I almost didn't bother trying to post-process this one and, if you've taken a look at the original, you'll know why. Craig and I had been shooting in relatively bright sunlight, but just before I took this shot the sun dissapeared behind a small, but particularly dense cloud. The effect was pronounced: the sky remained bright, but the sea became very dark, dull and flat.

Anyway, as I liked the composition, particularly the cresting wave to the right of the end of the groyne, I thought I'd see what I could come up with, and once I'd added an extremely steep masked curve (to lift the foreground detail), the image looked a whole lot better. The only thing that didn't quite work out was the colour balance, i.e. using an RGB curve to make such a pronounced difference in brightness and contrast also added a massive boost to the saturation – the sea was now an electric shade of blue. I did try changing the blend mode to Luminosity, but this unbalanced the image in a different direction – the sky was blue, but the sea was virtually monochromatic. This could have been fixed – I could have toned the sea, but not the sky, or vice versa – but the simplest solution was to convert the image to black and white. A slight cop-out, but in this case an effective one.

captured
camera
lens
focal length
aperture
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
ISO
flash
image quality
RAW converter
plugins (etc)
cropped?
1.43pm on 10/9/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
24mm
f/11.0
1/80
aperture priority
+2/3
evaluative
100
no
RAW
ACR
Topaz Detail
minor transformation
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down to the sea #5 / 23 September, 2010 [click for previous image: Daniel and Catherine #4]
down to the sea #5 / 23 September, 2010 [click for next image: Daniel and Catherine #5]
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