<<< o >>>an item of interest 29 comments + add yours

This is a combination of two handheld shots: one shot at 1/30 (to expose for the foreground) and one shot at 1/320 (to expose for the sky). These were then aligned in Photoshop and merged using a mask (then adjusted using a variety of masked Curves, Channel Mixer layers, and so on). And technicalities aside, this is probably one of my favourite shots in recent weeks - there's just something about the light that I really like.

Oh, and this is definitely one that looks better with the black theme.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.55pm on 6/8/08
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
1/30 and 1/320
aperture priority
3x2 + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Garry at 07:19 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

I love this pic... the contrast of the clean bright light on the foreground compared with the foreboding, dark rain-clouds in the background works really well.

comment by Raymond at 07:54 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

2 handheld shots ??
Very nice (contrasts, colors)
Sorry for my poor english

comment by Sonny Parlin at 07:57 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

This is very nice, I'd be interested to see the two handheld exposures unedited, although, I can kind of imagine how they looked. I really like the light beams coming down from the sky at left and off in the distance in the center.

comment by Gabor at 08:11 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Beautiful picture, mastery, I will save it to my "best of chromasia" folder. It would be really interesting to see in one of your tutorials how you post-process a picture like this.

comment by Chris (CML) at 08:13 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Fantastic Shot! I was amazed when I first saw it, and still amazed. This is totally a great dramatic beach scene. I agree with you Dave, the lighting is awesome! The mystery to me , is how were you able to achieve such good alignment with 2 handheld shot??? What function within photoshop do you use for alignment? I am only familiar with the "Merge to HDR"

comment by djn1 at 08:40 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Raymond: yes, they were handheld.

Sonny: they're not that interesting. The shot exposed for the sky has a very dark foreground and the other is mostly blown out from the horizon upwards.

Chris: there is a function within Photoshop for aligning two layers. What you need to do is as follows:

1) open the first image and then paste the second image in as a new layer.
2) select both layers.
3) Edit -> Auto Align Layers.

It generally does a pretty good job.

comment by YETi at 09:17 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

I agree it's a frigging belter.

comment by Al at 09:28 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Extraordinary! I must say that this is probably up there along with some of my other favorites of yours.

Thanks for sharing the auto-align technique. I think I have an idea as to how you post processed it. Was the masking complicated? How many did you use and what part did you use the channel mixer for?

comment by djn1 at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Al: the masking was quite simple, for the most part - just a couple of gradient masks to fade one area into another. As for the remainder of the post-processing - I used four masked curves for contrast and another for colour, the channel mixer across the entire image to boost the colours, and a final Hue/Saturation layer to boost the saturation for the reds

comment by lightseeker at 09:58 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Nice image design with the 'river' of pebbles leading the eye to the stooped figure who's just neatly below the horizon line.

comment by luminouslens at 11:02 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

This is stunning.

comment by Rob at 11:25 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Nice one. I like the jumble of colors in the pebbles.

comment by csj@id7.co.uk at 11:28 PM (GMT) on 7 August, 2008

Its always a trip back to our roots that makes us realise from where we came.... and to that which inspires us and makes those moments worth capturing..... my favourite in a long while...... csj

comment by Rob at 04:24 AM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Stunning. Great job merging the two photos. I'll definitely have to try this!

comment by ROB at 04:27 AM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

It really is surprising how much of a difference the black versus white theme makes. The distortion in forground sand from the 16mm focal length is appealing too. Kind of sucks you into the scene.

comment by Mark at 08:59 AM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

A real cracker. I love the way the two directions of the pebbles draw the eye into the image. The slightly 'sickly' colours in some of the pebbles, and the relatively small amount of sky give it a really claustrophobic and oppressive feel. You'd expect Dr Who to materialise on this beach. My only gripe is that the shingle just before and after the breakwater is a little dark and clogged up.

Classic image.

comment by Tom at 09:42 AM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Love this one.
This is the reason I'm coming back here every day:-)
I like the dark corners, it's taking me inside...

comment by Sara at 01:26 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Hello Dave,
Makes me want to go to the beach....
Great photo. Sara.

comment by milou at 03:29 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Handsome pebble action - worth a shot alone.

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 03:35 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Absolutely gorgeous photograph David.

comment by Bhalchandra at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

This is amazing pic!

comment by Jennifer at 07:59 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Love the colour an detail in the pebbles, the light on the horizon and the effect of the WA lens - it feels as though you're being sucked in to the picture - or am I just in need of sleep !?! :-)

comment by djn1 at 08:44 PM (GMT) on 8 August, 2008

Thanks all :-)

comment by cy at 10:12 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

Absolutely breath taking. i love love the colors.... just wow

comment by John Zeweniuk at 12:09 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

I love the foreground. The colours in the rocks and the way the rocks lead into the background.

comment by Mike at 01:16 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

The colors in this shot are crazy gorgeous! Especially in the forground stones. The rays of light in back are pretty nice as well ! Beautiful.

comment by Alex at 04:29 AM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

Now this is the Chromasia we all like! More of this please.

comment by Damian at 09:36 PM (GMT) on 15 August, 2008

Great picture.

comment by Vink at 08:56 AM (GMT) on 29 September, 2008

Beautiful view and treatment !