The waiting game and preparation.
Nowadays, there are days that I go out determined to take a photo yet without deciding in my mind exactly what it is I have wanted to take a photo of. On this particular day, I had decided that I would drive down to the beach at dawn to take some photos of Glenelg. The beach faces west, so I had an idea that dawn’s beauty light before sunrise was to be the background for the primary subject matter.
I had checked that sunrise was at 6am that day. That would mean probably 30 minutes of time to shoot the desired lighting and at least as much time to set up and find a location that was suitable. As luck would have it, I rose 15 minutes later than planned and arrived just as first light was breaking. It is very fortunate that I know the area reasonably well and finding a location was just a matter of walking to a few different pre-conceived spots and setting up.
What did I have planned for the image? – I wanted a skew angle of the standard under jetty “straight on” shots, I wanted water motion in the image requiring longer than usual exposures, and of course, I wanted the pre-dawn beauty light. This is where I began to encounter some problems in preparation. After setting up the tripod and metering for exposures times with a ciruclar ND filter on (giving the neutral part of the image 15 seconds exposure) , I realised that I had left the wide angle filter holder at home! No disaster, I could just hold the filter in place and pray …..no luck there either, the filters weren’t in the bag ……..ugh.
In the end, I took this image once with a longer exposure just to see how blown out the sky would be at 20 seconds – and boy was it blown out … no good. Second time round, I held my glove over half the top half of the image and according to the histograms, nice and smooth.
Post processing at home :
– Layer1: Levels adjustment to get rid of dead pixel space , shadow highlight adjustment to bring out minor details in the shadows (especially where my hand was covering the image)
-Layer2: Colour balance layer with the pastel tones selected. Magentas and reds accentuated – layer masked out the parts of the pillars that were affected.
-Layer3: Gaussian blur layer to give the sky and water flow more smoothness : layer masked the remainder of the image
– Layer4: 50% neutral gray overlay layer : dodge and burn minor details
-Layer 5: high pass filter on vivid light for sharpening.
-Framing and watermarking as pre-saved actions
And there we have the end result – Hope you like it! Criticism welcome as always. The key thing I learned from this experience is to be prepared and even more so before heading out !