Today’s critique starts out as a great shot. I like everything about it except three things. The little stuff in the water to the left of the subject needs to be cloned out. Check. The color could use a bit more punch – but not so much that it appears to be unrealistic. Check. And most importantly, the horizon needs to come out of the center of the picture. This really disturbs the viewer sometimes so remember, not only is it important to use the rule of thirds to position the subject, but use the same concepts to position the horizon.

Unfortunately, because of the angle and focal length used here, it’s not easy to find a decent crop that retains enough of the cloud – so some might leave the horizon in the center of the image. I went ahead and cropped anyway.

I used a Vibrancy Layer in Photoshop to pop the colors. I also made a Curves Layer to bring a bit more pop and contrast to the image. Lastly I used the Sponge tool set to SATURATE to bring out a big more of the red in the sky.

Scott's Take

Scott's Take

As usual, there’s no right or wrong here, just opinions and the hope that someone can learn something from the critique. If you’re not one of the 800+ photographers who’ve joined our Scott’s Critiques group, come on board. Submit an image for critique or chime in on one you see in the thread. We do this every Monday.

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