Scott Thomas's picture

Comments or suggestions for improvement?

I'm a fairly new member at Fstoppers, and this is one of my first posts. I suppose you would say I'm a serious amateur photographer.

This is Bass Harbor Head Lighthouse, near the tip of Mount Desert Island in Maine USA. There were about 60 photographers waiting for the sunset, and several photobombers who darted in front of us frequently. I had this framed as a landscape-mode, when some of the photobombers moved into the frame - so many that I didn't relish having to crop or clone them all out. I picked up the camera (on a Platypod Pro) and turned to portrait, so shot this hand-held - which is my excuse for softness :-)

Any suggestions on this could have been improved are welcome!

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Anonymous's picture

Hi Scott. First of all nice picture. Well composed. The reflection and the sunset adds to the mood. But what I really like are the portrait format. I know you said you had to crop i from landscape to portrait. But as I said, it really fits the content of the image. The vertical lighthouse on the top of some rocks, watching the sea. There are something majestic about that. And in my opinion, the vertical frame helps emphasize that.
What im not that found of are the saturated colors. They are too saturated for my taste. But overall a nice picture. Hope it makes sense.

Kind regards

Scott Thomas's picture

Thank you Kaare. It makes perfect sense. Ordinarily I prefer more subtle colors rather than saturated, but in this case I didn't add saturation - this isn't SOOC, but other than contrast and bringing up shadows, there was no saturation added.

I've attached the previous frame, which was landscape - the reflection is quite different, as the angle was not quite identical. This one had to crop the right side, due to a phone user who invaded the area. :-) Pardon the copyright - it was used in a posting on social media.

Thank you for taking time to comment.

Anonymous's picture

Hi again

Okay, I thought you had added some saturation.
This is also very good. I can see wh Cody thinks the reflection takes a lot of attention, but I still think it's a nice detail. I also like the other picture. Here you can use the stones as a leading line up to the lighthouse. I think they both are good. What I works well with both of them is that the lighthouse is located at the top of the image.

Scott Thomas's picture


I was conscious of the gaps in the stones in the first image making a line which leads to the lighthouse. In this one I guess the rocks were a happy coincidence.

Cody Schultz's picture

I have to agree with Kaare on everything except for the reflection. Personally, I believe it draws the eye to the bottom of the frame before one may relax the focus onto the rest of the image. Other than that, tone down the saturation and you have a wonderful image.

Scott Thomas's picture

Interesting, Cody! When I framed it, I wanted the reflection, of course, but after seeing it larger on screen, I was surprised how much the reflection drew my eye. Thanks so much for your comments.

Rob Freeman's picture

Hi Scott. Great shot! I like the portrait mode especially with the reflection of the lighthouse light in the pool of water below and the sunset bathing the lighthose and rocks. I'm an amateur myself and really find this inspiring.

Rob Freeman

Scott Thomas's picture

Thank you Rob! Those are the things I like about it as well, so I appreciate the encouraging comments.

chris bryant's picture

Love it. I would be very happy if it was mine. I like the composition, the palette and the reflection. Two very minor points. 1) The reflected light is brighter than the original and 2) There seems to be a gradient mask applied going from the top left. If so, I think it needs tidying a little and if not, I will have to look at my own masking. Great image.

user-163121's picture

great shot, especially considering difficulties with random people wandering into the frame! This image is very rich in the content, I can look and look.

I would only wish the lens was a little wider so to have some room above the lighthouse and below the reflection...

my 2 cents :)

Scott Thomas's picture

@Leonid Yenisei (sorry, but for some reason there is no "Reply" link below your comment), thanks for the kind words. This was made with my 18-135 at 18mm. I have a 15mm, but didn't have it with me when I needed it. This was actually not the planned image, but a quick grab, whilst avoiding the "traffic". All to say, I agree - I wish it was a bit wider, too!