Road to heaven
by ingibComment by KiwiShotz:
:::: Critique Club ::::
This is a lovely image to receive to critique and my pleasure to do so. That it scored above average is testament to an image that stands out but it didn't make ribbon. The reason for it not ribboning is what we all like to explore.
First impressions are usually the most telling in any image. After all, it's exactly how we judge the people we meet. First impression here is of a powerful landscape well captured and slightly unreal. There's a sort of double-take as to whether it is a painting or a photograph. Art or a representation? That's not a bad thing, in fact it may be a very good thing. It largely depends on the context of the usage at the time.
We do get involved in this image. Why is that? The colouring is strong, it requires an emotional response from the viewer. The road leads us into the picture it gives us somewhere to go. Where the road merges into the heather is right on the bottom-right thirds intersection which aids in a comfortable familiarity. The sky is dramatic and because it fans out towards you, you are drawn to it. The sky doesn't look real, the result of that is that the viewer is involved in deciding if it is or not.
Any viewer involvement more than an uninvolved or impassive viewing means that an image has gone beyond "ordinary".
To get to the next level then an image needs to be "liked". Is this a likeable image? Probably not. It has a solidity and darkness that neither excites nor frightens. It's probably somewhere in the middle. It's not bright and happy, insightful or dark & foreboding. It tends to be the extremes of these emotions which score well. So what might be perceived barriers to a higher score?
The location is interesting but not spectacular. The sky is slightly bothersome. It has almost a false painted look to it. That is a real problem if it is actually a faithful shot of the actual sky because you're stuck with it :) There is a feeling of over saturation and the flattening effect of the high sun probably robs you of the great drama of low early or late light.
Only one other trick which may be worth a try is the composition rule which suggests the eye always begins bottom-left and travels to the top-right of an image. I tried a mirror on this image and the result is interesting. Although the foreground road goes left to right, the dominating feature is the skyline. The mirror works on that viewer comfort of bottom left to top right.