused the sky to become weird. Nevertheless, it's instructive and fun.

You can add your own comments on Phil's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Mike Davis

Mike Davis
Seward, Alaska
mdavis@edulynx.com

Photograph was taken with a Canon G2 digital camera

I have done the following things to the image; cropped it, adjusted curves in photoshop, and added a fisherman on the left side of the image to improve the composition of the image (note I used the fisherman on the right side to create the one on the left) This was taken in an early morning low tide at the end of the silver salmon run. You could feel the mood of the fishermen as they angled for the last fish in the last flourishes of a dance already finished for both fisherman and fish.

Michael's Critique

I find this image intriguing because it combines elements of landscape and documentary photography. The lone bit of colour on the object at right (it looks like a lighthouse) helps emphasis the monochromatic look of the rest of the picture.

Cloning one of the fisherman doesn't really bother me. It does help to balance the composition. I would like to have seen the left side of the frame cropped though. The lifeguard tower doesn't add anything, and the cloned fisherman is all that's needed to complete that edge of the image.

You can add your own comments on Mike's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Walt Schumacher

Walt Schumacher
Culver, Indiana
waltshoe@skyenet.net
 
Pentax ZX-5n, Tamron 70-300mm LD Macro, Bogen 3021 tripod.  Fuji Velvia compensated +1/2 stop over center-weighted reading.
 
With a photo workshop group in North Dakota last fall, we rose before dawn to get to the ridge before sunrise.  The sun rose to reveal the Little Missouri river in fingers of fog.  It was an amazing moment!
 
Nothing done in Photoshop except to try to retain the feel of the original slide.
 
A larger version is at http://www.skyenet.net/~waltshoe/Pics/FOG.htm

Michael's Critique

The light and the mist are lovely, and this is a good example of how one needn't travel to exotic locales to find beautiful light and atmospherics. My main reservation is with the foreground. It's simply too mundane. I'm not sure how I'd have framed it differently though.

You can add your own comments on Walt's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Scott Rosenfeld

Scott Rosenfeld
Lansing, MI USA
slrosenfeld@attbi.com

Canon Powershot G1, tripod

I took this photograph at Stony Lake State Park in Michigan.  We arrived at the park just after sunset, but hurried down to the water to catch the last light.  My family immediately gravitated to the dock, while I set up the camera low to the ground for perspective.  I like the feeling that the people seem suspended out over the water.

Michael's Critique

There are landscape photographers who shun people in their photographs, and those that feel that they add scale and a human dimension. The latter is especially true in this case. The family, the moon, the mist and the cool evening light come together to create a captivating moment Û nicely captured.

You can add your own comments on Scott's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Elizabeth Carmel

Elizabeth Carmel
Www.sierraimageworks.com

Mt. Whitney from the Alabama Hills. It was taken in March of this year with a Nikon D1x. I used Photoshop to adjust the exposure for both the foreground arch and the Mt. Whitney view, since there was a huge exposure latitude between them requiring a composite of separate exposures. I then used a variety of Photoshop filters to give the image more of a "painted" look, and to enhance the color of the sky. I was pleased that I was able to capture an evening starburst with the sun using a small aperture, and create a new view of this scene that is usually photographed in the early morning. More of my images can be seen at www.sierraimageworks.com.

Michael's Critique

An excellent combination of shooting and post-processing technique. The sun flare works well, though I'm not sure that I wouldn't have "cleaned-up" the additional flare further along the rock.

You can add your own comments on Elizabeth's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Leigh Perry

Leigh Perry
Sydney, Australia
lperry@breakpoint.com.au

Provia 100F, Canon 17-35L lens at 20mm, Canon EOS 50. Lee 3-stop graduated neutral density filter.
Digital processing: Curves, unsharp masking.

This photograph was taken recently at dawn at Balmoral in Sydney. A large version is here: http://www.breakpoint.com.au/images/largeImage.asp?ImageName=balmoral-dawn-2.jpg

Michael's Critique

This is eye-catching, but I feel it's unbalanced. Possibly by moving a bit to the left and placing the crack so that it terminated in the lower right-hand corner might have made the composition a bit more dynamic.

You can add your own comments on Leigh's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Paolo Valentini

Paolo Valentini
Milano, Italy

pablo.kika@tiscali.it

This picture was taken with a Nikon N80 and a Nikkor 80/200 2.8 ED on Fuji Velvia. I don't recall exposure settings. I scanned it in PS6 and tweaked it a little bit with curves and levels just to make it a little bit more "painting like". The picture was taken in Val d'Ossola, Italy at  dawn. No sharpening applied.

Michael's Critique

The colours are strange, it's very contrasty and obscure, but nevertheless I like this photograph. I suppose it's the mystery of why it is the way it is, and curiosity about the locale that makes it intriguing. 

You can add your own comments on Paulo's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Birgir Freyr Birgisson

Birgir Freyr Birgisson
Iceland
logos@mmedia.is

This photo was taken in April 2002 where I was shooting a lighthouse. The weather was rather boring but it would be great to hear what you think of it at the photo Critique. It was shoot on a Mamiya 645 with the Mamiya 80mm 2,8 lens set at f 8 on Fuji Provia 100F. The photo was scanned and colour balance was adjusted to make it a bit warmer. I just wish I had noticed that the horizon was not straight when I took the photo.

