on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

Chris Goddard

Reader's images critiqued!

Tim Parkin

Tim Parkin

Amateur Photographer who plays with big cameras and film when in between digital photographs.

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Chris Goddard

Chris Goddard is a keen amateur landscape photographer from south Wales. Between raising a family and a full time job he enjoys making images of Britain’s beautiful landscape. His website can be found at


This week I asked Chris Goddard from the south of Wales to send a couple of pictures of Mewslade to me to 'critique'. I'm not a huge fan of the term critique - hints of criticise but that is far from what I want to do here. The two photographs are wonderful interpretations of an area of the world that I visited and found very difficult. If you want to see some more of Chris's pictures, take a look at his flickr stream here.

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  • Hi Tim & Chris,

    Firstly, I must say that the images Chris has taken are wonderful and have clearly captured the amazing rock features that Mewslade has to offer.
    Even though I personally like both pictures, it is the second one that in my opinion seems to have an extra depth and I wonder what Chris’s opinion is on this i.e. Do you see them as separate images, part of a series or could the first one be an idea that has come to fruition on the second picture?
    Tim, when I first viewed the picture I was really drawn to the glow created by the light in the background, and hadn’t realised how much my attention was being taken out of the image until your changes had been made. Therefore, for me the changes were very effective.

    Thanks for sharing the images with us Chris and I will certainly be having a look through your flickr portfolio


  • I like both of these images very much; I don’t think I’d wish to choose between them. Those are fascinating rock formations/erosions, and should I ever be in that area I shall certainly pay the beach a visit.

    Another very interesting critique, Tim, and thanks to Chris for volunteering the images. The second image really exemplifies superbly the benefit of dodging and burning to guide the eye in certain images. I’ve been doing this for a few months now, when required (I bought Photoshop for that explicit purpose and nothing else) and I’ve found that I’ve been able to go back and significantly enhance several of my earlier photos.

    Now off to have a look through Chris’s ‘stream.


  • Love that cursor – that on its own is enough to make want to come back to the mag 
    Both images have a really interesting Dali-like appearance, due in part to the subject but also the lighting, colour and composition. It’s a bizarre rock formation in Photo 1, very organic because of the curves and rough texture. I agree with Tim that cropping so as to retain just the main feature does take out most of the dynamism from the picture. I also fully agree with the “shard” of light on the sand – it is a vital feature.

    However, I was getting anxious with the way Tim started to adjust the blues in Photo 1 and hence the overall colour. With the second image I agree with darkening the left and top edges, but perhaps not quite as much as Tim did: the top blue edge “makes” the image for me so I would want to keep it a little lighter. This is of course subjective.

    To me Tim’s adjustments were beginning to encroach into “photo art” and depart quite a bit from what was originally there. I was getting just a bit uncomfortable but perhaps I am being too conservative? Generally I have no objection to digital manipulation so as to add-in artistic effects and radically alter the image. But is this something that Chris was happy to have done to his creations? It would-be interesting to know what he thinks of the results. Rgds., Adam

    • I think you are being a tad conservative there, Adam. What Tim was doing is only the sort of thing I do with my own images when I re-evaluate them after the passage of time. A second interpretation can often bring out details and relationships unnoticed the first time around.

      As to whether Chris is happy with this, only he can tell (perhaps there should be a ‘right to reply’ part of the critique where the photographer gives his views on the changes?) but by putting his work up for critique he is implicitly consenting to having it modified according to the artistic considerations and taste of the person doing the critique. Whether he likes the results is not the main thrust of the process, which is to inform about the effects of the various choices we can make during post-processing and to provide food for thought (which it does admirably).

      Do Tim’s changes veer into the territory of ‘photo art’? Hardly. Photo art, to my mind, involves much more radical processing, montages, colour reassignment etc., etc. All Tim did was merely to accentuate some of the pre-existing tonal and colour relationships. Is this not what we film photographers do when we choose, say, Velvia over Astia?

  • Mewslade is a wonderful location. Quite easy to take loads of snapshot pictures but it’s a place to slow down and work out a really good one or two. I’ve been several times over the years and love it.
    Tim referred to the very high tide range – in fact at spring high tides the beach is totally covered to a depth of up to several metres. [Check the tide tables before going to avoid disappointment.] But, a word of warning about the beach. There are several small headlands with very attractive beaches, small caves and rock formations between. The real danger comes from not paying attention to the incoming tide which will cut you off between the small headlands from the exit towards the east end of the beach as the tide comes in. There are no ways up the cliffs at the back of the beach – unless you are a mountaineer!
    Steve Gledhill

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