<<< o >>>along the wave's trace 45 comments + add yours

This is my final shot from my Sunday walk with John and when I first processed it I really liked it. Since then it's occurred to me that it looks remarkably like one of those shots you might find in a Cokin filter catalogue (i.e. a bit clichéd), but I'm still reasonably pleased with it.

If you're interested, I've posted the original here:


On a totally unrelated matter: have any of you (with MT blogs) recently experienced a flood of spam comments? At the moment I'm receiving about 50 comments a day that say either 'Great work!' (followed by two url's that fail to resolve) or 'Well done!' (again followed by two meaningless url's). They arrive in batches of three, from different IP addresses.

It's not a major problem, insofar as they're being automatically junked, but it's puzzling because I don't see what anyone has to gain by posting relatively pointless comments with meaningless url's. Anyway, I thought I'd see whether anyone else is experiencing the same thing or whether it's just chromasia that's been singled out for an especially pointless dose of spam.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.10pm on 14/5/06
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
minor rotation
3x2 + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Tim at 07:01 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I prefer the fiddled with version, though I'm not sure its one of your strongest shots. I like the colours, but the composition is a little lacking somehow. It's lacking a suitable focal point, perhaps.

I know you've taken lots of shots of the pier at St. Annes but I don't recall you ever photographing the gaudy mock Tudor 'front end' as it were. I realise this isn't a request blog where readers make suggestions of what you should photograph, but if were, that would be my request. Just a thought.

Best wishes to you and yours.

comment by sanjin at 07:05 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

nice sepia-like tones...

as for the spam comments, i used to get a lot of these, until i created special code entry field, which completelly blocked any spam comments.
these comments are automatically entered by a bot, or robots how they call them. it is a very popular way of spamming today and it is widely used. that's why many photo blog templates include this random code generator that can only be entered by an actual person, not a bot.

comment by James Darling at 07:05 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I've been getting about 1 spam comment a minute for the last 6 months. A lot get blocked with mt-blacklist, but there's still a lot of manual work to be done.

They gain by the fact that lots of external links to a domain boosts the google pagranking of that domain (i.e. it gets higher on searches)

comment by djn1 at 07:12 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Tim: yep, a more pronounced focal point (other than the pagoda and the very small lone figure might have helped). As for the pier: I'll give it some thought next time I'm there.

sanjin: I'm reluctant to go down that route as it makes things a bit more difficult for people to comment. It may come to that though.

James: yep, if these were valid url's then I'd understand it, but they're not. For example, the latest one, which came in about a minute ago, contains two url's: ekqgkjsc.com/xdyk/ztjq.html and zwyafcyl.com/bgtf/prti.html. Neither of these are valid addresses so this can't, as best I can tell, bu anything to do with google pagerank.

comment by Andrew at 07:15 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I like the dream like look to this shot. I don't know how you manage to pull that kind of processing off, but you've done it again.

As far as spam commenting, I've had a long battle with that on my regular blog, my photoblog is spam free at the moment, but I just started and I expect that to change. There are a couple of things you could look at doing. The first and most effective is something called Captcha. It forces people to enter in random text that they see in an image. The final and more drastic method is to start black listing the IP address of the source of the spam. It's highly effective, but you may end up blocking other people to the site if the IP address was actually a web-proxy or similar. Pop me an email if you have any questions.

comment by travis lane at 07:20 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Thanks for the comparison shot--very impressive to see how you cultivate your vision and hope you'll continue to post both!

comment by maiken at 07:23 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I've been receiving those exact same spam messages, as well. I'm similarly mystified at their purpose, since the URLs they include seem to be random, and at any rate don't correspond to registered domains. I added the exact phrases they use to MT's spam filtering and called it a day.

I like the processing on this shot!

comment by ben at 07:23 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Definitely prefer the processed one. Did you have this technique in mind when you took the shot?

Comment spam is a pain in the backside. I seem to get countless ones advertising hotels in all sorts of places! But as with yours they all end up being caught by my comment system, thank goodness! I guess that is one bonus of using one of the main-stream blogging systems ie. loads of plugins for spam etc. I was going to go down the home-made photoblog route but very glad I didn't! Wordpress works well for me at the moment.

comment by mooch at 07:51 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Very little subject matter in this image yt it really draws you in. The tones are lovely too. The composition reminds me a little of Michael Kenna.

comment by mooch at 07:54 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

The URL's do go to medication sales sites (xanax is a fave). It is irksome and my spam protection (tick boxes) is being over-ridden. One is quite long and says "oh i love you explaining... danger... beautiful light" but Ijust check the link and then delete. I got 5 today. Normally as you say three. Are they hand typing these?

comment by Paul at 08:10 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I like it. How do you go from walking along the beach to the point where you say..."I can use this"? Do you take the shot and have a particular style in mind, or are you like me and 90% of the time you process as you see fit?

comment by Ashish Sidapara at 08:13 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Lovely tone, nice one! About the spam, you are not alone! I have been getting similar posts as you mentioned, and they seem to target older posts.

comment by Coxcorns at 08:24 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Vraiment très belle... IRREALISTE ... mais si beau.

comment by Robert at 08:32 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I like the emptiness; the tone goes well with it and together thay give a sort of antique feel.

