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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!

 

~Josh

 

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Tech Notes

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Nikon D300s

ISO100

F/18

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.)

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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

11,565 views
326 faves
124 comments
Taken on October 21, 2010
  • ƒ/18.0
  • 12.0 mm
  • 1
  • Flash (off, did not fire)
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