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Landscape Photography

With Elia Locardi
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3.75 - "Excellent" 

It was a morning anything could happen. As I was driving to Laupahoehoe the weather changed rapidly, which I understood was normal for the eastside of Big Island, Hawaii.
The image itself is a stack of 4 images for the waves and 2 for the sky.

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Masterpiece as all of your work. I'm a long time follower and I really love your work.

I wanted this image to be a single exposure, because it makes the water spraying down from the rocks, while there's a relatively calm scene behind them on the right, ...all the more delightful to view. However, knowing that the scene's "wave action" is patched together does take it into the "digital composite artwork" realm for me, which subtracts from the impact of the viewing experience since it garners much of that impact from being a "moment in time" type of action shot. Also, I'm not sure if the sun is actually supposed to be on the horizon or not, but it almost appears to have been added, which feels out of place.

Isn't it crazy how different we all are in regards to editing and photography?

I would love to capture it all in one shot, but I don’t think it would be physically possible. This image does not represent feelings, but actions actually happening.
The sun was there - not much «trickery» done there :)
Would the image be better or worse if I didn’t mentioned the amount of shots?

Great image. I think calling this a 'digital composite artwork' is a bit unfair.

While it may be slightly 'better' to get this in one shot, I don't think the fact that this is 4 images is a real issue. With the sun being that low on the horizon and that bright, the dynamic range in this scene must have been significant: I can completely see the reasoning behind getting 4 images.

Actually, I didn't even think of dynamic range when it came to the capture of the 4 different frames. I guess I've been working with late-generation Nikons for too many years; I've captured plenty of scenes with this much dynamic range as single exposures. (I'm a timelapse photographer, so bracketing isn't always possible)

I assumed, based on the description of the photo, that the different images were captured in order to multiple the amount of "misty waterfall" effects happening on the left, and then to combine that with a perfectly "swishy" foreground as well.

Which is of course not really a "lie", since each element of the scene may have been captured within mere seconds of the other elements. So, as both art and photography, (the two are not always mutually inclusive) this image stands on its own two feet and deserves much merit. However, personally it still would have impressed me just a little bit extra if it had been a single click of the shutter, meaning that every single little splash happened at the same moment in time. To me, when art is categorized as /a/ photograph, (emphasis on the singular noun) ...that is part of what makes it more impressive. Again, that's just me.

Barring forensic methods, whether you take the photographer's word on if it's a single image or whether you take his word on if it's "true to the real scene": either way you're making a leap of faith.

If a photographer tells me, as is the case above, that the picture is true to the scene - I see no reason to doubt him.

When I started out digital photography, I didn't have the money for grad ND filters so I would have to take multiple exposures and blend them in - for hdr scenes.

I still take multiple images and focus stack many times. Not sure either of those techniques counts as 'digital composite artwork' since I'm still trying to stay 'true' to the scene.

And, for every "knock" that an image may receive for being composited, to me, it can also balance out by being proven otherwise. For example, it increases the impressiveness of the final image for me to know that yes, the sun was actually shining through as it is seen in the final result. Conversely, if the rest of the image had been captured well after sunset, so as to allow increased excitement in the sky's colors, ...and then the sun "added back in" later, doesn't that knowledge take away some small amount of the mystique of the image, at least for some viewers?