Daniel Michels's picture

Right or wrong?

Hello, I'm new here and now looking for feedback and suggestions for improvement.
I took this photo in the Swiss Alps and am not unhappy with it, but often I'm unsure if it is too dark after all. On the other hand, I like the contrast very much and I find the special atmosphere interesting. I am looking forward to your comments :)


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Chris Jablonski's picture

I like the darkness, and the unusual, almost slightly odd composition here, Daniel! One of those images that somehow raises questions as I look at it, partly because of what can't be discerned. I wouldn't change the tonality at all. However, remember different viewers' different screen brightness will result in not everyone seeing what you (& perhaps I) do.

One minor issue is banding in the sky, a problem with which I struggle a lot when contrast is increased.

It's an unusual and imaginative image, Daniel. Hope to see more from you.

Daniel Michels's picture

Thank you very much for your constructive and positive feedback. It helps me a lot to improve my compositions and pictures. Especially when you read how other people perceive the picture.

Chris Jablonski's picture

Well, I couldn't have suggested to you how to improve this composition, Daniel! I'd never have thought of it. I think I'd have placed the cows facing into the centre of the image, but I really like what you've come up with. Got me thinking...

Rob Symonds's picture

Looks like you found a dramatic locale! The texture in the cow and the far background are nice. While I like the feel of deep blacks, I’m not sure they make this particular image stronger. I find that my eye searches for the cow’s face but can’t find it, and also tries to read the rock formation on the right and can’t. That missing information could give the image more depth, more layers, and more for the eye to do. Look at Sebastio Salgado's work (which this hints at) to see what I mean. I think sometimes really heavy burning can work if it pushes an image into feeling surreal or tones down unhelpful detail, but it doesn’t have that effect here, at least not to my eye. Would be great to see the raw image and then something processed with a lighter touch as well.

Phillip Breske's picture

I think it's entirely possible to retain the contrast and still give a slightly better look at what's going on here.

On first glance, I could hardly tell it was a cow, much less see the other cows in the shot.

I bumped up the shadows just a bit while carefully retaining the darkest parts of the image. Obviously, there are a lot of artifacts from editing the limited dynamic range of this JPEG, but you get the idea. In fact, I would probably dodge the main cow a bit more if I were to take a lot of time with this.