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The Desolate Top

By benlee    
I was lucky enough to spend Christmas and New Years in Copper Mountain, Colorado, with my family, my cousins and their two sons - thoroughly enjoyed myself. Copper Mountain is really rather high, which was something I was unaware of when I first arrived. The top of the mountain is 3,366m high (roughly 12,000")!

It was a pretty desolate place at the top of the mountain - very barren, rocky with not much other than ourselves there. There was also plenty of wind so it was never fun staying stationary for too long! This is a black and white conversion of the top of the mountain. As you can see there really isn't much about.

Canon 7D, EF 50mm f1.8 II; 50mm, f10, 1/800, ISO 100

I'm slightly unsure on the composition - I have another one taken further to the right.

Tags: Snow Winter Rocks Black and white Landscape and travel Wildlife and nature Copper mountain Very high

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


achieverswales 7 8 101 Wales
16 Jan 2011 1:36PM
Tried to do a mod in Photoshop but unknown profile so could not use any functions so unable to do Mod, When you photograph snow the meter underexposes so have to compensate by at least one stop.

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zebraboy 13 197 Australia
16 Jan 2011 1:46PM
Nice shot, I think this has worked out very well. M
Grampy 8 507 71 England
16 Jan 2011 3:01PM
Nice shot I like the dark look but it's a shame you have cut through the post. I too have a problem with doing a mod for some reason . it says the ICC is incorect maybe someone can tell us why we are getting that;
All the best
FaceFirst 11 8 England
16 Jan 2011 3:37PM
I think you have captured the mood of the place very well. I hope you dont think me rude but although I love this shot I think it just lacks a little something. Weather it is the missing part of the post on the left, or maybe the posts should be on more of an angle to draw your eye into the picture. Unfortunately I'm not good enough to know what it is. Still I think you have done well to make an interesting shot out of ... well nothing.
well done
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2011 3:52PM
This is well done. but for me lacks a specific subject - a semi-silhouetted figure on the path or something to act as a focal point. Technically all is well and, as it stands, this is well done.

16 Jan 2011 4:40PM
Quite and adventure, and ambitious undertaking to get to the top, especially if you are not a hiker. Very nice mono shot. It would be nice to have a siluet of a figure so we can relate better to scale and add interest. Great story thanks for sharing. You get my vote.
jefc1111 7 9 1
16 Jan 2011 5:45PM
Hi, a lovely shot, in my opinion. I personally don't consider that having a specific subject (ie person etc...) is necessarily necessary(!) The picture is the subject.

Have done a mod, but looking at it now, even though I've fixed the severed pole, there still isn't enough space at the top. There is probably a way of fabricating it in Photoshop. Cheers.
DRicherby 9 269 725 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2011 6:05PM
Paint Shop Pro edits this just fine so I've saved posted a copy of the original image with no ICC profile as a 'mod'.

This captures the feeling of desolation on the mountain top but, as remarked above, it's rather dark and the composition lacks a real focal point. In a way, the lack of a focal point is appropriate to the subject but, for example, a lonely figure in the otherwise empty environment is always going to evoke more reaction from the viewer.

To fix the darkness, you need a fairly big curves lift. Snow is white but the great majority of the image (more than 95% of the pixels) is darker than the grey bands at the side of this page.
Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
17 Jan 2011 12:44AM
I can live with the darkness, and others have suggested fixes for that.

There's mention also of the lack of focal point in the comp. I'll just take that a bit further. It seems to me from the subject matter that the main items of interest apart from the rocks are the posts, and that these are part of a long line which starts behind the photographer and ends away in the front distance.. The way you have it here, there are a bunch of posts on the left which along with the large boulders bottom left draw the eye in nicely to the pic....but then that particular line of posts ends up in one (perspective-wise) big one that draws the eye straight out of the picture before it's even had a chance to look at the right-hand two thirds.

if you can get over this interruption, the middle vertical third features another quite pleasing line of posts which meander on through the image.

The right hand third really contains nothing, though, of interest.

Can you see where I'm going now?..there was probably some composition there, with a bit of walking around, which could have made a line of rocks and posts draw the eye in bottom left and wander through the picture and eventually settle somewhere in the top right third. I appreciate it was freezing, windy, and you didn't want to stick around too long, but a few more seconds considering the journey of the eye through the frame might have paid off..

i hope you can make some sense of this, and hopefully get something useful out of it. Kudos to you for being there in the first place Smile

benlee 7 46 4 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2011 3:27AM
Hi All,

Thanks for all the feedback - not sure why there was a problem with creating a mod. Shame as I would have liked to have seen what you guys could have done.

I will agree that I think the photo is missing something - think that is why I uploaded it to see this is what other people thought. I like the photo but it doesn't have as much umph as I thought it would do.

Stephen - I actually have another photo that I took about 5 yards to my right. I'll upload it to provide comparison.

I think the biggest problem I had when looking at this was the post, which as you've eloquently put it Stephen leads the eye out the photo before it's really got anywhere. I like the mod thats edited just the top - think I'll go do that now to my photo.

Thanks again for all you feedback - very useful!


benlee 7 46 4 United Kingdom
18 Jan 2011 2:35AM
Huh, not sure how I've done that then. Appologies about creating a file wherethe ICC profie is invalid.

Yeah, the poles have been the major sticking point in this photo. Perhaps you can journey over to my latest photo - it's one taken a couple meters to the right. Think it has a better composition.

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