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.
Canon Elan 7E, Sigma 28-70 2.8 EX DF, Fujicolor Super HQ ISO
100, Bulb exposure estimated 45 seconds at f16.
Cropped vertically approx. 50% of the full 35mm frame.
Fast moving storms are the hallmark of the monsoon season in Arizona. This storm was no exception, I was only able to expose 10 frames before the main body of the storm reached my location and the rains forced my retreat.
Electrifying! The saguaro cactus seems to be reaching up to the lighting. Nicely cropped and technically well executed.
You can add your own comments on Jason's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Oakland, California, USA
Olympus D-490Z Digital Camera -- auto-exposure mode. exp: 1/500,
ASA (Equivalent) 100 Length (Equivalent) 56 mm, originally captured 1600x1200 pixels in best-quality JPEG
"Persistent Pine" August 27, 2002
My mother and 5 year-old son just spent a couple of days driving
up the Pacific Coast from Los Angeles to Oakland. We were able to stop over
for an hour or so at Point Lobos National Preserve, just south of Monterey --
surely one of the most-photographed nature sites in California. I decided I
liked this battered tree better than any of the more usual surf/rocks photos
The tree is remarkable, and quite famous. The photograph takes us most of the way there. But, I'd like to see it more abstracted — with greater isolation given to the curved tree, eliminating the foreground rock. There's a fine line here between a simple record shot, and something that says something out the spirit of Point Lobos.
You can add your own comments on Paul's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Kissimmee, Florida USA
Photo taken indoors with natural lighting. Canon PowerShot G2
One of the advantages of digicams is their ability to focus closely. I usually don't critique flower pictures (they're too easy, and too ubiquitous), but this one has a delicacy of colour and design that is very appealing.
You can add your own comments on Doug's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
David A. Smith
David A. Smith
Friday Harbor, WA USA
Sony DSC F707, f 6.3,1/800. Cropped and slight levels adjustment in PS.
I often ride the ferry from my home on San Juan Island to the mainland. I took this photo just as the sun was rising above the islands to the East with 10,000 ft. Mt. Baker in the background.
There's potential here, but it hasn't been explored. I would crop out most of the water and then increase the contrast so that the distant mountains were more visible. I would also use a gradient in Photoshop to tone down the hot left side of the frame a bit.
You can add your own comments on David's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Taken with Fujifilm TX-1, 5.6/30mm, auto-exposure@f-11, Fujicolor 100 film.
The afternoon light reflected off a lake and provided the lighting on the overhanging cliff.
In the right hands the combination of the Xpan's (TX-1) wide-format along with the wide-angle perspective made possible with the 30mm lens is capable of creating unique images. That is in fact what we have here. Without the overhanging cliff the photograph would have been interesting. With it I can almost feel the coolness of a shaded mountain overlook.
You can add your own comments on Gunther's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Taken with a Canon D60, 16-35 @ 16mm. I've lightened the foreground bank a little in Photoshop.
My wait at Medicine Lake in Jasper National Park was rewarded when the clouds broke to light this stand of trees.
The best photographs have everything working for them — light, subject matter, timing, equipment and technique. In this instance Eric had all five and put them to good use. Beautifully executed and very well seen.
You can add your own comments on Eric's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Taken with a Hasselblad 503CW, 60mm Distagon and Provia 100F. A 2 stop hard Lee grad was used to keep colour in the sky. A larger version is available here.
A very lovely photograph, and a good example of "seeing square". Many photographers are afraid to compose square when they shoot with 6X6 cameras, but it often creates a very dynamic composition. If you study this frame you'll see that the way Jeff has framed it there is no way to crop it to either a vertical or a horizontal.
You can add your own comments on Jeff's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Fuji Velvia, Canon Elan 7e, 24mm Sigma at f/22 (a real sleeper, IMO), 2 stop and 3 stop Singh-Ray ND filters, a light touch of flash (either -1.5 or -2.0) with a cheap soft box to give some color and detail to the shadow areas of the flower. Scanned on a Minolta Dimage Scan Dual II (Oh Looord, woncha buy me a Nikon 4000 edeee...singing in my poor Janis improv.)
On an October cross country trip from Seattle to Washington D.C., I stopped off for the night at Painted Canyon in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. Hiking into the canyon about a mile from the visitor center near I-90 (or is it I-94?), I plunked my tent down not too far from this flowering plant in anticipation of the sunrise the following morning. When the sun crested the horizon, I was taken back somewhat, as all the wheat you see in this picture was lit up with rim-lighting, and the flowering plant started to glow yellow-pink (15 minutes later it was white). I wasn't able to capture the rim-lighting to well in the scanning process but you can see the glow of the flowering plant. Also, there are light rays streaking in the sky, but that's hard to notice in the scan. I added a touch of flash (in the field) so as not to lose the detail and color in the immediate foreground too much, but didn't need much more than that, as the plant was glowing so strongly on top. A nice moment in time.
One thing I would have done differently, if I had the filter on me, would have been to use a reverse graduated filter, as the sky is a bit too dark for my tastes at the top (amplified even more by the scan).
Peter's lengthly description gives a very good insight into how a first-rate nature photograph is taken. He went the extra mile by using graduated filters as well as flash to create the best image possible under the circumstances (which we're pretty good to begin with). An excellent photograph.
