Plus & Minus weekly critique - Weekly theme Landscape

posted June 6th, 2016
Carrying on a weekly critique theme started by @myhrhelper - the goal of this weekly thread is to help us hone our composition and editing skills, as well as improve our ability to provide helpful constructive criticism.

This weeks theme is "landscape"

Rules:

Posting Rules:

(1) Post a photo that fits the weekly theme. It may be a photo you just took or a photo you took some time ago that you like.
(2) Do NOT post a photo if your feelings get hurt easily –
(3) Also keep in mind the comments are often someone’s opinion and their opinion may be different than yours so you may learn something or not.
(4) TAG your photo "plusminus-landscape"
(5) TITLE the photo you post so others can refer to the title when commenting.


Commenting Rules:

(1) You will make a plus & minus comment on as MANY PHOTOS as you would like to comment on.
(2) Your comment must include at least One positive comment of what you specifically like about the photo (No More than THREE positive). Generic comments such as “great shot” does not count as a positive feedback.
(3) Your comment must ALSO INCLUDE One improvement suggestion (NO More than THREE suggestion of improvement per photo per person). Generic comments such as “I don’t like it” doesn’t count as a suggestion of improvement.
(4) YOU MAY NOT COMMENT ON A PHOTO IF YOU ARE NOT WILLING TO SAY A PLUS AND MINUS ON THE SAME PHOTO. In other words something positive AND an improvement suggestion.
(5) Keep comments to photos relatively brief
(6) REFER TO THE PHOTO TITLE if provided when commenting

Previous themes:
1. architecture
2. portraits
3. black and white
4. landscape
posted June 6th, 2016
landscape 6661

i am posting this unedited so you can go to town telling me what you would do with it,
posted June 6th, 2016
I'd love some feedback on this photo
Dark Cloud over Salt Springs Cottage -
posted June 6th, 2016
@kali66 Landscape 661 I really like the soft pastel colors and the reflection I would definitely straighten the horizon, as I look at it I feel like Im slowly slipping off the right hand side of the frame.
posted June 6th, 2016
@littlequeenie dark cloud oversold springs cottage I really like the cloudscape! I like the composition and how the clouds are heavier on the top and smaller and fluffier as you move down thru the photo. I am not sure what is in the forefront of the photo...its just so dark, Im not sure what exactly i'm looking at.
posted June 6th, 2016
I'd love some thoughts on this one
Old Orchard Beach Pier
posted June 7th, 2016
@dianen thankyou, yep that is a common mistake in a lot of my photos! surprisingly its not far off, the foreground angles makes it look even worse!
posted June 7th, 2016
@littlequeenie i agree with diane , i think the clouds in all that space with their graduated sizes are very nice but the foreground is weak, not sure whether it needed zooming in on the buildings or naking more of the wall to anchor the foreground, bearing in mind it is hard for me to see the small details on my laptop
posted June 7th, 2016
The Long Trail
I took this with a point and shoot on a hike in upstate NY. I always am eager to see things from another perspective, so feedback is why I'm here. Looking forward to hearing your comments. Thanks
posted June 7th, 2016
@granagringa great! a really peaceful scene, i like the tree on the right with all its roots and so on to help frame the view. . one thing i notice is that the sky has come out a bit bright and there is blue around the distant trees, i think this is unavoidable with fixed lenses, my camera does this also. so you might consider cropping the top off to make the far shore the top framing... that makes the watery reflection the main subject.
posted June 7th, 2016
@littlequeenie this link has a few tips about foregrounds in landscape shots you might enjoy reading it http://digital-photography-school.com/include-the-foreground-for-dramatic-landscapes/
posted June 7th, 2016
@dianen very interesting location, I like how you have timed the waves, it is something i have learnt over time to pay attention to and anticipate when the maximum height or curl or spray happens so that can add interest to the shot with splashes or phase of the wave. the light is a little flat because of the conditions but i like the tones it gave so not sure if i would recommend contrast or not without trying it. it might make the sky colour a little funny. did you do much processing on it already?
posted June 7th, 2016
I don't know if this is acceptable as it crosses the boundary between camera and paintbrush, but would happily accept criticism on choice of media as well as composition, processing, presentation, etc.

