<<< o >>>sand trees 58 comments + add yours

One of the things I like about living by the sea is the ever-changing landscape; particularly the way the beach alters day by day. I guess it's a bit like looking at the clouds – never the same pattern twice.

Oh, and there are two versions of this shot: this one, and a colour version that you can see here:


Personally, I prefer this one, but let me know what you think.

Update: I've posted a slightly different version of this shot that i) corrects the slight barrel distortion (using LensFix), and ii) levels the horizon. In all other respects the shots are identical.

capture date
focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
12.43pm on 2/3/05
Canon 20D
EF 17-40 f/4L USM
17mm (27mm equiv.)
aperture priority
C1 Pro
comment by Adrian Hudson at 09:18 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

Wow! Looks like some tropical island somewhere... not UK - Blackpool! (No disrespect to Blackpool!!!)

I MUCH prefer the mono version.

comment by lisa at 09:25 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

a very very nice photograph. It's also kind of creepy. I love it.

comment by mr. ben lowery at 09:36 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

I really like the detail at the bottom of the frame, though I prefer the mountains of the color version. Very nice in all though, and I bet this looks fantastic printed!

Also, I think you got the effective focal length of the lens backwards. :)

comment by VPra at 09:38 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

NIce nice nice nice

comment by djn1 at 09:40 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

ben: thanks, I've fixed it. Incidentally, the 'mountains' are sand-dunes – only about 20 feet high – but you're right, they do look like mountains.

comment by paul at 09:42 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

awesome shot david!
I prefer this one also.
This one intrigues me to think where you are stood, I can make out most of the more scenic ones.....love it.

comment by Dominic Popowich at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

I really like both versions David, but for different reasons. I like the B&W version because it puts more emphasis on the form of the mountains , the clouds. and etc. It also, IMHO gives a greater sense of depth than the colour version. The colour version is more of a "feel good" calendar type shot, I tend to concentrate more on the colour than anything else.

Good job on the toning too.

comment by B at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

That is a gorgeous shot!

I like this version over the color one, too.

comment by RamboHoHo at 09:56 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

you always take suprising shots, keep on, man.
you are educating me to step up.

comment by ren at 10:10 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

amazing! the wide tonal range is well-captured.

comment by miklos at 10:16 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

horizon slopes to the right. this bugs me.
so does the overpraising :) but we won't go there.

comment by moscon at 10:30 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

Thanks alot Miklos- now everytime I look at it, my eyes catch the slant :( I like the color version better- just because it is raining down here in Houston, and the blue sky looks beautiful- It does however, make the dunes look like dunes- so the dramatic "mountain effect" is diminished.

comment by marc at 10:34 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

well I'm a fan of the sepia version b/c it allows the viewer to focus on the foreground more (which I think is more interesting), the colour version draws the viewer's eyes to the sand dunes on hte horizon... so both ways work in a sense, but it all wants you want to accomplish with the photo

comment by djn1 at 10:34 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

miklos: you're right, the horizon isn't quite straight, but it's also barrel-distorted too, and when I straightened it it looked worse. What I should have done was process the RAW file with DxO Optics Pro instead of C1, then I could have fixed both at the same time. If I've got a minute tomorrow I'll straighten it out.

comment by ellehm at 10:53 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

beautiful shot, both versions colour one and the other which I like the most.

comment by Beth at 11:05 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

I like them both, but for different reasons. Sepia is moody and brooding and makes me feel isolated - the colour one makes me wish I was somewhere tropical and fabulous. Very clever idea!

comment by tobias at 11:15 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

To pick up on the negativity, if only slight. Adrian mentioned how this image does not look like Blackpool then said no disrespect. I have to say that last year I attended a wedding at Lytham St Annes and the next day my girlfirend (at the time) and I popped over to Blackpool for the day. I have never been more depressed by a place in my life. I cannot summarise it in words but it felt like a parallel universe or a form of earth bound hades. That's all I will say but I think this backs my next point in that Dave seems to eek out all that is good about a place (all be it a day spent there) I found abhorent.

Is it just my browser that couldn't access the colour?

This image is amazing, it looks like a windswept desert or the plains you'd imagine in Texas. I like the title (they remind of the tree men I imagined when reding the Lord of the Rings when I was young) but I like the seemingly endless view framed by once again, amazing clouds.

