<<< o >>>winter landing #2 80 comments + add yours

At the risk of boring you all to death, here's the second of three night shots of Fleetwood pier, all of which have been processed rather differently.

One of the things I really love about night photography is the ability to turn darkness into light, and while last night wasn't pitch black – it's only a few days until the full moon – there didn't seem to be a great deal of light around. Another thing I enjoy is deciding on the colour balance of a shot. Out of the camera, at least if you don't set the white balance, most shots have an orange cast as a result of the light pollution from the sodium lamps used in most towns and cities. This shot (and yesterday's and tomorrow's) was much the same, a rather insipid orange/brown. So, rather than leave it that way, or go for a more 'natural' look (as with yesterday's shot), I thought I'd try something different with this one. And just for once, the argument that it's been Photoshopped is, IMO, irrelevant; i.e. when you can't really see the scene in the first place it's more difficult to argue that one interpretation is more appropriate than another ;-)

Oh, and I can't decide which is my favourite of the three, this one, or tomorrow's; so I'll be interested to hear your thoughts.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
8.47pm on 12/12/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
27mm (43mm equiv.)
6m 0s
C1 Pro
3x2 + piers [Fleetwood] + night shots [long exposures] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by hbz at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

I assume the milkiness of the water is due to the long exposure. Were you using a polarizer?

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 05:58 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

And photos like this one is why I love your blog so much. Absolutly stunning, very good job david. No complaints here.

comment by Adam at 05:59 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

I love this color.. Great Shot!!!!! How do you get all your shots to look so wonderful... *look on in amazement*

comment by djn1 at 06:03 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

hbz: yep, the cloudiness is a consequence of the small waves. And no, I didn't use a polarizer.

Adam: magic ;-)

comment by djn1 at 06:18 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

... more seriously, the colour shift was achieved using the Channel Mixer.

comment by m at 06:34 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005


comment by nick at 06:49 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

good god... what a beautiful pic!

comment by Jan at 06:55 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

wow. pink water! i love this! so girly! if you cut off the top of the picture it would look like something from willy wonka's factory. funky

comment by Viking at 06:58 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Well, this one gets a great big Woohoo! from me. I wish the stars were a little brighter, but everything else is spectacular-- the light tower, the colorful stones, the criss-crossing of the supports... And the purple hue gives it a surreal feel. I love it!

comment by Scott at 07:17 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Very clever.

comment by Jamie at 07:25 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

OOOO!!! most beautiful photo, I seen!!!

comment by stephanie at 07:27 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

very nice! I really like the pebbles and how clear they are! The pink and purples are beautiful! I can't wait to see tomorrow's!

comment by Odd Christer at 07:35 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Stunning picture! :)

but how do you calculate the shutter time for such a shot? :)

comment by Katie at 07:38 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Magnificent, as usual. I love the mood of this picture. The "milky" water really makes this unique and lovely. Every detail in this picture is absolutely wonderful. Thanks for the share.

comment by Sanjin at 07:38 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

great photography and even greater post processing.
your photography is inspirational in so many different ways. thanks :)

comment by djn1 at 07:40 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Odd Christer: when it's reasonably light, on or around the new moon, I use aperture priority and set the ISO to 3200. Normally this will give me a shutter speed of around 30s or below. From there you just need to recalculate for ISO 100; each second at ISO 3200 converts to 32s at ISO 100. From there it's just a question of checking your histogram after the shot.

comment by Parker at 08:08 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Another great picture. I love the cleanness and artificiality of the pier, the milkyness of the water, and the detail and variety of all the stones. I was glad to see that this shot didn't have the distracting roughness in the water that I noticed in yesterday's. The light in the distance, perfectly centered between the pier supports, completes the shot for me. I have to agree with Viking though, that the stars would be a lot nicer if they weren't so faint.

comment by Parker at 08:15 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Oops, I just reread some of the later comments from yesterday and found out that was sand visible through the water. That makes more sense, given the exposure. Anyway, this is a great image and keep up the good work!

