<<< o >>>beach combing (north #1) 63 comments + add yours

This is my wife's favourite shot of the last four mostly I think because of the textures, particularly the small 'waves' of foam in the foreground, whereas my first choice would have been yesterday's shot. If you have the time could you tell me which is your favourite and, if possible, why?

Oh, and I've been told that voting for the Best of Blogs Awards 2004 is continuing until the 17th of this month (see this page) so do feel free to continue voting for chromasia :-)

capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
3.48pm on 8/1/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
3x2 + Blackpool Tower + piers [Central pier] + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Sean at 09:04 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

my favorite of the shoot so far, by alot. The foam in the foreground adds alot of depth & perspective.

comment by djn1 at 09:05 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Damn. One nil to the wife then ;-)

comment by stephen at 09:11 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Agreed - the little whitecaps, highlighted by sunlight, add great foreground - that and the mix of warm & cool tones really make this shot the better of the two. 2-0 Wife.

comment by djn1 at 09:13 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

lol ;-)

comment by Adriana at 09:38 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Definitely this is my favorit. Teh waves are just amazing as funny as it sounds it seems like they're on fire because of the sunset I guees. Sorry Dave but witout any intention I guess is two for the wife's selection (lol)

comment by Haviland at 09:39 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

My favorite out of all four is the "beach combing north #2". I love the colors in it, the bird adds a lot to the picture, in my perspective, and the angle of the city, from which the picture was taken grabs my attention.
I did like them all a lot, however. You are a very skilled photographer. :)

comment by barb at 09:49 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

I like the one from the 10th of Jan best. With today's image I
find that the waves domineer the image too much. Just for my
own taste they seem to add too much weight to the lower half
of the photo. Also, I keep trying to explore the buildings which
seem interesting but have lost their detail as they are in the
Both this shot and north #2 have lovely colours and light!

comment by Jorj Bauer at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

On first glance I preferred this shot, but looking at them both I changed my mind.

I prefer yesterday's. The straight edge of the top of the clouds, and their reflection on the beach, brackets the very clean shot of the buildings below.

The foreground of today's shot is absolutely surreal, but the clouds seem to random to me and the pier is somewhat lacking in detail. The top third of the picture doesn't lend much to my view, as to where yesterday's photo had a top and bottom third that drew my eye to the center, and then back to the clouds to examine their beautiful detail.

comment by nogger at 10:01 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

I'm torn between the first and the third.

Not keen on this one because of the waves, they look false and are too distracting.

The second one doesn't seem to have any focus to it - no point of attraction in the frame. Does that make sense?

After much flicking backwards and forwards, I'm gonna go with the third one as my favourite. Tho' it was a close run thing. I just think it has a more pleasing balance to it.

comment by justin at 10:02 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

I think that they're all cracking shots, but to choose... I prefer yesterday's shot. There's something subtle and intriguing about it. I also thing that the horizon being on the mid-line works well too. I agree, the waves are too dominating in this shot, taking the eye of the what it really seems to be about.

comment by fraxinus at 10:06 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

This has been a tough call, and I was deliberating over today's and the previous one when Jorj's comment popped up. I have to agree with him, today's has a slightly surreal - almost threatening - presence in the lower half that nearly won me over in these post-tsunami times. But the top half is a bit fussy, the clouds compete with the foam and lose.
Yesterday's is a more satisfying picture to my eyes. Although in preparing the print I would have lowered the tone of the clouds top right - and their reflection - to emphasis the bracketing of the urban horizon by the stright-edged clouds. As everyone agrees though, an interesting set and a good exercise in interpretation of a similar theme. Hard to get a sense of the strong wind though in any of them.I hope you weren't pounded too much by the latest gales.

comment by Richard at 10:19 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

I like the earlier one although they're both wonderful.

Earlier one has more sky, more depth on horizon line, and the tower is almost out of scale, which, for me, makes it the place my eye goes rather than the foam.

The foam is great, but the sky is better on the first shot and there's more of it to balance the water.

Also, shot 1 you're further away from the buildings which makes the horizon line work better for me.

comment by Jason at 10:27 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Another great shot, I think the foreground in this shot is the strongest of the four. I love the texture and color of the waves. The blues and creams of the waves also balance quite nicely with the sky. However, my favorite shot remains the first of the four you posted. It has great contrast and I love sepia tones. The fact that it's a silhouette adds to the peaceful and serene feeling of the shot as well. I also like that you choose to include the person walking their dog. The shots that you took without any sign of life feel a little emptier to me. However, all four are well done and I'm glad you shared them.

comment by Jerome at 10:35 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Great series, Dave. I'd say north #2 (the one with the bird) is my favorite. I feel it is the most balanced. South #2 and today's north #1 have too much going on in the foreground competing for my attention. With south #1, your favorite, the symmetry is a bit overwhelming. I say great series because you've managed to produce four truly unique images in the same location, on the same day no less. I think they belong together in presentation. Thanks for the effort. It is much appreciated.

comment by Silvano at 10:48 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Yes, it's the best. I agree with your wife! I like the mix of cold and warm colors in the water and the line of the city.

