by Janette Coppock
TECHNICAL: JPG image provided. Interesting content across the frame. Exposure biased to right side of histogram without clipping highlights. Good. The sensor appears to be contaminated with a few spots (white arrows) that appear in the same place on multiple images. NOTE: Sensor spots or spray on a lens become easier to see when small apertures are used.
Image shot at f36 in order to achieve a slower shutter speed at ISO 160 in the absence of ND filters. Good strategy. It's not a big deal, but be aware that shooting at such small apertures (e.g. beyond f11) will also tend to soften the image due to the phenomenon of diffraction.
INTERPRETATION by Rob in Lightroom: Cleaned up the image with spot removal tool. Reduced global exposure by about 1 stop and then boosted highlights. Significantly increased contrast and darkened background and foreground with -negative graduated filters. Added vibrance to enhance rainbow hues, being careful not to make it look like a lolly! Added clarity.
Accented some areas of white froth by increasing exposure with the local adjustment brush. Darkened the highlight in the foreground (A) because it became obtrusive when contrast was increased. I didn't want it to pull the viewer's eye so much.
Cropped a little off the top, and from the right because I didn't feel that the small rock on RHS was adding any value. Added a heavy -negative vignette.
CRITIQUE: Janette, although I have cropped your image a little, it's really just a tweak. You achieved a pleasing composition at the point of capture. Well done. I processed your image more heavily than some of the others because I felt that it had a wonderful stormy ambience—thanks to the rainbow—that could be enhanced without spoiling it.
Your image is a good example of exposing to the right and then reducing that overexposed look during post-processing. Even though it was a JPG image, I think you can see that quality has not been compromised by the processing.
I love how the shutter speed of 1/30 has allowed the breaking wave to appear to be leaping toward the rainbow. Your image gives a wonderful sense of the energy and dramatic light we experienced between showers. ®