Michael's Critique

Coastlines seen from a height always have appeal. But, what's missing here is a sense of scale. Is the cliff 10 meters high, or 100 meters? 

In this frame, for example, the buildings along the shore provide an understanding of the scale of the vista. Sometimes we need of point of reference, or a foreground object to help us visualize where we are.

You can add your own comments on Birgir's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Ian Taylor

Ian Taylor
Toronto, ON,
(ian.taylor@sympatico.ca)

Camera - Canon EOS 5, 20-35mm 3.5 lens, Fuji 400 neg This was taken as I was driving through Pennsylvania a few years ago. The light became awesome after a short rain burst. I saw this image, jumped out and grabbed it. The rainbow disappeared almost immediately.

Michael's Critique

Preparedness in the face of opportunity. That's one definition of luck. In that case Ian was definitely lucky. Rainbows aren't that hard to come across, but a fun foreground like this one when combined with a full rainbow makes for a very enjoyable image.

You can add your own comments on Ian's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Albert Russo

Albert Russo
2833 Owens Way
Hornbrook, CA 96044

arusso011@earthlink.net

This photograph of Mt. Shasta was taken from my home in Northern California. About 50 miles north of Mt. Shasta on March 14, 2002 at 18:03:16. In the winter Mt Shasta is the best subject due to the changes in the weather and sky conditions.

The Photograph is as it came out of my camera, a Sony Digital DSC-F707. The only trick was to put the cameras light meter on spot and find the sweat spot so that the sky took control of the lighting.

Michael's Critique

The exposure does right by the snow on the mountains. It could have been ruined if the snow had burned out and not been allowed to show the ruddy light of the setting sun. I'd be tempted to brighten the image just a bit though and to crop the frame above the first cloud layer. There's too much uninteresting sky.

You can add your own comments on Albert's  photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Ian Laker

Ian Laker
Canterbury, Kent, England.
ian.laker@btinternet.com

Mamiya RZ67 Pro II with Sekor 50mm f4.5 lens. Fuji Velvia 1 second @ f32. Manfrotto 055CLB tripod.

Newport Bay, Pembrokeshire, West Wales

I shot this seascape on Good Friday evening perched on one of a series of outcrops of rocks. I like the softness of this hazy sunset. The Pembrokeshire coastline is ruggedly beautiful, becoming rather precarious for committed photographers when the tide comes in, as it did here. I just made it off these rocks to safety!

Michael's Critique

The long exposure has created that dreamy fog-like feeling to the water Û something that some people like, and others don't. The sun is a bit too diminutive in the frame to play a prominent compositional role, and the sky is too wane to be of much interest. Almost.

You can add your own comments on Ian's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

Gentry Underwood

Gentry Underwood
Palo Alto CA/USA
gentryunderwood@hotmail.com

Photograph taken with Canon D30, Tamron 28-200 lens at focal length of 56mm, cropped, cleaned, sharpened, quad toned, etc. using photoshop 6. Taken in December 2001, Monument Valley, just before sunset. Winter and post-9/11 meant the area was eerily quiet.

Michael's Critique

This monochrome treatment of a classic view is helped by the shaft of light across the foreground, but on the other hand the foreground brush in shadow doesn't add anything to the composition. I'd be tempted to crop the frame so that its bottom meets where the shaft of sunlight hits the side of the frame.

You can add your own comments on Gentry's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.

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Concepts: Photography, Exposure, Exposure value, Canon EOS, Sun, Sky, Mount Shasta, A Little Bit

Entities: San Francisco, Culver, Palo Alto, the cameras, Nikon, Mamiya, Bolivia, USA, Italy, Killarney Lodge, Stony Lake State Park, Photoshop, JPG, Death Valley, Little Missouri river, Christmas Day, vista, Michael Reichmann, Michael, Ian, Dennis McKenzie, Chris, Phil Regendanz, Gentry, Gentry Underwood, Walt Schumacher, Scott Rosenfeld, Scott, Dennis, Elizabeth Carmel, Paulo, Stan, Rahaf, Phil, Shasta, Walt, David, Whitney view, Albert, Tamron, Mike, Elizabeth, Whitney, Leigh, D1x, Northern California, golf, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Ontario

Tags: Critique section, Discussion Forum, photograph, image, Michael, photoshop, cameras, Canon EOS, fisherman, Elizabeth Carmel, long exposure, Phil Regendanz, Walt Schumacher, Death Valley, early morning, Gentry Underwood, little bit, photo critique, light blue deposits, Death Valley N.P, Pretri Pinta SLR, mysterious black mountain, foreground water, Quad tone effect, strong dark areas, Fuji 400 neg, middle right edge, foreground land, upper left need, 20-35mm 3.5 lens, dreamy fog-like feeling, foreground tree, huge white wave, prominent compositional role, lower right-hand corner, huge exposure latitude, short rain burst, morning low tide, foreground arch, Tamron 28-200 lens