I would have tried to divide the image in a lightly different way, giving more space to sky (I like clouds). But I don't know if it's possible without losing the waves, one of the part that I prefer in the photo.

comment by Laura Akers at 10:58 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

My favorites are this one and the first one you posted. I have no other suggestions, but I think they are all beautiful.

comment by Alec Long at 11:01 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

The whole series is really nice. If you put a gun to my head, I'd pick North #2 as my favorite, compositionally. But if you ask for which one I feel best accomplished your initial stated objective of capturing the wind of the day, I'd say today's image is the winner.

The clouds, which to someone else's point don't quite balance the composition (not that it matters much to me in this case), lean to the right as they're blown out of frame. And the foamy surf is REALLY moving. Well shot.

comment by crex at 11:19 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

Haven't time to read all the other responses ... This last one I like the most. I like the warm yellow in combination with the cooler blue tones. Compositionwise you got the horizontal line above centerĪ and a diagonal movement in the water waves. I think this makes it well balanced. As a matter of fact I think one diagonal half is yellow and one blue, but in the opposite direction of the water diagonal ... so it got well balanced colors too :)

Ī As apposed to the one before this. Isn't there a rule against centered horizontal lines in a photo? ;) Otherwise that photo is very good.

comment by Allan at 11:36 PM (GMT) on 12 January, 2005

North #2 has been my fav but North #1 is really quite a nice shot. It seems more realized then #2 and I do like the foam atop the small waves for perspective and depth... damn, I hate it when they're always right!

comment by david at 12:25 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Your wife knows best. This is the killer shot by far. Great composition and lovely textures. Love your site - very inspirational

comment by djn1 at 01:52 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Thanks everyone, and by my reckoning that makes it two votes for the first one (south #2), five apiece for yesterday's and the day before' (north #2 and south #1 respectively) and seven for today's. So it looks like my wife was probably right ... again ;-)

comment by Chelsea June at 02:06 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Oh! It would seem your wife was right once again! =) I really like this shot because of the waves. Beautiful shot as always.

comment by Chris at 02:19 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Of the series, I'm going to have to agree with your wife. I think each shot brought something entirely different, but as for your desire to demonstrate wind, this one wins. It's the only one of the four that gives you a reference to a lot of movement.

All four were great though, each very different interpretations of a similar scene.

comment by Garth at 03:33 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Gorgeous Shot. Wife's do make the best editors :)

comment by Sharla at 04:11 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

The last one.

All were great shots and any one of the group should make you proud. You achieved distinctly different feels with essentially the same subject matter. Your objective, the wind, didn't come through as much as one would expect. There were no blowing trees or high whitecaps that blared the obvious.

My preference for the last is based on several things. First, the tower nails the eye when the pic opens and then achors the motion of the pic as the eye explores. You feel the rush of the waves and clouds moving to the right. The balance of motion and tones and textures is excellent. The coarse waves on the left are justiposed to the soft clouds on the right. The warm and cool sections compliment each other by borrowing colors from the other.

While some seem to have found the waves distracting, even threatening, I find their texture to be exceptional. It's difficult to have such coarseness in a wide angle shot of tiny detail.

Your eye is excellent, as is your wife's taste.

comment by nathan at 04:58 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

yeah the waves rock

comment by Zishaan at 04:59 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Looking at all four, I think I would want to stop a moment longer on yesterday's post ie. your favorite. The tone in that picture is just right while the white clouds capture your attention.

comment by quasi at 05:00 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Your wife was right. ;)

They are all good shots, though. I'm too tired to attempt any sort of critique...

comment by myla at 05:19 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I like this one better, for me, it's the ferris wheel (and the clouds). The foam in the foreground is pretty amazing too -- *sigh* -- nice work!

comment by bob at 05:58 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

All four are excellent but I'd vote with your wife -- but only barely. I'm still partial to the first, with the man walking.

comment by peterv at 06:29 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I'll go for yesterday's south #1 though it's a close thing. Four very good shots.

