What Makes A Photo Work?

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Refining The Post-Production

The original image as presented for feedback.


Our Anonymous Photographer should be justly proud of this image. Strong simple composition, interesting dynamic framing, a wonderful contrast of colour between the tree and the grasses, plus that fire in the distance. As a light-painting exercise it works extremely well.


Two suggestions. The first is to do with the foreground. Whether produced by the torchlight skimming over the grasses or in post-production, I'm not sure, but there seems to be a very strong shadow line which tends to indicate something is going on.



You can see the area I mean, marked. The solution is relatively easy - add in a little light to the shadow area so it more closely matches the grasses above, as follows:



It's not a perfect edit and would be better treated if starting with the raw file, but you get the idea. The next suggestion has to do with the sky. At present, the sky appears a little washed out. Perhaps there is a moon coming up which is scattering light around the clouds, but again, in post-production we can tweak this.



Contrast has been added into the sky and the tree, which makes the tree stand out even more. However, no contrast was added to the foreground as this appeared just right!


Our e-book on How To Win Photo Competitions isn't just for making better competition entries, it's full of great advice on improving all your photos - you can find it here.

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