I only gave this an average score. I imagine that it's probably much better full-size (with all the detail, etc.), but I think it could benefit from a lot more contrast. It's a beautiful image and has a nice dreamy quality, but there a some small things that could make it even better. For instance I think if the sky had some blue tones in it and the water was a tad darker to give the viewer a "path" to follow through the image. With a bit of burning to add some depth and pumping up the shadows, I think it would have a lot more impact on the Web version at least. Just my 2 cents...
Hi Tsheets, I enjoyed this entry very much and scored it a 6. If it helps, I'll share how I broke it down.
With regard to technical issues: With regard to composition, I thought the leading lines of the creek were good - they definitely drew my eye through the frame. Unfortunately, when I got to the end, there was nothing really there that was different from the rest of the scene. (Like a tree, a stump, a person, etc.) This would be OK for a vanishing point, but IMHO there is too much space left after the lines end to be a true vanishing point. I also really liked how the lines begin on a diagonal from the bottom right of the frame.
With regard to exposure: the sky looks a touch blown out - see the difference in coloration at the tops of the trees? Otherwise, the scene appears properly exposed (no loss of shadow detail under the trees.)
With regard to overall clarity: There isn't one element that really stands out here, other than the lines of the creek. Someone else mentioned it felt a little foreground heavy, and I agree with that in part. The foreground is heavy, but not necessarily with a true foreground element. What I mean here is a set of leaves or branches that might have provided a natural frame to the scene. Alternately, a lower point of view might have brought more visual drama to the overall scene. Here the point the view is pretty standard.
With regard to lighting/colors: this looks good. There are lots of warm tones that add a pleasing and soothing feel to the image, which I liked very much.
With regard to emotional appeal: The image did hold my visual attention. With that said, nothing about it really jumped off the screen and made me want to go there and see it for myself. I was left with the feeling that it was very pretty, but lacked a "wow" factor.
Overall, for each of the elements described above something was done well, yet something was also just a tiny bit off. I can see that you are definitely on the right track here both creatively and technically. This is image is certainly worthy of hanging on the wall. I find myself suprised by it's final score.
I suspect this may be one of those images hurt by compression with all that fine detail in it. Did you have trouble getting it down to the 150K limit? I'd love to see a nice large print of it, I bet it would look lovely.
The warm colors are great, I love the leading lines of that creek pulling you deep into the photo, and the reflections in the water are great too. I think ideally I would prefer a bit tighter crop on the bottom (feels a little foreground heavy) and a bit more of that framing tree included on top.
Totally underrated in both score and percentile imo. Those free study competitions are tough ones though!
This is one of those images whose coloration is like color with very fine pigment. Wherein reds and oranges and greens have an almost transparant feel. It is almost like an understatement of color and herein lies its very unique beauty. It feels like silk on the skin and to the eyes like those images we see in dreams. Bumping up.