These are the judges comments for Sharon’s photograph “Wild Beauty at Sunset”
Picture as submitted…
Edited for discussion….
This is a perfect time to have a discussion about the rule of thirds. Now I’m certainly no great portrait photographer, people or animals. I don’t have the patience to shoot wildlife photography, and I feel guilty asking humans to sit still long enough for me to analyze the pose, lighting and everything else important in a portrait. But it has never made sense to me when the subject of the picture is so clearly the person or animal, why it’s wrong to place him at or near the center of the frame. And then make it a square crop to hold attention on the subject. Everything else mainly provides context, but the horse, the bird, the person, or whatever is clearly the subject. In this case, I placed him just to the right of center. I made pretty much the same crop on Debbie’s fox picture. We definitely need to hear more opinions on this subject.
Orange colors in a sunset like this are dramatic, and I think they could use a little more punch. The horse might be brown, but I’m pretty sure even the horse is gonna look more orange in that light. If not, then I’ll admit to having overcooked him a little in my editing. Regardless, I’d still like to see more pop in the sky and ground. The easy way of doing that is simply adjusting color saturation, but I think there’s a better way which enhances contrast too. Used with restraint, Photoshop’s HDR Toning is an extremely useful tool for enhancing saturation and mid-tone contrast, without blowing out the sky. If anyone’s interested in how that process works, post a comment here and I’ll expand on it.