Owen Rojek's picture

Arches National Park Critic

Hi All,

I finally made it to Arches National Park in Utah. Here are 4 photos I took there. Please let me know if you have any feedback. I am hoping to improve before my next trip, which will hopefully be to Colorado or New Mexico next year. Cheers!

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Bill Jonscher's picture

This was taken on a roadside in the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia last May. An early morning fog settled in over an abandoned farm near where we were staying and gave this scene a lovely, moody feel. The trees were just starting to bud and the yellow from the wildflowers really stood out in the soft even light. I underexposed slightly and added a polarizer to help saturate the colors. Nikon D80, Manfrotto tripod, f/22 for 1 second at ISO 100, focal length 27mm.

I don't live to far from here, but still haven't been. Wildlife interests me more than landscapes. That said, you need to include a refernce object to give these things some scale. No one can truly grasp the size of the arch, for instance, without having something to compare it to.

Bill Jonscher's picture

Thank you, Jerry. I'm still feeling my around this site and can use any help I can get. I'll get the hang of it eventually and I appreciate the advice.

Robert Fisher's picture

I don't really have anything new to add, I would just echo what others have said. Doesn't seem to be the most favorable light. I did like the car in the third image really helping to give a sense of scale. Keep it up!

Tom Lupton's picture

Hi Owen! My first response here on f-stoppers ever, so I'd appreciate some critique on my critique too :D

The second pic for me was the strongest, but not because of the arch... it was the texture in the sand, and the gradient of the light on it. It lead my eye to the bush, which might have been the focal point, as it was framed by the rock, but then the rock (of course) battled for my attention. My eye started to be drawn across the frame, but then was jumbled by a bunch of confusing things (lines and objects). In this picture (and the others, generally), I think the most important way you could make them better is to choose what you really like about the scene, and compose your picture around that.

My general feeling among the 3 is that a wider angle would have brought out the personality of the place more (but that's personal taste of course).

My eye kept hunting around, thinking "what am I supposed to be looking at"? There doesn't seem to be any particular point in each photo that you fell in love with and wanted to highlight or tell a story about. Sometimes I will look at a picture and go "hey I really love the (clouds, reflection, texture of the sand, freckles, etc). And the photographer will invariably respond with "yeah, me too". That, I feel is some of the beauty of photography -- the ability to communicate what you feel and see (and interpret what you're seeing).

In the last shot, there's a great deal of real estate dedicated to the road; and yet the road is rather nondescript. I think it has the potential for character, but I'm not sure you took the time to "feel" it and highlight whatever you liked about it.

In the same photo, the rock slopes down and out of the frame, which was a let down for me.

Don't get me wrong, I think these have a lot of promise (I wouldn't spend my time talking about it otherwise)! Can't wait to see more!

Hey, if you can -- respond to this and tell us what YOU liked about each shot? What you were wanting to communicate? That might lead to other suggestions on what you might do to improve.