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Well, if the HDR look is what you're going for, I think it looks fine. However, the grainy and noisy quality of the sky doesn't match the sharpness of the foreground. I'm not an expert on shadowing and the like, but the boat sticks out a bit too. Something about the color looks like it doesn't match with the rest of the image either. Someone with more experience will hopefully give you some more insight on that part.

I also noticed the trail behind the boat is straight, while the river looks like it's curved.

You definitely made the colors stand out more and to some, it might be a bit much, but I like it! Good job!
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A processed photo (or, for that matter, many other forms of art) is a success if the photographer feels that it achieved what he/she wanted, and that his intent is successfully conveyed to many in the intended audience.

In the case of this image, the OP may have wanted to convey drama, and he tried to do this by employing brooding tones and funky colors. On the other hand, I can easily imagine other photographers in exactly the same place and time may simply have wanted a traditional "nice memory" type of snapshot, maybe more along the lines of the brighter, less brooding version that I attached to this message. However, if either one of these two photographers produced the image desired by the other one, neither would be happy.

So, the bottom line is that only you, the OP can say if it's a success. Every other opinion, including mine, usually is nothing more than the parochial point of view of that person.

However, what I will say is that software to tweak shots in the way done here is becoming widely available at low cost, as well as getting easier to use, so thinking that a relatively simple manipulation like this is "fine art" is probably not a good idea. Anything that can be done with one or two button presses is almost never going to become fine art. OTOH, the criteria for the success of commercial art is very different, and very simple, SALES! IMHO, the image under discussion could easily be commercially successful.

Just my $0.02,



Unlike artists and craftsmen living in earlier times, the incredible ease with which we can modify, or even completely change an image is mind boggling and really focuses discussions like this on exactly what makes an image "good", "interesting", "fine art", etc. IMHO, the eye candy we can put on images is almost exactly analogous to the ear candy music producers can add to their compositions, be they avant-garde compositions or 2.5 minute pop ditties. I think that in both music and art, a large segment of the population comes to expect such treatments, while other folks want nothing to do with it. As photoshoppers, this makes us have to consider each graphical/artistic situation carefully, and on its own merits. I think this is a good thing because it is raising the level of all of us in our avocations.

[/rant=OFF] ;-)


PS - As an example of how quickly and easily one can morph one version of an image into another, the following took only a few button presses (...mostly just setting the parameters in Topaz Simplify). The ease of this sort of thing still boggles my mind. Wow! However, is it art? No, IMHO, I don't think so. By itself, it's nothing more than a craft.


This is perfect...it is an interesting shot as well...the movement of the boat over against the static landscape makes for an interesting picture.