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Autumn in Muskoka

This is a discussion on Autumn in Muskoka within the Critiques forums, part of the Photography & Fine art photography category; An unedited photo from this last weekend. Although I'm relatively happy with it, I was a bit disappointed when I ...

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    Default Autumn in Muskoka

    An unedited photo from this last weekend.

    Although I'm relatively happy with it, I was a bit disappointed when I saw the final photo as I had hoped it would be stronger than it turned out to be.

    My polarizing filter had broken that morning so I didn't get to use it here. I'm guessing that the sky wouldn't have been so washed out had I used one, though this is about an hour before sunset so I'm not sure how useful polarizing filters are at that time of day (I'll have to Google it).

    Any suggestions as to composition, recommended filters, and post-processing would be extremely welcome. I really don't know where to begin.

    Thank you!

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    Not a critique as such, more like some musings while looking at the shot.

    I notice no-one has a had a go critiquing this yet so I will just make a few observations. I actually found this hard to critique, so please take any comments as purely some items for thought or discussion rather than hard and fast advice.

    Firstly I like the shot, it is a beautiful scene and you have captured it well.

    I am undecided if the vertical orientation works for me (but I don't know what was either side of the scene that may have been worth including). Landscapes generally work best in horizontal format unless there is a specific reason to go vertical. In this case the log is a valid reason for vertical format, but I think that once you have decided to include it I would have liked to seen it as even more of a feature. If you were able to get down lower, the log may have filled more of the frame and made it more of a feature. Then the question becomes what is the subject of the photo, the log, or that glorious reflection??

    A polarizing filter may have cut the reflection in the lower left corner revealing more detail in the water. This may have enhanced the photo or added as a distraction. I don't know??

    As you say, the sky isn't all that exciting. You may wish to burn in the left side of the sky, as the lightest part is at the edge of the image and that is where our eyes are led. In fact the entire left of the image may benefit from some subtle darkening or subtle vignette . I would also consider cloning out the cut off rocks on the right hand side.

    The only other thing I will say from personal experience, is when confronted with a lovely scene such as this, take a bit of time try a few different things (different focal lengths - get low, take a step in other direction etc etc) Don't shoot randomly in a "spray and pray" manner, but experiment with different things. I find that as I start doing that new ideas pop into my head that take me in a whole different direction than when I started. When I get home I am surprised at which images appeal to me.

    Overall I think you should be pleased with this photo, and I am sorry I cant help with a better critique. Perhaps this may prompt some others to chime in and agree or disagree, or add some comments more valuable than my own.
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    Thank you so much for your detailed reply. It's appreciated.

    I did take a number of shots ( though admittedly, I didn't play with depth of field -- I'll try that next time); my favourite was a landscape oriented photo that doesn't include the log. It's just that I thought this would be the strongest photo and was struggling to figure out why it wasn't in the hopes that I could improve on my composition next time.

    I think you're right: the log isn't enough of a feature to make this image as strong as I wanted, nor to justify the vertical composition. There's just not enough going on in the foreground.

    Thanks again -- it's really helpful to bounce ideas off of people.

    Now I'm looking forward to next year when I can return and try shooting it again. Here's hoping the light will cooperate again!

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    Rm asks good questions and I agree - what is the shot about?
    For me it's an okay shot, I'm not keen on this composition - The colors and reflections are good but then you added the large diagonal log in the immediate foreground that does not connect or flow with the background.. I don't find that it helps the composition at all (for me it actually disrupts the flow) so I would have excluded it.
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    Yep, definitely helpful. Thank you both.

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