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 08:18 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

I am a frequent lurker but rare commenter. I love this shot. As soon as I saw, it just grabbed me. Thank you very much for sharing David!

comment by djn1 at 08:22 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Parker (and Viking): yes, it would have been good had the star trails been a bit brighter but I didn't want to use a wider aperture as I needed the foreground to be in focus too.

comment by distilled eye at 08:24 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Nothing boring about this one at all. I think the color cast was a good choice, adds somewhat more of a romantic glow, but without your comments or the EXIF data I would have thought it was taken just after sunset on a particularly gorgeous night, at least until I noticed the star trails or blurred shoreline. Well done.

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 08:38 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

David, if I could ask you a question, how did you get your wonderful purplish color. In your notes, you mention adjusting the color temperature. But doesn't adjusting the color temperature just make the photos bluish (cooler) or reddish (warmer)? How did you manage to get that wonderful color?

After seeing your photo, I went to some of my night shots using Digital Photo Professional (Canon's digital software). I was not able to come even close. So secrets you are willing to share would be most appreciated.

comment by Jorge Lesmes at 08:48 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Great one. Impressive colors. Awesome!!

comment by djn1 at 08:57 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Kevin: I've just checked the original and the colour cast was achieved in two stages. First, I used the Curves tool to boost the mid-tones in the blue channel. Second: I used the Channel Mixer to boost the red in the red channel to 130%. To be honest, there are numerous ways of achieving this sort of result and I've found the best thing to do is play around with an image until you're happy that you've got the effect you're after.

comment by Rodrigo Gómez at 09:08 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Well, the color in this one is just amazing. I wish maybe more star trails, like in the previous shot, but the softness of the water, the rocks and color (did I mention the color?) are just amazing. Let see what tomorrow brings :-)

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 09:15 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

David: Thank you for responding. :)

comment by Mark D at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Beautiful shot. I think this has to be one of the longest exposures I've seen, and it's wonderful. I've had a lot of fun with night exposures as well. Unfortunately it's down around -23 C as soon as the sun goes down here right now. I look forward to seeing tomorrow's shot for comparison.

comment by RustyJ at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Thanks for the note David. A question for you. The light's reflection stops before it reachs the rocks. Is that jus the angle or is it caused by the 6 min exposure, meaning the water came in that far(tide), or that's where the water was still moving(waves)? Just wondering.
Again a beautiful photo. Thanks Dave.

comment by djn1 at 09:49 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Mark: the benefit of -23°C is that you'd have a really clean shot (i.e. less noise because of the cold) but I suspect your batteries would go flat quite quickly. Not to mention the fact that you'd probably freeze to death in the process ;-) As for the length of this exposure: I'm hoping for a clear night when there's no moon so I can run an exposure for about an hour. Watch this space.

comment by djn1 at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

RustyJ: it's probably a combination of the reflection petering out anyway and the fact that the water was still moving in that area of the image.

comment by ROB at 09:53 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Totally blows me away. This is the Chromasia that brings me here each and every day. And your comment back to Adam right at the start still has me chuckling, even after reading all the other comments. Nuff said.

comment by VelviaPix at 10:40 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Beautiful series Dave.
I have just developed a set of star trail images myself (on film). This is amazing because of its tone, and yesterday's is amazing for the same reason, plus the stars so noticeable.

I do not own a 20D, I am looking into buying a 350D sometime next year, but... if these have a bulb setting, should I buy the TC-80N3 remote release? (considering it runs at ~200 US $ here);
I know it has some cool features, but, my question is if these cannot be reproduced via the traditional "bulb" on a tripod setting.
Looking forward to tomorrows' image

comment by djn1 at 10:49 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

VelviaPix: I may be wrong but I think the bulb setting on the 20D requires you to keep your finger on the shutter. This just isn't practical for long exposures. Oh, and the RS-80N3 is quite a bit cheaper than the TC-80N3.

comment by Jem at 10:57 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Another stunner Dave - gorgeous colouring. I think these last 2 shots have to be my favourite of your work. Just... beautiful! I'm speechless :)

comment by kim at 10:58 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Absolutely gorgeous. Look at those shiny pebbles!!

comment by Paul Woolrich at 11:09 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

This is a really nice night shot! I really love your use of colours in this particular shot. I find it rather hard to pick which of the two I like best as they are both so good.

