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Parasols on the beach, Santa Monica | by Gael Varoquaux
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Parasols on the beach, Santa Monica

In decembre, it was still warm in Santa Monica (CA). I took this picture because I liked the geometry of these sunshades. In terms of composition, I was also interested in the large flat divisions of the image, a bit like in a Rothko painting. The sunshades serve to break the monotony, and I made sure to concentrate the objects in the dark blue band that the sea form in the center of the image.


In terms of post-processing, I wanted to give a feeling of the 60s. In Darktable, I started by using tone curves to make the sky and the sand lighter. On the sky, I made sure to increase the contrast of the cloud that was barely visible. I couldn't increase it more than what I achieved, because it was creating too much noise. I used color correction to make the sky more blue and the sand more yellow. I used a bit of low-pass filtering on the lower part of the sand and the upper part of the sky to make them smoother. I also used an equalizer filter on the lower part of the sand to reduce contrast. On the sea, I used color zones to make the blue of the sea darker. Finally, both to give that feeling of a picture with an old technology and to fight the smoothness introduced by the low-pass filter, I added grain on the top and the bottom of the image, where filtering had removed the original grain.



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Taken on December 11, 2017