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FORUMS Photo Sharing & Discussion Critique Corner 
Thread started 21 Jul 2013 (Sunday) 12:06
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Have I improved?

1,275 posts
Joined Oct 2009
Location: Alabama
Jul 24, 2013 19:57 |  #16

-AP- wrote in post #16142612 (external link)
I think it's a good photo.. Perhaps moving forward a bit and adjusting your position would have helped with the composition. I hope you don't mind, but I did a little edit for a different perspective..


Not the best quality from an edit, but my point is related to the crop and composition..

This edit is not the direction your image needs to go in.

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696 posts
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Joined Dec 2010
Location: Montana for over 13 years but I'm originally from Houston, Texas.
Jul 25, 2013 10:02 |  #17

EL_PIC wrote in post #16140143 (external link)
No !
The scene / subject improved and that is the secret to improved photo.

I disagree PIC, you can have the best scene in the world to shoot but if you don't know anything about composition, focus etc.... then your photo will reflect that. :confused:

LHeyden wrote in post #16140261 (external link)
I like it a lot! Tell me more about your group, sounds great!

Thank you LHeyden. The group on Google plus can be found here. There are rules that you have to follow to be considered and you have to watch for the mentorship groups that are available. More advanced photographers volunteer to help their group learn more about photography​m …538538544852452​0257/posts (external link)

picturepages wrote in post #16140318 (external link)
This seems like it should be a nice shot....but things are cut off when they could be the focus ,to me,the feel of the image is "off".

Meaning...the edge of the trail is cut even though my eye wants to follow's cut off, so I feel like I'm starting on a broken path.
The lake is cut off too, so I follow the path to only part of the lake..I feel like I'm missing the lake.
The cloud is cropped so I don't see the whole effect of that either..and again..feel that I'm missing something.
So I then see the fence posts....the dark one in front must be the main subject? that seems to be the "point of interest".
However...the fence really isn't "all that" so I find myself looking over it trying to find a better subject....nope...not finding one.
The fence line leads me to the cloud burst that is cut off at the top...but like I said above..the cloud is cut off so I feel that must not be the point of interest either.

I hope I'm making some sense with what I'm saying.
the image is good..but it can be better.
You have things that can line up well and compose well at the right angle. They just aren't lined up very well in this shot.

Thank you so much Picturepages for taking the time to point out what I did wrong with my composition. There wasn't a lot to use for foreground interest in this area and I wasn't able to use the fence line without cutting off part of the road. The clouds are fine as they are since they were included to show the contrast between the storm and the golden light.

cuda2k wrote in post #16141151 (external link)
Colors and lighting are great, composition is good, but as picturepages indicates, there is still room for improvement there. Sometimes elements just aren't in the right places at the right times so you've got to work with what you're given and for the most part it works quite well. I am very much looking forward to spending some time in Montana in mid-September and hope to get shots even near this breathtaking.

Thanks for your reply cuda and I agree that my composition could be improved but I wanted to lead your eye to the storm in the distance and the fence line was the only thing that worked. I hope that you really enjoy your trip to Montana in September. It will start cooling off some by then so be sure to bring a jacket etc.... :)

stanclark wrote in post #16142030 (external link)
This going to sound harsh....if you can't tell you have improved from shot to shot....sell your camera...learn to self critique and you wont have to will know whats wrong...ask yourself every picture you look at... is it level,in focus, interesting, hows the cropping, is there aspects that need to go.. too dark, too light would I hang it on the wall....

yes you could have picked a better angle....yes you can take out the water tower in the background...

Thanks StanClark and I do try to self critique my work but there are benefits to CC from others also.

Dirty Murd wrote in post #16142060 (external link)
I agree with everything that picturepages said, except the part about the cloud being cut off. That cloud is obviously monstrous and would be hard to get the whole thing in without losing something else. Also, since it is so massive and dark and gloomy, it almost makes more sense to leave part of it out of the frame. Not everything as a whole always has to be in the frame in any given shot. I agree with the fence, lake, and road...but the cloud to me is a little different. For all we know, that same cloud could have gone for a mile overhead/behind the photographer.

A good example of why the cloud is okay is in one of my shots.
IMAGE LINK: …/57465123@N08/9​306638644/  (external link)
Edmonds Ferry Terminal Sunset (external link) by jordynmurdock (external link), on Flickr

By looking at that photo, you can see that the clouds are going a long way out of the top of the frame. That shot is at a very wide focal length and the clouds are still getting cut at the top. Clouds are different and it is acceptable to have them going out of the frame in photography.

Thanks for the great feedback Dirtymurd. I will see what else I can work with in that area next time out.

picturepages wrote in post #16142202 (external link)
ohh I wasn't meaning to get it all (lake, clouds, road, fence) in one shot I was meaning to pick one for a subject....I would guess the cloud has a brim thats not to much farther may of led into other clouds but at least the main one could of been captured....but only if that is to be the main subject.

The cloud could of been a subject...but it's cut off.
The lake could of been..but it's cut off too.
the road could of been..but it's cut off too...

