Our critics praise and pan your pictures
Adorama Learning Center Editors
March 1, 2010
“I’m not quite sure I understand the logic of the simulated infrared here.”—Mason Resnick
© John Sandstedt, Dayton , NJ. Gear: Canon 30D, Canon 17-85mm IS zoom lens; polarizing filter. Exposure: F/8 at 1/320 sec, daylight balanced. Post-processing: In Adobe Photoshop CS2, the horizon was straightened and the image cropped. Channel Mixer was used to decolorize the image; sliders were then adjusted to create a simulated infrared effect.
Photographer’s statement: “I was on a tour of the Southwest National Parks. The itinerary included rafting from Page, AZ (Lake Powell and the Glen Canyon Dam) to the starting point for the brave souls that do white water rafting in Grand Canyon. The canyon walls are +/- 2400 feet high in spots and I just kept shooting.”
Our critics say...
Mason Resnick: I’m not quite sure I understand the logic of the simulated infrared here, especially since it doesn’t really work that well. For instance, the greenery on the right side on the shore should be much lighter to more properly simulate an infrared effect. I think this scene is strong enough that gimmicks aren’t necessary. I would rather see it as a straight color or black-and-white image, perhaps with the sky darkened dramatically (like Ansel Adams), without the faux-IR/selective colorization, which doesn’t really make much sense here.
Monica Cipnic: I have to agree with Mason, I don't feel that the infrared effect benefits or enhances what was sure to be a 'naturally' spectacular scene. Compositionally speaking, I'm wondering what the image looked like before cropping. In this version, the viewer's eye is drawn to the clouds (the brightest area of the image), but in the original version, the water, reflections and sky, along with the foliage and the cliffs of variegated sandstone colors would create a more balanced and pleasing image.
Jack Howard: For the IR effect to work, more tweaking needs to be done, especially with the foliage, as Mason points out. That row of trees should be glowing! And there should be more cyan in the monochrome areas for that brickish and Cyan IR feel. But honestly, I'd rather see this image as a straight high-contrast monochrome than what it is now, or with any additional in-post IR stylizing.
What do you think? Leave a comment!