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Categories & Keywords

Subcategory Detail:
Keywords:_publishedZenfolio, rocks, scenery, seascapes, surf, swimming, water, waves
Photo Info

Dimensions1550 x 534
Original file size295 KB
Image typeJPEG
Color spacesRGB
Date taken1-Jan-14 20:06
Date modified13-Feb-16 08:38
Shooting Conditions

Camera modelNIKON D4S
Focal length125 mm
Focal length (35mm)125 mm
Max lens aperturef/2.8
Exposure1/5 at f/16
FlashNot fired
Exposure bias+1 1/3 EV
Exposure modeAuto
Exposure prog.Aperture priority
ISO speedISO 200
Metering modePattern
Digital zoom1x
by Bronwyn Ellis

by Bronwyn Ellis

TECHNICAL: Raw image supplied. Good camera craft. Horizon level and frame divided into sea and sky on an appropriate, traditional third. Shutter speed of 1/5th has captured pleasing motion blur, yet there is exquisite detail in the rocks thanks to good tripod work. Focus is good and the horizon looks fine with the slight tilt—probably an accurate depiction of the cresting wave looming behind. This capture is a fine example of shooting to the right of the histogram (1). The raw image reveals a number of sensor spots when the sky is darkened. I recommend having the sensor cleaned.

CRITIQUE: for Bronwyn's interpretation 1a: Bronwyn, you included "Storm_Pastels" in your filename and you have achieved that appearance. I like your processing: it's not overcooked; there's plenty of detail in the rocks; it's not oversharpened. There's a lovely juxtaposition of blurred and static elements. The digital frame complements the image without competing with it. You've taken care of the worst of the sensor spots.

I feel that the squat rectangular format doesn't suit the horizontal vectors in the original. The crop has made a large, empty, middle zone of sky and an attention grabbing dark, top right corner.

Bronwyn, although the bursting wave is cut by the left border in the original capture, I think that it works OK and balances the rocks on the right side. Your crop has left only a vestige of the wave burst along the left of frame and this, in my opinion, spoils the composition, making it look arbitrary. I wonder why you didn't go the whole hog and exclude all of the wave burst, if the runnels of water on the rocks were what appealed to you the most. I feel that the cropped composition lacks unity. Many may disagree!

INTERPRETATIONS by Rob using Lightroom: I decided to go with a 16:9 crop (2), feeling that it complemented the horizontal vectors in the image: the froth along the bottom; the thin wedge of the main rock mass; the wave crests and horizon; the cloud base.

These are the adjustments I made with the Basic sliders in Lightroom, to maximise the dynamic range in the histogram (2):

  • Contrast -23
  • Highlights +100
  • Shadows -46
  • Whites +18
  • Blacks -40
  • Clarity +25

Next I converted to B&W allowing LR to auto-mix, and then applied split-toning with a low saturation yellow for the highlights and a very low saturation red for the shadows. I then added a slight (-10) vignette in the Effects dialogue.

I made the following adjustments with the local adjustment tools:
  • Healed 30+ sensor spots with the spot removal tool
  • Added 3 top-down, tilted gradient filters (-0.7, -0.7, -0.7) to darken the top band of sky and masked away their effects where they intersected with the wave burst.
  • Added a +0.5 stops radial filter to brighten the centre of the wave burst.
  • Using three local adjustment brushes with different exposures (+ & -) and settings for clarity, highlights and shadows, enhanced contrast and texture in the white water draining off the rocks.
  • Finally—and this adjustment made a significant difference to the balance and weight of the upper band of sky—brushed -1.0 stops of exposure and +40 clarity into the upper middle tract of cloud to match its density with that of the top right corner. This gave the impression of a blanket of cloud hanging over the pumping seascape.

BONUS TRACK! Because there was some space available in the annotated composite, I chose another of your images, a vertical format, and cropped it to square with a tinted monochrome treatment. I like the opposing arrangement of the rock masses and the high-key, Z shaped negative space between them. ®