Registered: Jun 28, 2009
Total Posts: 14231
Country: United States
Since you asked for some C&C, I'll share a bit of feedback.
I like your POV with the bit of what I believe is the Henry Mountains beyond the closer uplifted sandstone mountains of Capitol Reef. The position also places that bit of foreground sandstone on the left, with the last light on it, in a location against the background mesa that avoids blocking something important. The leading diagonal lines (which are, of course, a natural part of the geology of this area) work nicely to lead my eye though various parts of the scene, and this landscape can lend itself to the panoramic presentation that you chose here. In a way, you ended up with a sort of near/far composition, in classic landscape style, with the "near" being the foreground rocks with their covering of green plants. the middle being the mesa at the left and somewhat at the right, and the "far" being the Henry Mountains.
If this were my photograph and I was looking at it critically, there are a few things that I'd be considering and working on I think. My impression is that the saturation is a bit excessive. On my calibrated monitor, the wonderful sunlight on the face at upper left seems oversaturated in the red channel, as does, perhaps, the brighter portion of the closer bit of rock that is in the sun. I also see some evidence of the saturation slider (and/or vibrance slider) being pushed a bit too far in the very purple/blue tones in the shadowed areas in the middle-distance sandstone terrain and in the intense green of the foreground brush, where it looks like you might also have warmed the colors up just a bit more than necessary and perhaps pushed a curve a bit too far in order to get additional contrast there. (The blue tones suggest to me that you might have punched the vibrance slider up a bunch?)
One trick you might try, at least if you are using Photoshop, is to create a saturation layer with the saturation/vibrance boosted, then use a "hide all" mask on that layer. Then you can use a white brush with low opacity and flow (perhaps about 30% or so) to selectively "paint in" some additional color in a few spots. For example, I think you sky is fine, so you might want the added coloration there.
Composition-wise, I keep going to the cut-off upper portion of the mesa at the left. I suppose that I would either like to see the upper margin raised a bit to avoid that cut off, or else find someway to crop just a bit from the far left side of the frame. Raising the upper edge crop a bit might also tend to give a bit less weight to that darker areas of the foreground, and since I think your main subject is more about the warm toned sandstone mesas and cliffs than about that foreground, the de-emphasis on the lower areas might be a good thing.
You had some really tough light to work with here. I _think_ you were probably shooting toward the east and working from the descending terrain to the west of the park. This geography causes the sun to disappear rather quickly and a bit earlier than we might wish, and especially causes the light to go from the foreground just when it is getting very interesting on the mountains. But what a wonderful park in which to photograph! :-)