Something about the waves in todays shot remind me of a Japanese print. Hokusai?. But people are right -the top half doesn't reflect them.

comment by Todd Baker at 06:36 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Since I am partial to monochrome images, especially for this backdrop, I have to go with beach combing #1 and #2. Now, since that really didn't answer your question, I'll pare it down a bit. I really like the symmetry that is in #1 caused by the clouds and their reflection, however I like the beachcomber in the distance of #2. For this, I would vote for the first one.

Not really a bad one in the group, though....

comment by ellehm at 06:37 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

really hard decision... I really like the waves in this one and the colors but I have an atracction to black and white or sepias. So I beleve I'm picking yesterdays.

comment by Todd Baker at 06:39 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

That is #1 and #2 South....

comment by Marty at 07:24 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I'm casting my vote purely on the stated objective of capturing the wind. On that basis, I think today's (north #1) wins hands down -- that kind of foam only gets blown up in windy conditions (at least here in South Australia).

All of this talk about conveying the feeling of wind keeps reminding me of the "Mad About You" episode where Paul gets a chance to make a film for Yoko Ono. When he asks her what the subject should be, she says "I'd like you to photograph the wind". He spends the next while tormented, until he finally admits that he can't do it :-)

comment by reg at 08:37 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Love the composition, but the picture, especially the sea area appears to harsh, oversharpening?

comment by Simon C at 09:20 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Isn't it fascinating the variety of opinions photography can evoke!?

As some others have said, for me, the foreground foam is just a little too dominant in this shot - it almost looks artificially generated for the purpose.

I prefer the monochromes. My favourite is the first one, south #2. The man walking really lifts it. I'm not so keen on the positioning of the horizon in south #1 and it lacks the focal point the man provides in south #2.

Good series. Worthwhile discussion.

comment by Reza at 09:32 AM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

within this series, I ike two block and white shots and my favourit is the first one. i Love it

comment by Jorge at 12:16 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

There's something about the wave's foam that I just love.

Beautiful set Dave!

comment by brenda at 12:54 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

hmm im not sure about this one. i can't put my finger on it (sorry i know you want more Constructive criticism) but there is something i dont particularly like about it.
i think what it may be is i like the foam texture but it seems the rest of the picture is in the frame just to be there. the rest of the shot seems to be like a space filler.
My fav is beach combing (north #2)

comment by steve at 01:35 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

dave... I've had another think about this. you should create a duplicate file of this image, and in p/shop create a b/w toned night shot.

I would love to see it. I think the milky foreground ripples would look really earie against a dark background.


comment by ojorojo at 02:08 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

This one itīs the best, by far.

comment by robin@notasif at 02:19 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

All four are great pictures in their own right. I would pick yesterday's (South #1) as my favourite though.

I would put the B&W shots (1 & 3) on my wall; I would buy 2 & 4 if I saw them as postcards. I'm not suggesting that we should judge photographs as decorative objects, just that I find 1 & 3 more interesting and evocative. 2 & 4 are a bit conventional for me. Today's picture follows the rules: horizon on a third, nice foreground interest. Yesterday's breaks the rules: horizon bang in the middle. But it just shows, know the rules and then feel free to break them. Maybe you feel the same and that is why you prefer yesterday's.

As a minor point, I think today's picture could be improved with some colour adjustment to make the crests of the waves white. I don't know what this would do to the rest of the image though, and I'm sure you played around with this anyway.

comment by Phil at 03:18 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

remarkable - looks almost more like a postcard of a painting than a photo. Not sure yet if I prefer this one to the colour one 2 shots ago.

comment by Steve at 03:34 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

This is my favorite of the series.

comment by Russ Morris at 03:56 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

At first view, my eye traveled from UL to UR, LR to LL. All the pictures are great, but this one has, imo, the best composition, lighting and color. A very nice series, David.

comment by Dana Ross Martin at 04:00 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Yes, the foam in the foreground is what makes this an award-winning photo. The perfect mix of elements: interesting foreground, sunlight on the buildings in the distance, the clouds, the colors, the balance-of-it-all.

"Hey, when it clicks, it clicks!"

(and your talented soul KNEW this - and that's why you snapped this frame when you did)


comment by matt at 04:20 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

This one is definitely the best of the 4. Not that I needed to weigh in too :)

The waves and the clouds are great...generally more interesting than the rest.

comment by Rob at 05:04 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Dave, how wet did you get for this one?