I get the same thing type of comment spam using pixelpost, and they always target the same entry. There's a plug-in for akismet that may work for you if it becomes more of an issue or they start getting by your current filter:


comment by chiara at 09:04 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I love it! The mood, the tones, the haze.. everything!

comment by Jamey at 09:51 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

My photoblog is entirely home-made, as is probably evident from the slightly unorthodox design and layout, and so far I've been really lucky. I have an IP blacklist and every comment gets sent to me in an email with a unique URL that I can click to delete the comment and ban the IP, if need be. To date that's been enough but I'm a little scared that I'll be a victim once they smarten up a bit.

Anyway, this shot... Am I right in thinking that it's brighter in the middle-left of the frame than elsewhere? And I don't just mean the vignette. It lookes quite broadly dodged over that side, but I like it. It would be nothing without the processing but I do like it.

comment by Toby at 09:53 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I was immediately drawn to this shot and much prefer the processed one. Perhaps because it reminds me of a photo that I seem to recall my grandfather having taken on the beach in Devon in the 1920's. His shot would have included family in "bathing costumes" and shovels and buckets. That these people and items are not in your image makes it even more haunting. Or are they just along the beach by the pagoda?

Thanks for the shot and I hope all is well with your wife.

comment by Sheridan at 10:03 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

(medium time watcher, first time poster! :P)
For the comment spam, what I think they're trying to do is get that text slurped by the search engines as some kind of 'popular phrase' that is mentioned everywhere.. then they pop in with that phrase and a valid url, and it's supposed to magically appear near the top in search results.

I have a keyword filter with about 40 keywords that it filters out, and there are between 800 and 9000 attempts per day on mine :( The good news is that because they are trying to fool a computer rather than a person, substituting 1s and 3s into words doesn't work, which makes the job of filtering much easier.

comment by Rask at 10:10 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

If there's an option, have the MT software insert a rel="nofollow" tag to any user-submitted links.

Then if any spam does get through, they won't benefit in the Google pagerank algorithm.


That, and perhaps a captcha control should eliminate blog spam (one can hope).

comment by nuno f at 10:25 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

It's an open space composition but at the same time visualy very complete.

I use the "My Expressions" platform and I get the same spam messages. The funny side (if there's any) is that I only receive that spam comments in one of my photos (one of the oldests). Strange.

comment by Hank at 10:56 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

I don't see your images evolving at all. If I were to go back a year or two the images would be just the same. Sorry dude, just calling it like I see it. They don't progress and are just the same over and over again.

comment by dan culberson at 11:09 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Hank, I'm not usually the type to just go leaping to someone's defence that I don't know or have any connection too... I think the popularity of Chromasia speaks all for itself.

But I was struck by your comment as I find myself thinking the opposite quite often. With any daily photoblog there are great images and not-so-great images--Chromasia is no exception. But if you look at all of Mr. Nightingale's work here I see a definite progression--not necessarily in quality of image, but in the types of images and the types of photos displayed. I think many of the photos on Chromasia 'say more' than they once did. They act less as eye candy and cause me to think more about photography or about the culture and artist.

comment by Luisa at 11:38 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Thank you for posting the original photos, it's very interesting to see how you have processed them. You are a master in that.

comment by Luisa at 11:40 PM (GMT) on 17 May, 2006

Forgot to say that the result is far better than the original.

comment by ojorojo at 01:49 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

I use captcha, and for the moment, ojorojo don't have spam comments (captcha works with folderblog, I don't know if it's posible with MT)

comment by Robert at 03:01 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Nice vision seeing this. I am enjoying having the originals available, and hope we might convince you to keep doing it. Cheers.

comment by Anupam at 05:51 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

The sea looks more like a desert, although the sand is actually on the beach :-)

comment by jesse at 06:37 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

the saving grace of this photo is the person/people in the far distance

comment by Lito at 07:49 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Well, i had the same problem. And i fixed it yesterday. I'm using Pixelpost and now i integrated a Captcha-Addon. So you have to enter a 5-digit code. And until now it works. I only get the comments that i want. No spam :-)

And by the way: If i post a comment on your site the "remember info?" doesn't work.

comment by Violet Lavendar at 08:08 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Thank you for again posting the original image. Yesterday's and today's comparisons have been enlightening, and I hope you'll continue to do this, if only as a brief experiment.

As to the two versions, once again I prefer the original image as opposed to this monochrome, processed version. I found that the differing colors in the original compelled my eye to swing from left to right, from sand to sea, rhythmically and repetitively - like the sea which swept in and out - and so I found the colored image active and affecting, but the monochrome image static and distant.

