Cee’s Compose Yourself Challenge – Week 12, Critic

This is an interesting challenge, as I generally do not like to written nor verbally critic someone else’s images. A lot of it is aesthetics and very much up the the individual’s personal tastes, so what I may think is wrong with an image, may just be the thing some one else really likes.


I hope you’re enjoyed our holiday break.  This week’s blog is an easy one for you, I hope.  You get to be the critic.  Here are five photos I took that don’t quite work or at least have a couple things wrong.  You get to discuss them just like you’ve seen me do for weeks now.  Tell me what you like about then and more importantly what does work or you don’t like.  Have fun.  Think about all the topics we’ve discussed.

So I have picked two images and I am going to play with them, I find assessing in post production easier to get a feel for what needs to be changed, adjusted or modified.

Cee’s Original

Firstly is the Marina, this image did annoy me as the horizon line is out (to me it either has to be straight or purposefully off kilter). I think the colours are a touch under saturated, the highlights are blown out and the shadows have lost all impact and definition. So what did I do?



  1. Imported into Lightroom
  2. Straightened the image
  3. In Topaz ReStyle I gave it the Hot Coral Streaks filter, to bring in some more colour and drama
  4. Using various graduation and radial filters I toned down the sun glare and introduced more depth to the shadows
  5. I also modified the tint and temp in the sky with various brushes.
  6. I ran (or added) luminance, dehaze and clarity


Cee’s Original

Next is the Umbrella shot, there was something about it, I think it was the overall composition, looked slightly out. The dark bit in the bottom right corner and mid left hand side was distracting, the yellow perhaps not desaturated enough and the red need a touch more saturation. So what did I do?

  1. Imported into Lightroom
  2. I cropped it tighter
  3. put the umbrella on bottom right line intersection (rule of thirds)
  4. Then took it into Photoshop, duplicated and Multiplied to added depth
  5. added a curves layer the bring down the highlights, but masked out the umbrella
  6. added a B&W adjustment layer, but masked out the umbrella
  7. added a hue/saturation layer and brought up the reds……….a lot
  8. Then back in Lightroom, added a touch of luminace
  9. added just a touch of grain (10)
  10. added a slight dark vignette


This does not mean Cee’s are wrong, nor mine right, it was just how I ‘saw’ the images. It will be interesting to see what other people do to perhaps the same images. I still feel strange critiquing another person’s image, but that is what this challenge called for………..Cee you have a tough hide 🙂

Til next time, happy snapping