Another vote for the wife here , sorry mate :-)

comment by twb at 05:18 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I have to agree with your wife although I would be interested to see how this one looks with the same toning as yesterday's shot. My reasons for preferring this shot is the texture in the foreground and the perspective works better because you followed the rule of thirds. In yesterday's shot, most of the detail is dead center vertically. It may have been stronger with either more sky or more earth. Regardless, I think this is an excellent series!

comment by staticantics at 05:40 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

i prefer the first (beach combing south #2) of the series.
the quality of light gives a depth i dont find present in the other photos. perhaps the somplicity of the background, with the buildings in shadow yet nature in light really makes this my favorite picture of the bunch.

the color pictures don't have enough color to make them stand out, in a way that would make them my favorite.

comment by Jason Wall at 06:09 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

HI Dave!

I'm going to go with your wife on this one. Both North #1 and #2 have strong visual focal points (the tower in both). I especially like the way North #1 stretches out the perspective of the lower half. South #1 has a different appeal. I like the color, primarily, and the odd way the clouds contrast with the sky, but the way the smooth water on the beach is broken by little rocks and what not mars the image a little.

Best Regards,

comment by Daaave at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

This is my number one because of the foreground, nice and creamy, but not too soft and fuzzy. The first pic in the series is my 2nd place because of again the little bumps in the sand in the foreground. But I nuch prefer the background on the second shot. Combine the foreground from this and the ackground from the first shot in the series and imo you've got yourself a cracker.

comment by Rimas at 08:33 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

This is my first post, I've been watching your pics for awhile now, and finally feel compelled to comment. Most of your photos are really stunning and emotionally appealing. Of these last four "series" pics, I would have only chosen only one for posting. And the one would be the first of the series because it has the most emotional saturation of them all--someone walking back from the amusement park on water--reflective of the physical sensation after a roller coaster ride and walking on water. The others in the series lack emotional saturation. Of course, emotions are a personal thing.

comment by djn1 at 08:51 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

Well, as per usual, my wife was right, this shot seems to be the favourite ;-) Thanks for all the comments.

comment by Darrell at 08:56 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I prefer this one of the four. I love the wave shapes in the FG and the lighting on the buildings. The BG though is not shown at its best IMO, as the pier and line of buildings is too straight and lacks sufficient detail (at least at this rez). I just wonder what it would look like from 100-200 m to the left, the pier forming more of a diagonal line into the image. Of course you may not have had the FG detail or the light then! Not wishing you got any wetter or damaged the 20D either, but a lower viewpoint might also have been more effective - really bringing out the FG and reducing the middle a little, which is the weakest part overall for me. Whatever my suggestions, it is still a very good picture and one I would have been happy to have shot. Cheers.

comment by Irene at 11:44 PM (GMT) on 13 January, 2005

I haven't read the previous comments so I will probably repeat what other people already said.
I like your wife's choice the best. I think because of the colours. The almost cold blue's in the leftcorner. Almost dark/black at the left and changing into more whiteblue, giving a cold impression. And then the sea goes from that cold blue to the colours of the houses and strand. The white clouds, highlighted by the warm colours of the last sun.

Also there is a kind of movement and sound in the photo. I think because of the little waves. You can almost here the sound of that litlle waves. I don't know the term in english, but in Dutch it is called 'kabbelen' (dictionary says ripple, babble). After the waves and their sound, there is silence, an endless space without noise. Quite, no sound, almost no movement.
Behind that the boulevard and its people, and I can already imagine the sound you hear when you get there........

For me this is a photo with a lot of dimensions, colours, warmth, openess, space, the sound of seaguls.
The other photo is (IMHO) more onedimensional. Beautiful, but not with so many different feelings/layers........

comment by btezra at 01:46 AM (GMT) on 14 January, 2005

~IMHO your best shot to date. Plain & simple. If you don't sell this to a travel guide, or a civic organization or a PR/Ad concern I am gonna kill ya (lol)...but I would market this shot, immediately, email me what you want for a larger print, plz~

comment by mariann at 02:24 PM (GMT) on 14 January, 2005

sorry to be so late in commenting... my favorite is south #1. i love the monochrome, and the texture in the foreground and the clouds reflected in it. i also like north #2; i am one who believes the bird is absolutely essential -- without it the shot would be a tad unengaging. i was wondering, of the four images, which one did you spend the most time on post-processing?

comment by Stano at 05:01 AM (GMT) on 16 January, 2005

You've got to be kidding me with this photo! Absolutely stunning. As one that reads daily, I'm untterly amazed that - of the 4 - you didn't actually over-hype this. I was expecting greatness, but still expecting far less.

I'm in awe.

Keep it up Dave!!

comment by m at 08:52 PM (GMT) on 16 January, 2005

This one!

comment by Pixelprints at 05:49 PM (GMT) on 24 January, 2005

the texture in this photo is amazing.

comment by claire-obscure at 12:17 AM (GMT) on 27 January, 2005

What beautiful textures on the water, and pretty light on the background.