<<< o >>>an august day 18 comments + add yours

This one started out as a snap, shot from the hip as I walked past these two kids on the beach. As you can see from the original, my composition wasn't great:


After rotating the image, producing two versions from the same file (one optimised for the sky, one for the foreground), and with the addition of a few Curves and a slight shift in colour balance, it looks much better.

As for the shot itself: when I was a kid I suspect that I'd have run into the sea and joined them but, as an adult, I can't think of anything less enjoyable than sitting half-clothed in the Irish Sea on an overcast day :-)

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.02pm on 6/8/08
Canon 1Ds Mark II
EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
aperture priority
2x1 + fylde coast [scenic] + children
comment by hixster at 07:35 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

Love the wider aspect of this shot, with the toning of the sky and composition it has a real feature film sort of look.
I really like it.

comment by Juha Haataja at 08:05 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

I like the way how the eye is drawn to the children, and only then the impact of the environment sinks in.

comment by Jennifer at 08:06 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

Wonderful 'snap' and what a difference the right processing makes ;-D Shooting from the hip is great fun, unpredictable, but I guess that's what makes it so much fun!

comment by Chris (CML) at 08:11 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

Hi Dave,

I enjoy what you have done to that hip shot. It is great how you brought the clouds out and gave it such great definition. I have always been one for dramatic cloud formations.

Dave, what is the big difference between the color balance tool and the individual R-G-B curves tool? Probably me, but it seems like there is big redundancy between the two. Did you shift the color balance using the color balance tool?
Thanks Chris

comment by djn1 at 08:24 PM (GMT) on 9 August, 2008

Chris: I don't use the color balance tool, at least not very often. As for the redundancy: most of the tools within Photoshop do one or both of two things - they alter the luminosity or they alter the colour. As such you can use different tools to do the same thing. For example, I could add a yellow tint to the highlights using Selective Color, a Curve, or the Color Balance tool, and there wouldn't be a great deal of difference between the three versions. I should add that I don't avoid the color balance tool for any particular reason, it's just that I can make the changes I need/want using other tools.

comment by Kevin H. Stecyk at 01:35 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

Beautiful photograph David. I like how the children stand out from the photograph.

And the children seem to be peering out across the ocean looking or searching for something.

comment by Bill at 02:51 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

Playful photograph. It would bring a smile to anyone's face on a rainy day.

comment by s gaver at 07:02 AM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

composition is brilliant. the dark wave in front of the kids makes them pop creating a place for the eye to rest. with the zebra strip effect of dark beach, light water, dark wave, light water, dark horizon and so forth, this really enhances the movement and create an infinate motion that never rests. photos with children are usually cutesy, but you pulled this one off. well done.

comment by Rob at 02:45 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

Great tones here. Love the sky.

comment by Adam James at 07:06 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

David - one of the reasons I - as well as I am sure many others - keep coming back to chromasia is your great little photoshop insights and guides. You are the web pioneer in this respect. Please continue!

comment by djn1 at 07:36 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

Thanks all :-)

comment by Zak at 08:09 PM (GMT) on 10 August, 2008

Well, picture is definitely beautiful how ever, I fell really sorry for those two kids sitting in this could water .... It makes me wonder if they just surveyed boat-sank ....

comment by kate at 05:22 AM (GMT) on 11 August, 2008

very odd. where's her top? they look freeeeeeeeeeeeeeezing cold, stiff-legged/footed. the back of his pale ribs are prominent, as is her tailbone, indicating lack of nourishment? muscular stress? tension beyond tension? hard to imagine spontaneity in this moment.
not a good read to me, sorry, especially if they are as young as they appear. sorry and w. all due respect for you David, knowing you happened upon this. what the...?

comment by yz at 08:04 AM (GMT) on 11 August, 2008

This is very cute

comment by Thomas at 01:57 PM (GMT) on 11 August, 2008

I love how they're just sitting there as the clouds thicken in the sky. A nice contradiction if you ask me. They do look like they're pretty cold though.

comment by photoful at 09:31 AM (GMT) on 12 August, 2008

I really like that you show the original photo, it makes me appreciate you more and more.
the shot is amazing, and I guess that the water was rather cold!

comment by Quinn at 08:52 PM (GMT) on 13 August, 2008

Very high quality shot here, it's amazing that the colors were nicely captured, also the children playing in the water bring more vividness to the entire photo. I love it!

comment by Sean at 05:47 PM (GMT) on 27 August, 2008

Very "Neverending Story" -esque clouds. I like.