comment by VelviaPix at 11:14 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Thanks Dave... Oh surprise!!! If you must keep your finger on the shutter, that is not practical at all. I own a simple "prosumer" camera and its shutter stays on. Do you know by a chance if the 350D is the same way?


comment by Martin at 11:14 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

I really like those shot of you David. Using the channel mixer you did the right thing..Its really great and I just want to thank you. For inspition. And that you are really interestet in what your visitors think. That makes you nice....

comment by mark at 11:21 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Well...out of the two so far this is my pick Dave, and I have to say that tomorrow's is going to have to be truly something to pip it to the post. What I love about this is the fact that although it doesn't look real it just sits right, if that makes sense (?) The colour I could just sit and stare at (but it's time for bed)...I eagerly await the next one.

comment by djn1 at 11:22 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

mark: I suspect that this one may be most people's favourite of the three.

comment by PhilB at 11:56 PM (GMT) on 13 December, 2005

Amazing shot with fantastic colours.

'I must down to the seas again...' ;-)

comment by Noushin at 12:02 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

amazing shot. I love the colors and the reflections.

comment by Lord at 12:22 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I don't like it.

comment by ps at 01:12 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

"Oh, and I can’t decide which is my favourite of the three, this one, or tomorrow’s; so I’ll be interested to hear your thoughts."

hmmm, well indeed there's a problem which one to choose.

photo #1 (yesterday's)
photo #2 (today's)
photo #3 (tommorow's)


comment by Juan at 01:41 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

This particular shot is very interesting, and I like it more than the one from yesterday. I was wondering one thing though, I see the lighting on the background, but how was the light around you and the pier? For such a long exposure it must have been almost pitched black.

comment by Magusita at 01:41 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Oh David, this is beautiful...!

comment by Rob at 01:52 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I love this one. No "photoshopped" criticism here. As long as someone is not trying to pass it off as not shopped when it is I couldn't care less.
On this one - I love it. The DOF is great and the long expsoure on the shoreline water with the fogged look is neat. The pebbles are terrific. Choice of color processing is right on. I also don't mind the subtle star trails, which tells us ti was a long exposure without you telling us! ;-)
Man, I love your beach photos. I for one am not bored.


comment by Corey Koberg at 02:27 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

You mentioned you shoot at ISO 3200, yet your images are very clean. Do you use noise reduction software? If so, mind telling us which you prefer?


comment by Adriana at 03:18 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

haven't seen the other two, but this is not boring at all. Beautiful magenta tone. and I love the motion shown at the botom of the image. :) Lovely

comment by Adam at 03:35 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

how do you get a 1 hour long exposure??

comment by Corey Koberg at 03:52 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Keep coming back to this one--so nice!
Since you specifically talk about the difference between the original/negative and the finished product, would you mind posting the original? Would really help us see what you're referring to when speaking of it.

comment by ixley at 05:07 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Definitely a great choice with the colors. I have just recently started experimenting with more long exposure night photography myself I'm still grappling with the common question of how much adjustment or modification one can do out of camera and still consider the image to be a true original. But I guess that's one of the main misconceptions with photography in the first place, that it is more 'truthful' in it's image making than other artistic mediums.

comment by Oriol at 07:32 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I believe that it is a very pleasant composition. More static than the photo of yesterday, but also very balanced. I like particularly the aspect of the water. It remembers to me the long expositions of the beginnings of the photography. What to say on the color? Simply, a brilliant decision.

Thank you!

comment by ColinM at 07:35 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I'm going for the minority view: the colour just doesn't work for me. Yesterday's shot looked better from that point of view, and this composition's a lot more static, too. I'm looking forward to seeing tomorrow's effort. Meanwhile, I'm off shortly for my evening's photography - rock wallabies and a lighthouse.

comment by Jon at 07:40 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

This one is off the hook. I love night shots and this is one of the best that I have seen. The sky and water have an amazing gradient effect, and I love the accent of the lighthouse on the right side. The reflection of the pillars on the water and the geometry that pier creates.. stunning. This isn't a set from Star Wars is it?

comment by Kristyn at 07:56 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

With the bombardment of comments on this one, I hope you find mine. I love how you used the colour, it is surreal yet has a darkness to it, like a world parallel to our own. Where green men live.

comment by pdbjones at 07:58 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005


comment by peter at 09:18 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I love pictures like this - and this one is excellent. Kudos.

comment by Darren at 09:27 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Another wonderful picture. Dave - do you have much noise to tidy up on these long exposures or do they come out fairly "clean" ?

