Chad Wanstreet's picture

New Zealand Beaches

Hey Everyone,

New member here. I recently got back from New Zealand and took a lot of photos, and would love some feedback from the community to improve my skills.

These photos are all from around the Auckland area, or within a few hours.

Thanks in advanced for your time and thoughts.


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David Perman's picture

The top image has nice haze and the glowing sky is also very good.

Chris Jablonski's picture

You're off to a great start, Chad! These are impressive. Since you ask for feedback:

I agree with David that the first is the stand-out - good muted colours, the beach textures complementing those in the sky, and a good composition, defying the usual taboo on central horizons.

The contrast in the second is very high, so the shadowed rock is hard to "read", and the top of the cave being cut mars the composition, which shows perhaps a little more foreground sand than ideal..

The third also appeals to my tastes. I like the way you've used the reflection, something all to easy to get wrong in the composition as a whole, and the way the foam at right seems to scoop up my vision and direct it back to the sun and reflection.

The final one suffers from the high contrast, again obscuring interesting shadow detail in what is a potentially strong image.

You have an eye for a good image, and for composition in particular. Simply lightening some of your shadows might make quite a beneficial difference (see edit). I look forward to seeing more from you!

Chad Wanstreet's picture

Hey Chris. Thanks so much for the critique and taking the time to edit the image. I kept going back and forth on the cave and how dark to play it, and I think you are right that the contrast is really too much. I will adjust to something closer to what you did there. Thanks so much.

Shawn Mahan's picture

Great pictures! the third is my favorite, probably because of the reflection. I agree with Chris. Overall, the pictures are all just a bit dark. There are a few ways to bring them up, and Chris did a great job on pic 2. Here is just a simple edit on 4. I use lightroom, and here all I did was drag a graduated filter up from the bottom and increase exposure. I also used the range mask to only hit the darkest parts of the picture.

Thanks for sharing! I am ready to go see New Zealand now!

Chad Wanstreet's picture

Hey Shawn,. Thanks for the feedback. I will adjust with the darkness and contrast in mind.

You should absolutely head to New Zealand. Between beaches, waterfalls, and mountains one can stay busy for a long time.