My cousin who actually works at a photographers around the Blackpool area (his wedding in fact) dislikes digital saying that he finds the images to be flat looking. I disagreed (with no basis at the time) and went with digital anyway. At times I think perhaps he is right but I do feel that as illustrated that it's me and not the medium.

Any reason Dave for the chice of sepia rather than b&w?

comment by Nick at 11:27 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

I have been keeping a close eye on your work and its stunning. Keep up the good work. Your site is firmly logged on my favourites.

comment by Rodrigo Gómez at 11:47 PM (GMT) on 2 March, 2005

I prefer the colour one. The contrast between the blue sky and the sand for me it's better with colour.

But... the sepia one has it's stuff too. I don't know... it makes this look like a different time in the day. Not the same as the colour one. I don't know if how to explain it, but certanly the darness of the sky with this one makes a difference. And to me they look like mountains in both cases. It was really a surprise to find out that they were just dunes... great shot!

The vignneting is from the lens, or you added it in PS?

comment by Adriana at 12:18 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

They are both beautiful, but the sepia tone fits perfectly in this one. I like this better. :)

comment by Pavel at 12:31 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

That looks way too unnatural. I cant quite tell if it's the lens or the post-processing, or the angle the picture was taken at, but I would say there's something unreal here....
Spooky, especially this sephia tone

comment by matt at 12:34 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I actually thought it was a photograph of the American MId-west, Montana or somewhere. The sepia version completely changes the view of it. I love Blackpool but could not for the life of me place it until i saw the colour version.

comment by Alec Long [Shutter And Pupil] at 12:52 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I prefer the color version, Dave. Both are gorgeous photos. The clouds in this one really stand out, as do the wind tracks in the foreground. But the color full-color version has so much pop it's tough to ignore. Two entirely different moods.

comment by Fellow Eskimo at 12:57 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I *definitally* prefer the one you have on the site. I really like how it looks...when I first saw it, it made me feel like the undertoe of the beach. (Might be american term?) It just pulled me in. I really like it.

comment by Saroy at 02:17 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Wow -- I totally thought they were mountains until I read your comment above. Ha! Anyway, lovely shot, I prefer the mono (and I usually prefer color, so that's weird).

comment by miles at 02:32 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

holy crap, this is an amazing photograph, right now it's my favourite on your site.

The dunes look like mountains but I also thought they might be waves coming in.

comment by quasi at 03:23 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

It's not my favorite Chromasia shot ever, but it's in the top five. This works for me in a few ways:
1. The sky is absolutely amazing. I love the contrast with the clouds. Did you use a polarizer, or just channel mixer magic?
2. The "mountains". :)
3. The foreground! I love the patterns at the bottom of the photo. They sort of draw you into the picture.
4. Sepia toning. I also really, really like the original (color) version, but the sepia is amazing.

Very nice.

comment by luminouslens at 03:24 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Nice. This is sweeping and beautiful.

comment by Gabriel at 03:46 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

great sepia...

comment by Steve at 03:55 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I prefer the color one.

comment by Wa Vong at 04:15 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Your photos are so rad. I love the intense and rich colors you always capture. Another beautiful shot here.

comment by vanessa at 04:37 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

i love both the pictures. when i saw the coloured one it was just amazing. the blue sky...the clouds and just everything about it was breath-taking. i think both of them looks great. its just so nice. for lack of better words.

comment by Zishaan at 05:02 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I would prefer the color shot anyday. Nice shot.

comment by Mike at 05:06 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Awesome photos, both the color and black & white. The blue in the color photo seems to unbalance the shot a little though, so that the sky somewhat overpowers the landscape. I had the same effect in some of my own shots, and when I took some of the color out, it looked a little more balanced. If you're going for the desolate look this might work for you too. Either way, the blue does create a happier mood as someone stated earlier so I like it no matter what :)

comment by Arne at 05:11 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I love the panoramic look to this. Very nice eye candy.

comment by sari at 05:28 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

well balanced, contrast is just right

comment by P at 05:34 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

how is it you do this day in and day out? i would be happy if i came up with a picture this good once a year, yet you make it a daily occurance. damn.

comment by Hamil at 05:37 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

In my opinion, the foreground makes this picture a success. Can you imagine it without the foreground? Just cover it up and see the picture.

comment by Hungaro at 06:49 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I much prefer the color one, and truly, the image really looks like desert.
The clash between the sky and the sand (mud) is striking - did you use a maske to saturate and color the 2 sections separately?

comment by John at 07:48 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Nice shot Dave.

