Hi Rhonda! The first thing that strikes me is the intensity of the color, it looks a little too high to be natural. So I guess the first question I would have is was it intentional to produce a 'painterly' look or are you trying to get the image to look more the way you saw it when you snapped the shutter?
One other small point. It's easier to critique images that don't have text on them so you may want to consider saving the watermark for the finished masterpiece.
I guess the original picture didn't say anything to me, so I guess the "painterly" look was intentional to make it pop, or stand out more . Point taken about the watermark
Hi Rhonda - I think your problem may be that the image is too busy. There is too much going on to be able to focus on one point of interest. I will be interested to see what others have to say.
Thanks for posting the original image Rhonda however, like you ,it doesn't say a lot to me either I'm afraid. I think perhaps that this is one of those images that were taken when the mind was full of the ambiance of the scene and its surroundings and which unfortunately don't translate into a 2D image very well.
I wonder if converting to monochrome and then adding some selective burning and dodging within a fairly strong vignette might add some drama to an otherwise rather nice but placid scene might work. Just a thought and I hope I'm not talking rubbish
Hi Rhonda, yes, that looks more natural. This image has a lot going on owing to the contrast and diversity of colors. Do you find it difficult to determine what to consider as the primary subject? I would think that being central to the composition, it should be the stream. The stream, the banks, and the foliage are all very interesting but they compete for attention.
There are strong browns in the banks, and blue with a greenish cast from the foliage in the stream. In adition there is a strong combination of greens accross the top of the image. Because the browns and greens are so strong, they pull the eye off the more subtile colors in the stream.
The idea is to bring a balance to the composition so that your eye is captured by the subject, but there is enough interest in the rest of the image to make your eye wander then return to the subject as a resting point.
How can we more clearly define the subject? And have the rest of the elements complement the subject?
You can use post processing to change the weight of one or more aspects of a scene to achieve the goal. For example, you can usually increase the brightness, contrast, and/or sharpness to accentuate the subject and decrease them to diminish the non-subject areas. You can also use cropping in some cases to make the subject more prominent and the rest of the image less so.
I know that this is not a complete answer but I hope it provides you with a starting point and some guidelines you can apply.
Hopefully, others, with more experience will chime in and add their thoughts as well!
I looked on my monitor and covered the top part of the picture. The bright green foliage was just not doing it for me. It was distracting me from the nice part of this shot. (Rocks and stream)
You might try to crop, and then use levels and/or curves to bring out the details. And reduce the exposure ever so slightly.
This is not gospel, I personally prefer landscape pictures a little on the dark side - but that's just me.
Thanks for all the feedback! I will take all in mind back to the editing board...
Hope you don't mind a little more. I agree with the "busyness" comments above.Thanks for all the feedback! I will take all in mind back to the editing board...
Here is an example of what a crop and a little sharpening can do. Just a suggestion.
From what I'm learning from everyone here is that it should be what you want it to be.
Look forward to you new edit.
If possible, I would go back and reshoot, ensuring a crisp starting focus. I would lower my angle and try to either frame more with the surrounding foliage to offset the richness of the rock colors or shoot with the intent of making it a B&W image. You are essentially working with a host of split complements (reds/greens - yellow orange/yellow-greens) and that in itself creates a lot of movement in the scene. Combined with a natural busyness, it could be too much to overcome without looking at the scene as a black and white image.
Thanks for the feedback Chris!