"Ahuriri Harbour Sunset" by Rudolph Kotze
"Visiting Napier, at sunset I was struck by the vivid colours of the light and reflections. I tied to compose the shot to include as much as possible of the reflections and contrast of the last rays hitting the buildings. Camera: Canon D80, Tv 1/200; Av9.0; ISO200; 18mm on kit lens 18 to135mm."
This photo has a lot of things going for it. The focus is spot on and crystal clear due to the f/9 setting and shooting at 18mm. The leading lines are great too, with the land on the right and the boats on the left, it really leads the eye to the horizon. The reflections are also stunning, since they are so visible they play a huge part in making this a good photo.
There are some things that could be improved though...
The camera settings for this image are 1/200s (shutter speed), F9 (aperture), ISO 200, and 18mm (focal length). When viewing the clouds at 100%, there is slight noise (grain) visible which means that the ISO should have been lowered (you always want to have your ISO at the lowest possible setting for the shot). In this image the ISO could have been lowered to 100 resulting in a faster shutterspeed of 1/100s. The shot would be still be sharp without any motion blur since there are no fast moving subjects yet the noise wouldn't be so visible.
One major thing that could be improved with this photo is the post-processing, mainly the colours and highlights. The colours would look better if they were a bit lighter and warmer, especially in the water and sky. The highlights on the buildings to the right should have been reduced too since they look blown out.
The edited photo with colour and highlight adjustments
A great capture with some minor technical flaws and some easily fixed post-processing mistakes. With additional practice both in-camera and with editing software, the photographer shows a lot of potential.