Rejects From the Critique Pool

I continue to get lots of great submissions for my photo critique series. Thanks to all of you who have submitted work!

When selecting images to critique I usually pick photos that are good, but could be improved in some way. That gives me something to talk about, and I think these good-but-not-perfect photos are usually very instructive.

But that means many great images don’t get picked, and lie in obscurity in the Flickr critique pool. So for this post I thought I’d do something different and showcase some beautiful photos that I haven’t critiqued because I can’t figure out how to improve them. There are many more, and I wish I could show them all, but for now here are eleven rejects from the critique pool—rejected because they’re just too good:

I love the layers of hills leading to the barely-visible but still recognizable San Francisco skyline. You can see more of Neal’s work on his web site and Flickr stream.


The silvery light and reflections here are wonderful. Click these links to Ellie’s Flickr page and web site. And you might remember that I critiqued one of Ellie’s photos last July.


Great light and a beautiful wave-form, with just the right shutter speed to suggest motion without blurring the image too much. See more of Jeremy’s work on his web site and Flickr stream. And I critiqued one of Jeremy’s photos also, back in December 2010.


This image has a wonderful other-worldly feeling to it—just as the title (a reference to the game Myst) suggests. The tiny figure is a great touch. You can view more of Stephanie’s work on her web site and Flickr stream.


Great light and design, beautiful tones, and the smooth textures here are almost tangible. Here’s a link to Cory’s web site.


The strong, simple design of this photo from northern India is striking, plus there’s that unusual and captivating light. You can see more of Neelima’s photography on Flickr and on her web site.


Wonderful drama here as we peer through a window of clouds and rain toward the mountains. JJ did a great job of processing the image to enhance that idea. You can see more of JJ’s work on Flickr, and I critiqued one of his photos last October.


The god beams here are spectacular, plus there’s the raven, and the unusual, high vantage point. Altogether a captivating image. You can find more of David’s work on his Flickr stream.


I love the beautiful, graphic (yet delicate), high-key look to this image, and the subtle color palette. Visit Dav’s web site or Flickr stream to see more of his work.


This image has beautiful colors, textures, and overall design. You can find more of Adam’s work on Flickr.


More wonderful light and colors, with a simple, clean design. I like the reflection of the bridge in the water. Here are links to Allen’s web site and Flickr stream.

Hope you enjoyed looking at these images as much as I did. Please tell me about your favorites in the comments!

—Michael Frye

Related Posts: Photo Critique Series: “Red Sky at Night” by Ellie StonePhoto Critique Series: “Juniper and Monolith” by Jeremy LongPhoto Critique Series: “Meadow of Loosestrife” by J.J. Raia

Michael Frye is a professional photographer specializing in landscapes and nature. He is the author and photographer of The Photographer’s Guide to YosemiteYosemite Meditations, and Digital Landscape Photography: In the Footsteps of Ansel Adams and the Great Masters, plus the eBook Light & Land: Landscapes in the Digital Darkroom. He has written numerous magazine articles on the art and technique of photography, and his images have been published in over thirty countries around the world. Michael has lived either in or near Yosemite National Park since 1983, currently residing just outside the park in Mariposa, California.