Critique White Sands

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One of my clients just asked if I had any black and white "artistic" images from white sands. It just so happens I do.
Going through older images from 2013, just getting started.
Brought back great memories- what a wonderful unworldly place.
We were in way before dawn, and hiked out in the dark each evening. The few minutes of raking light, when the sun was low, was just amazing.
Any thoughts would be appreciated- before I show any of these.
Thanks
gary

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All of these are so very good! Lots of different styles of light on the sand ranging from displaying no detail to displaying not just every grain but also every shade of grey.

Consider removing the strip of diagonal cloud formation in the upper left area of the third photo.
 
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Butlerkid

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All of these are so very good! Lots of different styles of light on the sand ranging from displaying no detail to displaying not just every grain but also every shade of grey.

Consider removing the strip of diagonal cloud formation in the upper left area of the second photo.
I think you mean the 3rd image? The numbers are below each image.
 

Butlerkid

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What a wonderful diversity of images! #5 is particularly strong!

I also like #3 - minus that diagonal cloud. I also like #6, but maybe with a bit less sky at the top.

It seems to me that #1 is almost two images....the sky and the sand. As a stand along image, try cropping just below the start of the darker clouds - just below that line in the clouds that undulates across the image.
 
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These are all very interesting and well done. The sand patterns are outstanding, but in some the sky is a distraction.

What a wonderful diversity of images! #5 is particularly strong!

I also like #3 - minus that diagonal cloud. I also like #6, but maybe with a bit less sky at the top.

It seems to me that #1 is almost two images....the sky and the sand. As a stand along image, try cropping just below the start of the darker clouds - just below that line in the clouds that undulates across the image.
I agree with Karen here (though I think she means "standalone"). The sky in #1 seems to clash with and distract from the sand pattern. Is that a higher ridge just peeking through the clouds in the background?
 

Butlerkid

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These are all very interesting and well done. The sand patterns are outstanding, but in some the sky is a distraction.



I agree with Karen here (though I think she means "standalone"). The sky in #1 seems to clash with and distract from the sand pattern. Is that a higher ridge just peeking through the clouds in the background?
Darn spell checker! LOL!
 
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Thanks for the comments!
I see a did miss some dust spots, thanks. If you change a lens here even once, your sensor looks like the bottom of an ashtray.

The contrails drove me crazy this whole trip. I remember working with that one, trying to get it to parallel the sand. I need to make it go away, sometimes I am too close to these.

I like black, and large areas of black are common in my images. Not everyone likes it, thats ok. Heck, even thinking I don’t like that, is at least thinking about it.

Image #5 was interesting. I liked it, many I have shown it to in the past don’t. I think it is strong enough to entice an opinion. The little band of light along the bottom makes it.

I will look at cropping of some sky in #1. I like the mountains in the sky look that parallels the ground, but I can see cropping above that to take out some of the upper black.

The dynamic range and contrast here, in raking light, is so strong I found these difficult to work with. My usual simple presets were too heavy handed but I did try to get all the zones represented.
These go to small prints soon, so thanks for the pointers.
Gary
 
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I like black, and large areas of black are common in my images.
I like it too! In your case and in the case of most photos, the large black areas are usually in the background or the sky, not the subject. So, some people understandably aren't used to seeing a subject with such large black areas. That somewhat uniqueness in itself makes it enjoyable to me but the main reason I like it is because the large black area makes so much sense.

Image #5 was interesting...The little band of light along the bottom makes it.
For me, the same is true of the tree at the top.
 
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Love 'em all. The black areas intrigue me—I find they add to the mystery and the compositions. Agree with Karen on the sky in #1—took me a while figure out what it was. Besides, when Karen says crop, she's always right!
Am loving the discussion and sharing of preferences.
 
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And #5 is my favorite although I am not sure what the light line is in lower portion of the image.
Thanks for the comments! The tree is the image. The light was just brushing the tops of the dunes heading out into the distance. The front light line was the light just hitting the top of the nearest dune, which was lower than the others. 2minutes later there was no picture. Everything was white. I remember standing there watching the light roll over them, like a rising tide. When light hit that first dune, I snapped the image, that part only lasted for a few seconds.
I love all the comments. It helps me see my own images, and I learn how others look at them. This is a great place!!
Gary
 
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Each of these is an outstanding work in my opinion, Gary!
All masterpieces.
The diagonal cloud in #3 is somewhat in the way but I doubt it could be removed in a clean way. In which case it's preferable to leave it there.
 
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Yes, it is a contrail. I remember hating them throughout the skies while we were there. There is also one in the last image.
I think this will go away in photoshop, but sometimes harder than it looks to get it to look right. I will give it my maximum 10min go and repost likely tonight. I have found if I can’t fix an image in 10minutes in photoshop, at that point I am chasing myself and only making things worse.
gary
 

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