Illuminated Reflections

by Lori Arnold
(Salt Lake City, Utah USA)

This is a sunset taken over the Great Salt Lake.

For some reason, it is missing the spark that capture people's eye in my opinion.

I like it, just want to know how I could make it better!

Lori, this is a lovely sunset!

There are many elements here that make this a good photo.

First, there is the run of rocks in the foreground, heading out to sea. This adds some foreground interest.

Then there is the sky itself – some cloud (which is good), and some nice colours from blues to reds.

But if we were to make this a perfect photo . . . well, there are a couple of things to try.

First of all, the framing. There is a mountain to the left on the horizon. But is gets a little chopped off. Better framing of the photo would have brought it into the scene.

I would suggest moving the camera to the left a touch so that the tip of the mountain meets the sea about two thirds of the way in.

I also think there is just a little too much of the dark foreground at the very bottom of the photo. My second suggestion would be to have moved the camera up a little, to include more of the sky, and less of the darkness at the bottom.

My third suggestion would be to have taken a panorama. This could have been achieved by taking three or four overlapping images, and then 'stitching' them together using software.

The reason why a panorama lifts this type of photo is because it is a more natural way for humans to look at a scene. Think about it – when you go to a scenic spot like this, I bet your eyes go left to right, not up and down.

Finally, there’s the post-processing. Don’t be afraid to use software to add a little 'punch' to a photo like this (professionals do, so why shouldn’t you?). I would recommend boosting the contrast first, then possibly the saturation too.

Don’t go too far with these adjustments though. The aim is to enhance, not completely alter the image.

Thanks Lori for your contribution, and I hope there are some useful tips here for you.


Want more tips? Get our recommended eBook.
Read a hands on review here

Click here to post comments

Return to Digital photography tutorials - submissions, May 2008.