Once again, the two versions create very different reactions!

But gratitude is my unwavering and constant reaction.

comment by turkish at 08:13 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

i have a had a few random comments listing about 50 urls to various sites mainly offering penis enlargement and pills etc.

but i didn't get any 'well done' comments, just the urls.

im also on a pixelpost blog. but i thought i'd share.

this shot is a bit cliched but its made something worth posting out of a fairly bland original.

comment by cj at 09:03 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

I don't see this as a Cokin shot at all. This is a great result from a dull day (and something to show anybody who says that landscape photography is always best at dusk or dawn). The figure is an important part of it, but not the whole as somebody else has suggested. This shot to me is about mood. There is an emptiness here. A desperation. I hope the sun shines for you soon.

On other points, yes, comment spam has taken a turn for the worse recently in the same way that you describe, except what appear to be junk urls have some form of redirect on them to take you to medication sites. I blogged about this yesterday as it happens.

And for Hank: there is a lovely passage in 'Art and Fear' where the reader is asked to imagine a music teacher chiding Bach for writing so many fugues. You see, the guy just wasn't progressing.....

comment by Sysagent at 10:57 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Mmm its certainly not your strongest shot on the Blog Dave, but its good in itself and it is just how surprising how much processing what was really a very bland and uninteresting shot does...

Food for thought really as others have / or mentioned a lot of your work does consist of images that in their own "spectrum / appearance (?)" are really quite ordinary and it is your skills with the post processing that usually makes the image what it is.

I am not saying this is a bad thing in no way at all and no doubt there are probably a shed load of images on your blog with very little processing that will stand the acid test of the photoblog :)

comment by Marinus at 11:09 AM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Composition is ok (with the line towards the person and the house), processing made this picture worth seeing.But there is something missing. Maybe its that dreaming effect somebody noticed earlier. The lines bring you straight away to the background were you behind the "mist". You wanna think what happens than. But thats for everyone different. We all have different dreams.

comment by Katja at 02:30 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

These are the most beautiful and full of feelings photos on this site!
thank you for holiday and positve emotions when I am looking on it.:)

comment by JD at 03:18 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

I'm repeating what sysagent says, but I really think this should lay the "post-processing isn't photography" debate to rest - the original, to my mind, is a "nothing" shot, no more, no less. The processed one is, whilst by no means your strongest, certainly a shot which is worthy of comment and criticism (one which I'd be proud of, for a start!) and is one which, as you point out, would be the end goal of a typical b&w shooting, graduate-toting, sepia-toning photographer in the era BD (before digital). Nobody complained then, so can we shush now?

comment by Aperture Priority at 03:29 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

The composition is average, but the post-processing certainly makes it an above average image. I am not a "purist", I think the visual impact of the final image is what really matters.

Regarding comment spam, I too have been receiving a new flood of comment spam in the past few weeks on my own blog (pixelpost powered). The best fix I've found is to use Akismet (as the above poster mentioned). It seems to have completely stopped the flood of comments that appeared legit initially, but then they start repeating after every picture and have a bogus link to a prescription drug website or some other nonsense attached.

I think there is a new push in the spam business that is using networks of hijacked systems (bot-nets) to spam photoblogs.

comment by rhys at 04:08 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Captures that 'end of the world' feeling perfectly.

comment by Sharla at 05:45 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

I would have named this "Argyle Beach" because the pattern in the debris suggests it (your name is fine, of course). I think that pattern really holds the shot together, binding the other areas. I like the convering perspective being set to the left and the building punctuating the terminus.

I quite like this shot for its uncomplicated and soothing feel. The sepia toning helps, the monotones of the sky and water help.

It is simple on the first pass but also contains a lot of detail when one looks closer.

And thanks for linking to the original because the transformation is also most interesting.

comment by Kev at 05:48 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Maybe I'm odd, but I think the composition's great: I love the way that, after following the rythmic pattern of shells/coal/gravel(?), there's a little dot of a person who suddenly become the focal point. Colours, or lack of, are great. Fantastic shot. Hope Libby's well.

comment by Carter Rose at 06:11 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

bleak...well composed...minimal...your usual shot. I think you can press beyond this David. I like your work alot, and this is a great shot. But not as great as what you are capable of.

comment by coxcorns at 06:36 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Je comprend pas comment autant de gens visitent ce site...
Quelle popularité!!

comment by djn1 at 08:10 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Thanks everyone, and thanks for the anti-spam tips. I've incorporated a few of them (as discussed on tomorrow's entry).

comment by Albedo at 09:05 PM (GMT) on 18 May, 2006

Thanks for also posting the original version of your shots lately... it's very interesting to see both version and to appreciate a) the way you postprocess them and b) the eye you have for seeing things the way they'll look after they're postprocessed !

comment by Nick [coldmountain] at 11:51 PM (GMT) on 19 May, 2006

The choice of toning is really special. I gasped slightly when I first saw this.