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| p.1 #18 · Lenticular Cloud Over Pothole Dome: Yosemite High Country |
It was interesting to see Michael's posted view of this same cloud. With that in mind - and after just posting a photo that I made from this same location in today's blog post - I came back to look at this and thought about it a bit more.
I think I understand what you were trying to do with the very wide panoramic format - perhaps recreate the sensation of being in the relatively high place with so much space and so many things surrounding you. However, because we don't share that common experience with you, we can only see in the photograph what is in the photograph. So, I thought about the scene independent of those possible associations and considered the compositional elements that you have to work with in the first photograph:
1. the wide cloud with its twilight color.
2. the sky above, below, and to the left of the cloud.
3. the distant ridges
4. the mid-ground forest (with some individual trees) and granite slabs, and especially an area of the granite that has a bit more of the warm evening light.
5. the foreground boulder and granite.
The central things of interest seem to me to be the colorful portion of the cloud, the foreground boulder with the bit of lighter granite beyond and the small group of trees to its left, and the far ridge. With this in mind, I often ask myself not so much "what should be in this photograph?" as "what can I remove from this photograph?" and retain and draw attention to those things that I most want to "show" to my viewer.
Thinking about what can be removed:
1. I feel like there is not a lot going on along the left edge of the frame. I would consider cropping it back to either almost the "point" of the cloud... or even taking away a bit of the point of the cloud. One thought would be to keep the upper "point" but consider losing the end of the lower one. I'm not certain about the latter idea, but I would experiment with it.
2. The very wide cloud is impressive, but in order to include its width you have kept portions of it to the right that are largely gray, and by comparison the brighter sections that drew your attention to it are diminished. I would consider a crop - perhaps a fairly radical one - from the right side of the frame. I might begin by cropping back very close to the large boulder, leaving it close to the lower right corner of the resulting image.
3. To my eye, the blue sky above the colorful cloud doesn't add a lot and it may actually also distract from the presence of the dusk-colored right portion of the cloud. I would consider cropping substantially off the top of the frame, perhaps down to or just barely above the colorful band in the cloud that extends to the right.
I did a bit of "hand cropping" while looking at your image and I feel like it has some wonderful potential, but that perhaps we could focus on the portions containing that "wonderfulness" if you considered letting go of some of the things on the periphery.
Hope that my thoughts on this are useful to you. And if Michael gives you any feedback on the image, I would be interested to hear what he says. (I'd even be interested in his reaction to my critique.)