Funny How Thing Work Out Sometimes…

30 12 2010

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.

The original raw files- Top=Scouting trip, Bottom=Sunrise

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

  1. Colour correction to fix the colour cast introduced by the 10 stop filter
  2. High contrast b&w layer blended in multiply mode to get dark dramatic water
  3. Used Nik Color Effex “Brilliance and Warmth” filter to warm up the rocks
  4. A bit of “Freaky detail” on foreground rocks
  5. Desaturating image using Joselph Holmes colour variants
  6. Some dodge/burn and darkening curves
  7. Vignette.

I guess the lesson in all this is… if the light is good, then scout with your “real camera” and filters.

Happy New Year