Ready to Depart - Critique wanted

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New Member
I spent last week on Vancouver Island, and had an excellent experience. Among the things we did was to take a two-day trip along the fjords of the west coast of the island from Gold River to Zeballos, where we stayed overnight, and return. The supply ship MV Uchuck was our transport, stopping at numerous remote locations to drop off supplies and passengers. We even picked up a trail motorcycle and rider who had been camping for five days. No worries about weather this time, but I guess they might have called it the UPchuck if it had been really stormy.

I would welcome your expertise on this shot - composition, processing, etc.


Ready to Depart



New Member
I like the composition of this shot and the reflections in the water. I think this would have benefited from HDR processing as the boat is a bit dark and the back ground a bit over exposed. The dock and foreground seem well exposed.


Super Moderator
Staff member
You might consider burning the reflection a little bit, call it -1/2 a stop. Also, I'd play with the curves a little bit to bring back the sky. If you use LR, the recovery slider at around 100% might do the trick.

Sounds like a neat vacation.


New Member
Another try - improvement?

Thanks for the feedback. I really appreciate other people's point of view on this shot. It's one I want to get "right", if I can.

Here is an attempt to lift the shadows a bit. I increased the highlight recovery, too. I don't have LR 3 yet, but I understand it is much better at noise reduction. In the mean time I played a bit with the luminance slider.

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New Member
Mike I feel your first is the best.......the most true feel. the deeper shadows make it feel more of a chill in the air. Just wish the grass in the foreground was gone. I think I would have taken several steps closer to get the full reflection in the water


Super Moderator
Staff member
My take on this was to use layers to rather than lighten the ship, adjust levels to increase the blacks and contrast levels of it. This helped reduce that light haze midship that the original has and that HDR accented.

Then the only changes to the original layer was a slight increase in saturation and color adjustment to make the skies/water and foreground less green and more blue.

Blended the layers, denoised the sky and shadows, usm except denoised the front of the ship as the original had some jaggies or noise (too small to say for sure) that looked worse with the added processing.

Granted, it is a bit 'bright' and contrasty for some people's taste.

View attachment 3807

Maybe a little less saturation?

View attachment 3808

And yes, as Rick said, it is hard working with small low res JPGS when used to full size high rez Raw or Tiff originals. This is just to give some options and other takes. :)


Super Moderator
Staff member
Lovely composition. You spared me of the urge to use "upchuck" in my reply :)

Interesting solutions for the processing.

Graham Line

New Member
Well, I know you meant it as a color photo, but this one is desaturated, with the shadows then lightened slightly and the sky burned in about 10% and the mid-range contrast bumped up about the same amount.

To me, the forms and reflections work really well and the color is superfluous. It also makes the foreground grass more of an anchoring element and less of a distraction. :)


New Member
Thanks for the feedback, everyone.

I wanted that grass at the bottom - I think it adds something. What I'm ashamed to say is I didn't notice that the shadow of the mast terminated in the grass. I should have moved a few steps to my right to avoid that. Oh, well. Hindsight is always 20-20, right? I'm definitely going to keep trying on this one. I think I'll see how it holds up in a test print of about 8X10. It might need some additional tweaking from there. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to