You can add your own comments on Peter's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Canon 1D, Sigma 50-500EX @ 161mm, handheld f/14 @ 1/60 sec. ISO 400
Digital Processing: RAW conversion, resize, NIK Sharpener
Out for an evening walk with the family when I came upon this view of a lone tree in the middle of a cornfield with a rising moon a little above the horizon. The setting sun added just the right mix of color and shadow. All critique welcome as I am a "newbie" to photography.
The pieces are here but they don't gel. The sky lacks the dramatic colour and saturation that the scene implies, and the moon and tree seem to have been plonked into place with little regard to their relationship. A wait of perhaps 30 minutes would have lowered the moon and allowed a more integrated placement with respect to the tree.
When a scene like this presents itself it's worth putting other interest aside and to wait and watch it evolve. This could have been a lot better.
You can add your own comments on Terry's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Portola Valley, CA USA
Nikon D1X, 28-70 f2.8D AFS @ 28mm, Singh ray 3 stop hard graduated neutral density filter. 4 seconds at f5.6, ISO 125. Temperature in the 20s likely reduced CCD noise at this relatively long exposure.
Mono Lake from the summit of Mt Dana at 6:05 am (20 minutes before sunrise) Aug 31, 2002. I hiked in the dark to reach the summit where it was well below freezing with the wind blowing. Biggest challenge was my hands getting too stiff to shoot! Subsequent pictures taken at and after sunrise were not as satisfactory as this one.
This has the feeling of a view from an airplane. Having shot at Mono several times I'm intrigued by this view, which I've never seen before. I don't know if it would have been possible, but moving closer to the edge so as to eliminate the black foreground blob would have helped, or conversely if it was interesting, to have illuminated the foreground with flash.
You can add your own comments on Lloyd's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Glastonbury, CT/ USA
The image was created by a 360 degree camera is of my own design and manufacture, and shot on Kodak film. I have worked only in rotational 360 panoramic photography for 32 years. There is some Photoshop. The image is of Yosemite in the winter, although the snow only lasted that morning.
A great location revealed in an unique way. This clearly deserves to be seen in a large print.
You can add your own comments on Michael's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Victoria Cole and Dennis McKenzie
Victoria Cole and Dennis McKenzie
Wasilla, Alaska, USA
This image was taken by my wife Victoria Cole as our boat lay at anchor in Bull Dog Cove, Alaska, near Seward. It was worked by me in PS to give it that dark and foreboding mood I love so well. I was sound asleep when she took this shot. I am sure her version will be brighter and more cheerful. But she does not know as much about PS as I do.
The dark and foreboding look certainly is there, and very effective it is. My main issue with this frame is that the right hand quarter of the image doesn't really add anything. I'd be tempted to crop it out.
You can add your own comments on Victoria's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
San Juan Capistrano
Shot with a Canon Pro90 digicam, cropping, curves and sharpening in Photoshop, along with a little bit of cloning to get rid of some unwanted leaves that intruded into the left hand side of the shot.
Rice terraces cover almost every available square foot of Bali, Indonesia. The terraces are flooded when the rice is young, and the water picks up the color of the afternoon sky. The shot was cropped to the point of abstraction.
I too was fascinated by the rice terraces of Bali when I visited there a few years ago. This nicely abstracted image both tells the story and stands alone as a strong visual interpretation.
You can add your own comments on Wayne's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Mt. Haleakala, Valley Floor,
Maui, Hawaii, Feb., 2001
Olympus IS-3 @40mm, 1/125 @f11, Kodak Gold 100,
scan by Nikon LS4000, curves adjusted in Photoshop 6.
The location of this photograph is near the end of the Sliding Sands Trail which descends approximately 2,500 into a volcanic valley (it is not a crater) from the summit of Mt. Haleakala in Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii.
The idea of this photo was to convey the textures, forms and spatial magnitude predominant within the valley of the Haleakala volcano summit, and to evoke a sense of raw earth. The altitude (8,000ft) is responsible for the pure sky colour and the native elements such as iron, sulfur and basaltic lava cinder comprise the broad tonality and textural detail. The 'rock' at bottom right is a lava bomb, probably ejected during the most recent episode, the small, bright particles on the gray areas are the unique Silversword plants. I composed to have the wavey ridge lines invite our eyes to explore the scene and let their flowing outlines suggest the once viscous state of the material from which they were created. The focal length chosen was done so in order to preserve the objective spatial relationship of foreground to background.
This photograph succeeds both in portraying this fascinating environment and also in its graphic starkness.
You can add your own comments on Phil's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
Photographed with Canon D60 using Sigma 14mm, @f16, 1/8 sec., ISO 100. Slight color correction in PS7, sharpening using Fred Miranda’s D60-CSpro (normal)
Early morning sunrise at the Sawhill Ponds just east of Boulder, CO. Slight fog rising from the water.
The mirrored lake and gorgeous light are lovely, and the good foreground interest goes a long way toward making this a very successful image. What I particularly like though is the "dimensionality" that the use of a super wide-angle lens has provided by curving the horizon line. Normally this would be a no-no, but in this case it works well.
You can add your own comments on Tom's photograph on the Critique section of our Discussion Forum.
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