Blackpool is indeed a strange place. On the one hand there is a magic in the air and some stunning views if you are prepared to luck.

But on the other side lies a rather intimidating feel. Blackpool has been a holiday venue of the working class for perhaps hundreds of years. In fact if I remember rightly they used to have such things as Scottish week where everyone from that country took over the place and occupied all the hotels.

Blackpool is not now at its best but I have to say that there is still a vibe about the place and I think that is what comes across with some of these pictures.

I would like to see Dave cover some more of the iconic features of the place but in his own graphic and perhaps sometimes abstract way.

Kiosks, candy, fortune tellers, dodgems and stuff like that.

comment by John at 07:49 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Sorry about the typos in previous post.

comment by steve at 08:32 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I really hope you're marketing these images now dave! this is blackpool on a practically unbelievable level


comment by Nick Lewis at 10:35 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I am back again... JUst taken a look at the colour version and like that too but for different reasons. I think the Sepia version really brings out the texture in the sand more. The Colour version is rich and well saturated.

comment by peter at 11:17 AM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Both versions are pretty good, just different. The black and white one has great tones running throughout and i also like the perpective created by the lines leading in to the picture. Not to forget the fantastic clouds. The colour one works because all the colours work nicely together to create a different feel than the black and white version.

comment by Steve at 12:59 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

100% i like the color version better. It gives me a feeling of refreshment when i loook into the sky section. The bottom half is so dark and gloomy, while beyond the mountains it feels happy. The image with the sand marks give the impression of reaching out towards the positive, trying to get away from the negative.

Very nice shot.

comment by tobias at 01:01 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I feel that the colour photo doesn't have the same affect on the clouds. They really jump out of this one.

comment by Odilia Liuzzi at 01:14 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

great colors and subject!! beautiful shot!!

comment by David at 03:06 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Awesome - a perfect study of vanishing point - it's a bit scary to look as I feel I'm being sucked into the picture.
Also, remarkably deep - feels like looking at mountains 20 km away rather than sand dunes.

comment by sensations flux at 03:14 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Wow the beaches around you are incredible, ours are slowly fading away, and like you said each day is a different look on the shores. Fantastic Picture

comment by mark at 04:51 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Although I do like the posted version, i love the color version better.

comment by pierre at 05:15 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

another great shot, Dave...

comment by Amy at 05:31 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

I really like this sepia coloured photo as opposed to the regulared coloured photo. It's very contrasting and dramatic! I adore the way the clouds look and the lines in the foreground. Great job!

comment by miklos at 08:07 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Much better...

Also, I prefer the coloured version by far.

comment by djn1 at 09:12 PM (GMT) on 3 March, 2005

Thanks everyone.

Tobias: Blackpool is wonderful, you must have come on a bad day ;-) As for why I prefer the sepia: mostly because I prefer the sense of space – it seems more 'open' than the colour version.

Rodrigo: the vignetting is from the lens, emphasised by the Curves adjustment.

quasi: I used a polarizer and the channel mixer for the sepia version.

John: I'm planning on some more iconic stuff, particularly over the summer.

miklos: glad you're pleased ;-)

comment by Duncan at 02:19 AM (GMT) on 4 March, 2005

I like the coloured shot better because of the contrast between the blue sky and brown earth, with the green and gold of the dunes along the horizon.

However the brilliant thing about the mono shot is that it looks like its been taken in that giant dustbown somewhere in the US and those dunes are in fact mountain ranges in the distance. Really interesting to see how adding or removing the colour can drastically change an actual landscape.

comment by Jordan at 02:35 AM (GMT) on 4 March, 2005

This is wonderfully dramatic. The direction and flow of the lines in this picture take the eye exactly where it needs to go. The tone is also perfect. I would love to see a large print of this on real B&W paper -- I bet it would look fantastic.

comment by Q at 12:55 AM (GMT) on 5 March, 2005

wow, amazing photo. i absoulutely love it...that is a great, great photo. thats all i can say, wow!..

comment by Raffi at 01:58 AM (GMT) on 6 March, 2005

Holy... The colour version is better by far. But then again it depends on one's mood. I think someone in a downer mood would like the mono one better for sure.