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Don't you hate it when you come home from a shoot and can't choose between your best images from the night?


After some promising clouds appeared on my favorite Santa Cruz webcam, Jave, Diego, and I decided to meet up at 2 mile beach to see what's what. I got there later than those guys did and headed north from where they had set up to see if I could find something interesting on the low tide-exposed sand. This neat little rock caught my eye and I went for the cliche, but beautiful, water-streaking-around-foreground-rock shot. Only later did I learn that Jave had placed this rock here earlier as a backup in case he needed to find a comp. :) So a huge assist on this shot goes to Jave for placing this rock here for me.


Anyway, I had a hard time choosing between my favorite two shots, so I posted them both. Even though I like the color variation in the lower shot more, ultimately the one up above won out due its diffuse orange glow, the smoothness of the water in the f/g, and the interest of the waves in the midground.


Which do you guys prefer?


Thanks for looking. Your input, comments, and faves are always appreciated. Happy Friday!





Tech Notes



Nikon D300s



1 sec

12 mm

Lee 3-stop soft GND Filter, handheld


Post-Processing (Ok, this one was a real bitch to process. I converted the same RAW file three times to get tonal values I liked for the sky, the waves/wash, and the foreground rock. I probably could have achieved the same result on a single conversion using the selective color control points in Nikon Capture NX2, but I was processing under the influence of a big, beefy, burger-induced food coma and ended up doing things the not-smart way.)


In Raw Converter (Nikon Capture NX2):

- Leveled slightly askew horizon

- Global contrast for added pop

- Slightly darkened and added contrast to the sky to add oomph

- Local contrast adjustments to water streaks to add definition


In Photoshop:

- Noise reduction of all three converted TIF files via Neat Image

- Hand blend of 3 TIF files to get a master composite

- 30 minutes of clone stamping to get rid of water droplets and spray smudges :(

- Slight contrast boost (via curves adjustment layer) to sky

- Luminosity mask to add brightness, contrast, and shine to foreground rock only)


Then, since I originally had my GND filter held up a little bit too high and the sun's reflection in the water was going nuclear, I converted another raw file with the shine toned way way down, then selectively painted it in over the top.


Glarg, the processing on this one took awhile, but now I am very pleased with the results.


Thanks for your visits

327 faves
Taken on October 21, 2010