VelviaPix - I know the question wasn't directed at me but I have a 350D and a 20D so may be able to answer it. Both work the same way in that for exposures greater than 30s you need to use the bulb setting. In this mode the shutter stays open as long as the shutter release is pressed. To avoid having to keep your finger on the botton you can use a simple remote switch that has a locking button and time it manually. Much cheaper than the timer remote - althought the timer remote is a very nice bit of kit and makes life much easier.

comment by GP at 09:50 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

WOOOW! Amazing! Beautiful colours!

comment by SteveO at 09:56 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Lovely colour cast you have put into this one, very cool shot. I must get out and do some more night shots soon.

comment by djn1 at 10:37 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

ps: stop it ;-)

Juan: it was a few days short of the full moon, so it wasn't all that dark.

Corey: I previewed the exposure at ISO 3200 but shot at ISO 100.

Adam: my remote release can be set for any exposure length up to about 99 hours (I think).

Corey: if I have time I'll put up the original.

Kristyn: I may not always respond to comments, but I do read them all.

Darren: they're pretty clean anyway, just a bit of noise in the sky.

comment by Dan at 11:43 AM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

ps: Bad Form, its not big or clever...

Great Shot, I like purple. I must get a remote so I can have a go at bulb shots, at the moment I'm restricted to setting a 2 second delay, but that obviously only works for shots up to 30 seconds :(

comment by John at 12:05 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I just love the otherworldly effects of night photography.

comment by dan culberson at 12:30 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

I love long exposure, and this one is done well.

The only thing I might've been tempted to do were I you is to take soem of the purple out of the rocks--and leave it just int he water and sky primarily.

Of course, I'm not you, and you are the one influencing me with your masterful work, not the other way around. :)


comment by djn1 at 12:37 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

dan: I did try a version where the rocks weren't colourised, but it didn't work, at least not as well as this version.

comment by ps at 01:30 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

djn1: ok, I'll try :)

dan: ehhh

comment by Dan at 02:12 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Spectacular. Absolutely spectacular. 'nough said.

comment by Tom B at 02:33 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Hmmm, if tomorrow's is even close to this one I can not wait until tomorrow. This is fantastic!

comment by neowenyang at 03:19 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

looks like one of those slide shots!

comment by vanessa at 05:10 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

i can't wait for the last of the series. this is absolutely amazing. i can see these kinds of pictures hanging over my bed or somewhere in the living room. thanks for sharing!! :)

comment by djn1 at 05:33 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Thanks everyone. I'll be interested to hear what you make of tomorrow's.

comment by dave at 08:09 PM (GMT) on 14 December, 2005

Sorry about the lateness of this comment....

this is an amazing photo!!!!!!!

comment by Samantha at 05:15 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

This is absolutely beautiful! I love the purple.

comment by Annabel at 08:41 PM (GMT) on 15 December, 2005

I'd buy that postcard for sure! ;)

comment by blu at 06:02 PM (GMT) on 16 December, 2005

absolutely amazing! you are my idol..

comment by bob at 02:13 PM (GMT) on 20 December, 2005

I WAS going to come over this spring -- but now that I see you have a little radioactive issue going on in the area - maybe I'll just stay home!

Cool shot, DJ -- I agree -- doesn't really matter how you process it - what's important is processing it to represent how YOU felt at the moment(s) when you took the image... We both know it gets dark - and sometimes spooky - out there -- and your mind can play tricks on you... I get lots of people sending notes wanting to know if it REALLY LOOKED that way out there at night -- I just say, "give it a go and see!" ...

I'm on Holiday for two weeks - so I have some time to get around to see how all my friends are doing -- glad to see you're doing just fine my friend! Enjoy the Holiday!

comment by Lee at 03:26 PM (GMT) on 6 January, 2006

Simply Brilliant.......

comment by ben at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2006

where was this i would like to take a pic of the purple sea. is this caused by pollution?

comment by anass sahnun at 06:33 PM (GMT) on 23 February, 2006

no comment about this pics wonderful color and more great shot