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I want to preface this with saying I agree with everything Kathy and Cindy said above!

Debbi wants a critique and so deserves one, and though I am certainly not qualified to say much, I'll begin with some benign thoughts... First of all, did you tripod this shot? It looks a little fuzzy to me in areas like maybe your f-stop could have been higher....? (I'd have shot it at 22). My eye mostly likes your composition, but some cropping of the right side might have been in order, and I think given the scene I'm seeing I would have tried to shoot it in portrait mode, gaining a little foreground and sky in the process. What I'm seeing is that you may have had some nasty light dead ahead on the horizon.... a bad enemy... and it's all about light!

I hope this might inspire an idea or two, Debbi. Brave job!

Michael, Thank you so much for taking the time to post. I really need some help with this, and I'll never get any better unless someone critiques what I am doing. I think I am having a problem with clarity in general, and I am just now venturing off of auto, so the aperture might be part of my problem. Unfortunately, I did not use a tripod. I know about using a tripod for slower shutter speeds, but do I need it for a higher aperture also? That's probably a silly question, but I really don't know much about this at all. I never thought about portrait mode. As far as the light, would a filter have helped? How much cropping would you have done on the right side?

I know I posted links instead of the photo. I'll post the photos next time. Did you look at the Blanchard Springs photo? I totally got the color wrong on that one.

I apologize for the delay in responding. I didn't know you had posted this. Again, thank you so much for the critique!

To answer a couple of your questions.... First, yes, I would use a tripod on all serious landscape attempts, no matter what shutter speed or aperture setting you're using. What kind of lens are you using? Filters you might have chosen to use on this shot would be UV, which I use as a cover lens, or a polarizer, which would have allowed more definition in the clouds. As for the cropping, I would crop it just to the right of the main tree to the right of the chairs. That's only MY opinion! I shoot for as many 'textures' as I can, so that's the basis of my recommendation for a portrait shot. This would have allowed a little more foreground texture and a little more cloud texture to enter your picture. I come home sometimes and wonder why I didn't do exactly the same thing in some photos, so don't view that as a criticism by any means, just an idea... Try shooting in aperture priority and set f-stop to 20+, use a tripod, try some filters... you may be surprised at the difference.

I saw a couple of your Blanchard Springs photos but don't know which one you refer to, so can't answer that one...

And... there are no stupid questions! Keep at it, you'll be surprised at how your talent evolves!

Debbi, the photograph is beautiful and your skills as a photographer are obvious. The only negative thing about this photo that I see has to do with the dreaded and difficult "composition". The tree on the right has a limb that juts out toward the center of the photo, and blocks the bend in the river. I find it distracting. If the limb wasn't there, the photo would be near perfect in my opinion. If the terrain allowed, you might have tried stepping to the left a few paces, or getting down at ground level, or a combination of the two. However, this would have changed the perspective of the chairs and flowers in relation to the river. I think I would have tried it both ways, and then determine which angle works the best.

Thank you, Doug, for your help. I am serious about needing these critiques, so I am grateful that you took the time. And Michael, I don't think I ever replied to yours, but you can bet I have been experimenting with your suggestions! Thanks to both of you. I actually have a sunset photo that I need help with. I might post it too.

I did a little reserch Counting POTD starting at aprox. the beginning of June to aprox. the beginning of October roughly around 5 months give or take a few days here or there. I counted 124 POTD give or take, and out of that 124 there were 14 multiple winners. The 14 winners had 74 POTD, this is over half of the total amount of 124. Out of curiosity I asked CA, does this seem right, there response was they have no control over it, that it strictly goes by CA members likes and dislikes. SO, it appears that we are not giving a strong enough critique, or we are being very lenient with are critiques. If you ever wanted to know what a retired person like myself does in my spare time, now you know. I enjoy taking photographs too.

Agree with Frank.

I think Frank has it, we don't have a good system to give strong critiques.

Wow Frank you nailed it. You should take it a step further and out of those 14 winners, how many were published in the latest book? I have said it in a previous forum post, there are certain photogs on here that regardless of what they post (could be a blurry picture of a goose turd even), and it will still get 40-50 votes, loves, etc (POTD is based solely on votes according to CA, not a combo of loves and votes and comments) and probably earn POTD.

I share your frustration with the current system but have tried to brush it off, even after not making the book while some photographers had 2-5 photos make it in. But as someone pointed out, life, and CA, isn't fair. I have tried to give some advice in these forums as well as ask for it.

I posted a photo today that I would ask for some critiques on. It is titled Winter Scene on a Creek. Check it out, give me some good solid critiques, good or bad. I shot this with my Nikon D7000 with it propped on my truck window. Processed in LR5. What do you like or not like and what would you change?? Go.

Sorry, meant to put the link to my pic here: http://www.capturearkansas.com/photos/1330501/in/upcoming