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Lightning Bolt! (EXPLORED #2 :) | by Joshua Cripps
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Lightning Bolt! (EXPLORED #2 :)

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Wasn't sure if I was even going to post this since Jave knocked his version out of the park, but what the hey....


Last Saturday the fog was sitting in the Monterey Bay like pea soup: thick, and heavy, and full of bits of ham. But then out of nowhere the fog just rolled back out into the ocean, leaving behind a sky full of incredibly interesting clouds. I sent a text message to the usual suspects to inform them of this development, but only Jave was able to make it over the hill to shoot.


We ended up at this cool beach I discovered while scouting a few months ago. We explored for a while and then set up to shoot as the sun went down and lit up all the layers of the sky. And just when we thought the light show was over and we started packing up our stuff, this crazy pink glow came up from out of nowhere and floated right out over this amazing little rock bridge.


Jave had first dibs on an awesome comp of this spot, but I squeezed in right next to him for a slightly different view. The color only lasted a minute or two and I mistimed my shots, so I had to blend two exposures to get this final image: one shot with the peak color, and one shot with the water high up under the bridge.





Tech Notes



Nikon D300s



2 sec (both exposures)

12 mm

Lee 3-stop soft GND Filter, handheld


Post-Processing (really quick and dirty since I wasn't sure I was even going to post this one)


In Raw Converter:

- Global contrast for added pop

- Local contrast adjustments to water streaks to add definition


In Photoshop:

- Noise reduction via Neat Image

- Slight brightness and contrast boost to foreground

- Slight darkness and contrast boost to the sky to pump the color and definition

- Gradient blend of two exposures to get the water under the bridge


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Taken on October 16, 2010