What Makes A Photo Work?

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Is A More Drastic Crop Required?

The original image as presented for feedback.

Our Anonymous Photographer has challenged us by including the time stamp in the corner of the frame! Is it intentional, or just placed there to test us? :>)

My first instinct is to crop the bottom of the frame, removing both the time stamp and a strip of green grass that doesn't really match the rest of the image, but nor is there enough of it to create a strong contrast. So by cropping, I'm simplifying. 

I'm figuring the road and the pass are the subject, so I suggest darkening down the sky and the foreground so the eye is lead to the middle of the frame. This helps a little, but still there's something missing. 

By lightening the middle of the frame, as though the sun were shining, a little more life and interest can be added, but I return to the structure of the photograph. The line of the road is very strong and has far more weight (to my eye) than the empty space on the left. But the road and the space are not connected - there's even a small hill in between.

To get the photo to work, I think a more drastic crop is needed - what do you think? By turning the image into a vertical, the road now sits more comfortably in the composition, leading the eye into the mountain pass.

If you're interested in expanding your knowledge of Photoshop and learning how I use layers to achieve my results, I have a short Photoshop course on Sunday 5 June from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. All you need is a very basic understanding of layers. Full details can be found on the Better Photography website in the shop, under Workshop, or you can click here!


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