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!
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
- 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