<<< o >>>making progress 30 comments + add yours

I spent about an hour trying to process a colour version of this shot, but there's something about the quality of light at this time of year that's very difficult to capture – almost as though it was warm and cold at the same time. Anyway, in the end I gave up trying and switched to monochrome as I really couldn't come up with a colour version I was happy with. Also, I think this shot might have been better if I'd used a slightly smaller aperture as more of the shell would have been in focus. That said, one of the things I really like about this one is the shallow depth of field – almost as though the shell has left a trail in the sand. Ho hum, decisions, decisions ;-) Anyway, I'm reasonably pleased with it, but as always, do let me know what you think.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.06pm on 1/1/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
40mm (64mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + fylde coast [scenic] + beachcombing
comment by mat at 08:39 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

Mmmmh... Love the way the background blurs away. This photo has something calming.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 09:22 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

I cant see it. But I can see the thumb here...And when I click on the thumb here, I get an error.

comment by djn1 at 09:24 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

Fellow Eskimo: hmmm. Does this address work:


If so, it's probably another DNS problem. If not, I have no idea what the problem is :-/

comment by tobias at 09:45 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

I understand what you mean by the light. I also feel that if you have a blanket overcast sky it is difficult to get the light in the image right without blowing out the sky which comes up as a uniform white.

I like the processing to this. Great shallow DoF. Brilliant texture to the shell and sand. Lovely.

comment by Michael Brown at 10:05 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

Outstanding perspective in this shot, with a perfect shallow DOF. Details showing right where you need it the most of all. And, the toning used really works well here.
Very nice!!

comment by ps at 10:13 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

another outstanding shot!

comment by rosa at 10:50 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

I agree with mat, the picture kind of has a 'zen' feel to it. Very nice =)
Happy new year everybody! =)

comment by Jem at 11:30 PM (GMT) on 1 January, 2006

I've had trouble with a few colour shots recently too Dave - this one is incredibly stunning in B&W though! I love the DOF. Brilliant :)

comment by james at 12:37 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

I really enjoy just about every image that you post, I'd really like some insight regarding your workflow. Your images almost always seem to have a distinctive quality that is all your own.

comment by Manual Exposure at 01:51 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

This has a wonderfully grungy grit to it, like a print pulled from a dirty plate. You've allowed an enormous amount of detail to be visibile in certain areas of the frame while keeping others just out of focus making us wonder what lies beyond.

comment by Viking at 03:24 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Nice. I wish there was a little more sand in focus, but the extreme blur of the background makes up for it :)

comment by nuno f at 04:05 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

I think that the aperture you used is perfect. The DoF that it created makes this composition very simple and well worked. My eyes are directly guided to the shell and are not distracted by other elements. Excellent work as always! : )

comment by Parker at 05:22 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Looks great! I like the reflective tone of this picture.

On a more technical note, I've switched my subscription over to the RSS feed on the new server, and it's working fine. My only complaint is that the new feed doesn't seem to have thumbnails in it! That was a feature I really liked of the old one, that I could see each day's picture at a glance in my newsreader. Or maybe thumbnails *are* in the new feed, and I'm just doing something wrong and not viewing them right or something. Any ideas?

comment by d at 05:39 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

i've been meaning to ask ... how do you convert your colour images to black and white?

comment by jezblog.com at 07:29 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

er.....weirdly your whizzy site now appears very basic in default type instead of your usual trendy font etc.......er..? Great shot as usual nothing is changed on that front. The depth of field falling away in front and behind is great!

comment by trob at 07:48 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

How did you get the background darker at the top? Clouds? Filter? Post-processing?

comment by Free Spirit at 10:24 AM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

This is my kind of photo! Shells are typically portrayed in a colourful setting and I love how this is different.

comment by Ron at 12:36 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006


When I typed http://chromasia.com/ in the address bar I go to the pixyblog home page. I like the picture.

comment by Navin Harish at 12:43 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Nice picture. The blor in the bushes in the background in creating a very nice effect. Happy New Year

comment by garyx at 01:13 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Nice perspective and composition. I know what you mean about the light, I had a similar problem on the yesterday morning; I eventually settled on a b&w version too.

comment by Peace at 02:10 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

excellent dof!
happy new year!

comment by owen at 03:13 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Superb Dave. When I first saw this I thought you'd used the 100mm macro - amzing capture with the 17-40. It is a beautiful find - and the processing is spot on (as usual!)

comment by GP at 05:34 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Great as usual, but I really love the subject.

comment by Kai at 07:22 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

This is lovely. It reminds me of mediation, if that makes any sense at all..

comment by paflechien at 10:05 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

This new version seems to be fully operational. I've just got my 20D, and try to remove some dust on the CMOS and after that i'll try to do my best ! As a french proverb says 'Souvent imité, jamais égalé' nice djn1

comment by djn1 at 10:55 PM (GMT) on 2 January, 2006

Thanks everyone.

James: when I've got a bit of time I'm going to put up a few step-by-step guides to some of my images.

Parker: thanks for the info. I've fixed the feeds.

d: by either using Hue/Saturation to desaturate the image of by using the Channel Mixer.

jezblog: I think the problem with the stylesheets not loading should be fixed now.

trob: by using different settings with the Channel Mixer and a gradient mask to fade the effect.

Ron: that's fixed too.

comment by coffeelover at 12:16 AM (GMT) on 3 January, 2006

Love it. B&W is so good that I didn't even initially consider it in color. Great work.

comment by tamONLINE at 03:38 PM (GMT) on 3 January, 2006

I love this photo. Black and white suits this very well, and I couldn't imagine it any other way. You probably wouldn't notice all the great shapes in the photo if your eyes were distracted by the colours. Also, the texture of sand against the shell and against the sky. You can almost feel the grittiness of the granules of sand.

Just lovely,

comment by Alex at 06:33 AM (GMT) on 4 January, 2006

Looks great! I like the tone of this picture.

comment by Miguel at 11:15 PM (GMT) on 18 January, 2006

One can almost see some big company's name on the top left corner of the picture, like Accenture or something.
It's a great shot even if it didn't come out coloured. :)