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corona del mar at sunset | by Eric C Bryan
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corona del mar at sunset

This shot almost didn't happen. I got there about an hour before sunset. I was taking some black and white photos, getting a feel for the layout of the beach, as this was my first time here to photograph it.

 

I was just getting into the groove when....blinking red light. My battery showed it was almost empty. No problem, that's why I have a backup battery. I put the other battery in and it read empty as well. I had forgotten to charge my batteries! Never done that before, but there's a first time for everything.

 

I decided to take only a few shots till sunset, and not use the live view for leveling and framing the shots. It was actually a great exercise in being very selective of how and when I click that shutter button. Much like shooting film!

 

Unfortunately, while I had been changing batteries, a couple other photographers showed up and set up in the *exact* spot I had been at. I guess they had been watching me. So inconsiderate. But I'm glad they did because I wandered further down the beach and found the nice composition you see above. So the lesson I learned is to be like the ocean and waves and just go with the flow.

 

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my blog: www.ericbryan.net/blog

 

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Camera Info:

 

Camera: Nikon D700

Lens: Nikon 16-35mm

Focal Length: 19mm

Aperture: f/9

Exposure: 1 second

White Balance: auto

ISO: 100 (I would have set it back to 200 as that is the recommended setting for my camera but I didn't want to use the big LCD screen for fear that it would kill my battery)

 

Tripod, 3 step graduated ND filter, 2 stop solid ND filter to help get my exposure into the sweet spot for water movement.

 

Post Processing:

A wave tilted my tripod slightly just as I clicked the shutter, so the horizon was slightly uneven. Normally I would consider it a throw away, but I liked this shot enough to break my rule, and I did some 'shopping to correct the horizon, not by using the alignment tool, but creating a separate layer for the horizon and setting it straight, and blending it with the background to look natural. I dodged the foreground and cliff a bit, and bumped up the vibrancy of the seaweed and clouds.

 

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Taken on November 9, 2012