Often when I go scouting I don’t take a camera along with me, or else I’ll just take a pocket camera with me (or iPhone). However when I went scouting on Tuesday to the rock shelf on the Southern side of Avoca Beach, I knew there were photo opportunities there because I have walked the shelf before. So I decided to take my “big camera” along with filter belt and tripod.
The weather was overcast which made the lighting quite flat. When I got to the spot that I wanted to photograph, I composed the shots I was thinking of, and used filters to slow down my shutter speed. For the shot that you see here, I used my 10 stop B&W filter to allow me to shoot with 30sec shutter durations even at 3PM. Later on I used 3 filters (3stop Grad ND, 3 stop ND and Polariser) which allowed me to shoot waves with a 1-2 sec shutter duration even in mid afternoon.
I was pretty happy with my shots and looking forward to dawn on Wednesday when I would go for my “keepers”, but as it turns out it was a glarey “blah” sunrise and I wasn’t at all happy with the shots that I got. So I ended up processing up my scouting shot.
You can see the dramatic differences in the lighting in the two RAW images above. The top image was the shot from the scouting trip on Tuesday @ 3PM taken during overcast skies. The bottom image was taken at about 5AM on Wednesday with a BLAH sunrise.
For those interested in my post processing it included
- Colour correction to fix the colour cast introduced by the 10 stop filter
- High contrast b&w layer blended in multiply mode to get dark dramatic water
- Used Nik Color Effex “Brilliance and Warmth” filter to warm up the rocks
- A bit of “Freaky detail” on foreground rocks
- Desaturating image using Joselph Holmes colour variants
- Some dodge/burn and darkening curves
I guess the lesson in all this is… if the light is good, then scout with your “real camera” and filters.
Happy New Year