A Smokey Harbor

smokey harbor

Here is a somber image of a harbor with large, threatening clouds billowing from smokestacks. (It might be that the stacks are emitting nothing but water vapor, but in this light they appear dark and scary.)

So how do I review this? I will start with an overall impression and reaction: it is a pretty strong image but doesn't quite hang together in that we get the message but don't know where to look. Are the dark smokestack clouds the main focus? If so, they should not be cropped on top. Are the cranes at left the main focus? No, too small. Is there a story in the small dark clouds in the center that echo the large dark clouds above? Not really.

This could be a very solid image to accompany an article about this harbor; it gives us a strong idea of what the place is about. But the image is less likely to stand on its own.

A test: try covering up the cranes at the far left. When you cover the left 1/3 of the image it becomes stronger, which is a good hint that it can be simplified.

Bottom line: Strong image needs a main focus. Keep taking photos!