Your reply is to someone else in this thread Picturepages but I'll put in my 2 cents worth too. My subject is the storm and the fence line leads your eye to the subject. Yes I could have found a better angle but if I had moved further to the left to get more of the road then the fence line would have been cut off. The road wouldn't work since it leads your eye to the lake and the mountains on the other shore. I worked with what was available in this location. :cool:

LoneStarlady ..may I ask where this was taken? I was wondering if it's anywhere around the Ninepipes area?

This photo was taken at Lake Helena in Helena, Montana.

A1original wrote in post #16142479 (external link)
Personally I love it. I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. ;)

Thanks very much A1original.

pelooyen wrote in post #16142575 (external link)
I like the picture but I tend to agree with the issues raised by picturepages.
If more of the path was visible, it would also create more space for the rain cloud to move into. As it is, its too central for my liking. Not a major issue, but nonetheless something that would lift it.

Thank you for your CC Pelooyen but by the time this cloud moved across from the road it was nothing but gray and dreary. I did what I could to capture the storm and the golden light that lasted about 4 to 5 minutes.

-AP- wrote in post #16142612 (external link)
I think it's a good photo.. Perhaps moving forward a bit and adjusting your position would have helped with the composition. I hope you don't mind, but I did a little edit for a different perspective..


Not the best quality from an edit, but my point is related to the crop and composition..

Thanks for taking the time to reply and for your edit AP. I don't think your edit did anything to improve this particular composition though.

Lonestarlady61 wrote in post #16142668 (external link)
Not enough time this morning to reply to all the great feedback but I have read each one. Thanks so much for taking the time and I will keep all this in mind for my next trip out that way.

Talaska wrote in post #16148655 (external link)
Agree with picturepages on her comments, but I did not like the way it was composed in the photo with the rain cloud being centered. I like the way AP has it composed but there is too much contrast and saturation IMHO in the edited photo. I hate things that are always in the center, they lack interest. I understand many of us are advanced and others are starting out, don't be afraid to ask for CC since that is how you learn. I think it is a wonderful thing to ask, to help yourself get better, and yes in the future you will be able to look at a photo and know what you did wrong or how to improve it, but until that point I would keep asking. Overall this was not a bad shot so keep up the good work.

Thanks Talaska and I will work on a better composition next time out. I think CC has helped me in the past and I value the opinion of others so I will keep asking until I don't need to anymore. ;)

ddk632 wrote in post #16150018 (external link)
I respectfully disagree on all points.

I think the lines of the fence and the left side of the cloud make a perfect lead in together and draw in the viewer - that would be me, in this case.

The lake is just part of the landscape and not the subject;
The road is just a prop and really only the right side, which is in the photo, is useful
The cloud is huge and having it "not cut off" would make this a completely different shot.

Now OP

I haven't seen your previous shots so I can't tell you if you are improving over something else.

However I think the shot you have posted is a very good shot and the composition is spot on. There are 100 different ways to frame a landscape shot (do I include the lake, but cut off more of the cloud; do I include the whole cloud but then also that ugly shed to the right, etc.) I think you did a good job deciding what to cut out and what to keep, whether it was conscious or otherwise, and that you've produced a really nice print-worthy landscape photograph there for yourself.


Thanks for seeing what I tried to accomplish with my use of leading lines ddk632. I should have worded my title differently for sure. I was hoping that some of the people that have responded to my posts in the past would see this and offer their CC. I did look at as many angles as I could in the 4-5 minutes I had to work with this gorgeous light.

stillinamerica wrote in post #16151215 (external link)
For what it's worth. I think it's great

Thanks very much Stillinamerica :)

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Jul 25, 2013 10:07 as a reply to  @ stillinamerica's post |  #18


Yes, you are probably right here, however let me expand a bit...

Understanding there really are no "rules" I have found that there are certain elements that make an image good/great regardless if it's a landscape, person, object, or thing... And is, it should have at least an entrance, or an exit. In other words, something that leads the eye somewhere.

This is just my observation and always my goal when planning a shot. It certainly doesn't work "every time" , but I at least try to keep it in mind..

Agreeing my edit is pretty crappy, I have made an example of what I'm talking about below. (Not claiming anything special, but just showing the intent of my point)


Now utilizing Lonestarlady61's wonderful image and my crappy edit, here is my point about the entrance/exit..


So the point wasn't that my edit was better by any means, it just didn't portray to me any direction..

In the end it is an awesome capture and I would be thrilled to death to have taken it myself...

Hopefully this explains my point a little better..(Not saying right or wrong,,, just saying)

-AP- :):)

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Aug 01, 2013 08:21 |  #19

Love the comments so far.

I would be shooting this scene from about 30 - 45 degrees around to the left and in that way changing the composition some. What I do not like in this image (and I have won or well placed in many national and international competitions and remain a regular judge in national comps) the composition is off.

It is unappealing that the road is used as a border element and the fence leads to the centre of the image, stops and then starts again in a much diminished form. The other unappealing aspect is that the ground (grass, fence highlights) are brighter than the sky. I'd trying to keep the inverse as norm as it is in nature and creating more subtle contrast in the sky if possible (and it is!).

Colour, which is very important is well represented here.

Don't take any of my comments too harshly, it's from my perspective. It's not a bad image overall.

wayne eddy
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Have I improved?
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