Image Critique # 13
Image © David Kerslake
Hi and welcome to another Image Critique, thanks David for sharing this great image with us. David recently moved to Darwin and I am guessing this image is from that area.
OK first lets look at all the info we have from the metadata.
As you can see it is very blue. I always preferred the Lee 6 stopper over the 10 stopper as it produces really good colour with your WB at 8000K, but of course if you want 2 minute exposures then you need the 10 stopper..... maybe I should have stacked 2 6 stoppers LOL. I used the Lee 10 stopper for many years and I guess I just got use to that green look that you get, in the early days before I knew to change the WB I converted a lot of my 10 stop images to BW as I grew to hate the blue. I'm now using NiSi filters and all their filters have an IR coating that they have developed to remove the IR during long exposures. Dare I say Auto WB is the best setting when using the NiSi 10 stop ND and the colour is so close to neutral it still amazes me every time I use it.
Have a look at the histogram on the above capture and you will see there is no clipping, ie all the tones are inside the graph, so David has done a great job to get his exposure right in camera. I would also guess that there was maybe a Hard Grad placed into the sky as that bright spot in the sky where the sun is would normally be a problem and blow out the highlights.
Now have a look at the histogram at Davids edited version and you will see that we have some clipping at both ends, so we have some darks that are now blocked and some highlights blown out.
This normally happens thru editing by adding contrast globally which is why I do most of my editing by selecting areas and working on them. What happens when we work globally is we may add contrast to bring out the detail in the rocks but the highlights in the sky are effected too so they blow out. Remember contrast is simply making your darks darker and your lights lighter. Looking at the image I'm also thinking David may have added a vignette as the outer parts of the image are darker. I love vignettes as they really add another dimension to the image. There are several ways of doing it and you have to be very careful as some ways are a lot better than others. To do a vignette in PS we would make a large round selection on the image and inverse that selection, we would then darken that selection. I did it this way for years but found myself masking parts out as I didn't like the sides dark. Now I make a square selection on the image and inverse it to only have the top and bottom of the image selected, here are some pics to make sense of that, on the left is the traditional round selection inverted and feathered and on the right is how I do it now with only the top and bottom selected
David has a cracker composition here, all the boxes are ticked, great foreground, moody sky and a nice play of light on the water. There are also Islands in the distance so as a big print you would be lead to these. The horizon line is on the thirds line which works well, I also want to point out what is happening on the lower 2/3rds of the image as I do this quite a lot and it works well.
If we look at the lower 2/3rds of the image we have a rectangle that is split into two triangles, the rocks being one and the water being the other. These are fairly even and this subconsciously creates balance in the image. Triangles also push the viewers eye into the picture, so having the rock ledge as a triangle shape it pushes our eye into the image. Have a look for this next time you are out shooting and try to incorporate it into a composition as it works beautifully.
Great shot David, I think you have done really well with this capture, if you want to take it to the next level then I would do a re edit keeping an eye on that histogram, keep some detail in the bright spot in the sky and bring back some exposure in the dark areas and you have a winning shot. Thanks for sharing.
Want your Image Critiqued
These critiques are open if you are subscribed to my Newsletter. I do one a month and these are FREE, look out for the invite in the Newsletter