Checkmark: Critique please


TPF Noob!
Feb 19, 2009
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Houghton, MI
Can others edit my Photos
Photos OK to edit
Hello all,

This is one of my first posts, but please feel free to go to town critiquing this photo. This came from a snowshoe romp I had last weekend, on one of our rare bright and sunny days. This "stump" (a bit of a grand name for it) and its shadow caught my eye -- I liked the geometry and sort of minimal abstractness of it all.

I would love any particular critiques on this (very, very spare) composition. In particular, I'd be interested in any comments you have on the composition: strong and simple, or just too simple? Is this interesting to you in any way, or boring? If so, why?

Thanks much!

I like it, but what do I know im a TPF newb. The only thing that catches my eye in a bad way is near the top left there looks to be a dot. If you patch that I wouldnt be drawn away from the awesomness fo the snow.
White balance appears off. The snow looks blue (take that with a grain of salt, I'm at an uncalibrated monitor presently).

As to the subject matter, it's a neat use of shadow and definitely improves the image over what might be just a stick in the snow. I'm not sure it captures my interest for more that the time it takes to notice that, however. Pretty decent on the exposure (nothing too dark or blown out).
I hear alot of "the snow looks blue" comments. As far as I'm concerned snow is kind of blue. When I look outside I see a massive amount (grumble) and over 80% is blue cast from reflections of the sky. The only time I see crystal white is when it is cloudy out.

I like the claw poking out of the snow. It made me imagine a witch was trapped in a blizzard. Any picture that makes me think of a story is a good one.
Thank you all. (I was afraid for a while that I'd get no comments!)

Wolfgang -- good catch on that spot. I will fix it up.

Rufus, Leighthal -- thanks for the discussion on the white balance. I know that there is a blue cast, but I intentionally left it that way (well, edited it to its current level) for exactly the reasons Leighthal mentioned. However, I do think that going for a pure white color might make the image more striking. I'll give it a try!
I don't think you need to go pure white, and I agree with Leighthal that, in general, white snow under a blue sky is going to have a cast to it to our eyes. My experience (and a lot of reading on the subject) says cameras tend to exaggerate it to one degree or another. I wouldn't bump it too white as you might lose some detail. I dutifully maintain that white balance is an artistic choice, though. If blue works for you and you think it contributes to the image, then that's your vision coming through.

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