posted June 7th, 2016
@dianen Old Orchard Beach Pier. I like the soft tones and relaxed scene here and my only suggestion would be that it might benefit from slightly darkening the shadows, almost to black, but opening up the adjacent tones a little, to show what is in there.
posted June 7th, 2016
@kali66 Thanks, Kali. I hadn't even thought of cropping that area but I think you are right. It will really tighten the shot. Great suggestion. And thanks for the plus comment, always.
posted June 7th, 2016
Key West
posted June 7th, 2016
@kali66

+ clearly thoughtfully composed and framed well
- providing there was another possible vantage point that would have resulted in a foreground interest bottom left (distinguished rock, branch, etc), that may have improved the balance of the image
posted June 7th, 2016
@littlequeenie

+ thoughtfully composed and framed, you were not afraid to try a portrait orientation and it works nicely here
- although the processing brings the master Ansel Adams to mind, the contrast has been pushed so far the midtones are a bit muddy and we lose the detail of the structures to the terrain.
posted June 7th, 2016
@dianen

+ really well done...appears very thought out, an image you should be proud of
- cropping the left edge to remove the bit of upward roof may be a little tweak worth considering in tidying up a very good composition
posted June 7th, 2016
@wordpixman

+ definitely a work of art; the choice in processing ends up emphasizing the strong points of the composition. Very well balanced image, great foreground lines to draw the eye across the image to the right and the foreground interest of the grass brings them back in sweeping up and left
- i think your choice of presentation is necessary to tell the specific story you wish to convey with this image, however, I feel the processed image is strong enough to stand on its own as a work of art. And this coming from a photographer that finds it quite hard to appreciate trendy processing like watercolor, over-the-top HDR, illustration, etc etc
posted June 7th, 2016
@kali66 I really like the tones on this. Just wondering if you could have shifted pov a bit so that focus would not be going to either right or left for the framing of the center.
posted June 7th, 2016
@dianen You really did a good job capturing the blues. I really like how the blue of the sky and the blue of pier works in this shot. Although the foreground water is nicely done, I think without it, cropping down to the pier, would give this a better focus.
posted June 7th, 2016
@littlequeenie I agree with the others here, the clouds and sky work really well but not sure about the foreground and where you are trying to draw me into.
posted June 7th, 2016
@wordpixman I really like the low point of view looking up and also the depth of field you used in the photo The total lightness of the sky is a bit bright for my taste. I am a beginner in watercolor and really like your rendition of the photo.
posted June 7th, 2016
I tend to be a "purist" when I process my images. I don't do much to them in post-processing, as a rule. However, when I took this shot of Canon Beach, it was on a hazy day, with a long exposure, which really dulled the image. I took a stab at some HDR work, which I prefer not to do, but am thinking that it turned out decently. I would love to hear your constructive feedback on it. What works for you? What doesn't?

