It's one thing to critique someone else's images, it's another to submit one's own. So, here is a sample of my own struggle. This was purely a compositional study. It does not have a narrative or deeper message. It doesn't even reveal the character of the locale very well. It's a handheld bracketed shot using a Canon Digital Rebel and the EFS 10-22.
btw: A nice tip for aligning handheld shots: scale the image by 200%, then align the layers, then scale back to original size. Photoshop doesn't easily allow fractional movements of layers. This way you can move in half pixel increments!
the sunset and tree form a single element. It is therefore not ambiguous which is the subject. It is not "a tree on a plain of sand" *and* "a sunset embedded in moving clouds" as a backdrop.
c) the sunset and tree in combination are stronger than the convergence, but the sunset or tree as a single element are not.
d) there is definitive potential with the colors in the sky and the complementary color of the strands of grass. It does however have the danger of the sky becoming too dominant because it has the more attractive, saturated colors.
What could be better:
- The convergence is nice but doesn't contribute at all to the perception of depth and is even perpendicular to the subject. The clouds alone are obviously a strong depth cue, but the land below is unnecessarily flat in comparison, almost as if the sky has been cut&pasted in later...
- The foreground is sharp, but doesn't reveal anything useful but cluttered footsteps instead of for example little wind-ripples in the sand forming an additional structure.
- I think the tree should not be linked to the forrest in the horizon, should stand freely. (I do like the horizontal line formed by the forrest though).
- Although it is just a compositional study, the image desperately needs attraction or emotion, such as a possible point of view, place to sit and have a picnic or something contemplative. For those of you who remember that discussion: this is what you would get if you send out that robot to shoot "a beautiful sunset".
- The image doesn't reveal the character of the locale which I find important for landscape images (and this website & forum used to be related to landscape the last time I checked).