posted June 7th, 2016
@socalgal i told you my pluses before, one thing i would take another look at is the strength of the vignette, it is a little heavy for my taste, making the sky an unreal colour
posted June 7th, 2016
@kali66 Thank you Kali, that's good feedback! :-)
posted June 7th, 2016
@socalgal you might like to comment on someone elses photo here and they will get back to you
posted June 7th, 2016
@ohsnap365 yes, something i have to remind myself to do
posted June 7th, 2016
I love the minimalism of your image, it has a quiet, peaceful tone. I wonder how the image would look if the darker contrast areas at the bottom, where lighten up slightly? It may add a bit more detail to your image.
@littlequeenie
posted June 7th, 2016
Tuscany countryside - 5 -
posted June 7th, 2016
@socalgal When you say HDR work, do you mean the menu item HDR toning.. in the Image menu? The clouds are nice and dramatic (+) but the glowing edges I don't like. (-) They are there in the original some and only exaggerated by the HDR toning panel. I'd have downsampled to display here on 365, sharpened for the new size and then tried to do something with the glowing edges, either "blend if..." and pull the highlights sliders in the currently layer apart, or perhaps even clone them out with a tiny brush. My two cents worth about the processing...
posted June 8th, 2016
@kali66 loads of comments to read through above, so forgive me if I ask something already answered. What type of software do you use (since you are unedited)? I kind of am wondering if instead of going wide what would happen if you went tall with a portrait crop. I think I would do a bit more saturation, but that is with the premises that I really am struggling to have any suggestions for it. You did an excellent job on this.
posted June 8th, 2016
@littlequeenie great clouds which are really in my mind a great subject alone. My suggestion would be an editing process that I am not sure how to word for digital software so wording it in old school film ways. I would sector the photo. Top, more time (burning) with a bit more contrast. Middle sector, I would possibly sharpen a bit, and on the bottom I would have less time (dodge) to make it less dark. Of course I have no idea how to do any of that.
posted June 8th, 2016
@dianen I really like the composition, movement, and color. But I think the improvement could be in your settings ( f6.7 for 1/2000th). I probably would have increased my fstop to 16, changed the iso to as small as possible, and kept the shutter open to try and get the waves to create that soft flowing movement look. I also think with more time you would have picked up on the sunlight tones on the white building.
posted June 8th, 2016
@wordpixman I think you addressed what I would say and you painted the scene with a darker barn building and sky. And I am impressed with your painting skills and well I am about to say this ... "nice dof"
posted June 8th, 2016
@granagringa great reflections, but I agree with Kali on the crop could be played with on this.
posted June 8th, 2016
@socalgal great subject matter and I like the colors, but I would work at burning the white light area in front of the island, it is taking over the photo a bit and appears to glow.
posted June 8th, 2016
Shot on Film in Rocky Mountain National Park. Please excuse the grain since this is a scan of a negative.
posted June 8th, 2016
@spectrum very hard to find much wrong with this but if I had to list something I wish the foreground was a hint lighter, but would not want to lose any quality in the sky.
posted June 8th, 2016
@phillyphotos well thankyou, believe me i have tried photographing these rocks every which way over the 20 years i have lived here! I use photoshop and nik effects for editing usually, i never quite remember what i have done, I am thinking to edit along the lines of the suggestions here and putting it up at the end of the week
posted June 8th, 2016
Thanks all for your comments - it's interesting as this is a photo that I personally like a lot - but some of that is because I was there and it reminds me of a great day. That feeling might not translate so well to other viewers!

@dianen @kali66 @granagringa Yeah, you are just looking at a wall and a dark shadow! Maybe you have a point there...! Someone comments on another of my plus/minus photos that there wasn't a strong enough focas to the photo - so that's something I need to work on. Thanks for the link Kali - I have myself a camera with a 28mm lens, and I'm wondering how I'll use it for nature/landscape shots - I'll bear your tips in mind.

@ohsnap365 @phillyphotos @socalgal Hmmm... well, I don't do any post processing on my photos. I don't really know how to - or have the time. I am starting to think that some simple techniques might bring out something more in my photos. But right now 365 is to get me to think about composition and to build the habit of having a camera on me all the time and use it when I see the opportunity. Maybe next year I'll mater processing techniques... :)
posted June 8th, 2016
@spectrum I like the shapes of the Tuscany hills. And I like that you have captured a cloudscape that echoes this. For me the majority of the landscape is a little too dark - it looks a little hazy. There are some lighter patches on the green - some more streaks of light would really make it ping for me. Not sure if that is something that could be altered with processing, or if it is a case of needing to take the shot 10 mins earlier!
posted June 8th, 2016
@phillyphotos I like the title! What a nice place to relax :) I think the human content here is really welcome, it makes it far more interesting than a 'straight' landscape. I wonder how it would look cropped so that there was less space on the left and in the sky? The triangle of path doesn't do much for me. And he is looking into the valley - which is where the viewer's eye travels too...
posted June 9th, 2016
@spectrum l certainly like the overall scene, the sky especially but not so much the rest, a bit too dark in the foreground and middle ground for me, though the distant hills with their shape against the sky are pretty okay
posted June 9th, 2016
@kali66 l like the sky tones and the rocks are interesting but too far away. The foreground, the sand, too much of it. In closer you could catch the wave motion plus the rock shapes
posted June 9th, 2016
@phillyphotos Thanks, but I didn't have a tripod so had to go handheld
posted June 9th, 2016
@dianen i have the same problem everyday. I so hate carrying the tripod, especially here in the city.
posted June 9th, 2016
@joannakate in this case i was going for the reflection, but yes i usually prefer to get in closer to the waves.
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