<<< o >>>oil and the sea 21 comments + add yours

Update: following a couple of the comments on the first version of this image I've reworked the sharpening on this one; i.e. the version that's up now is a bit softer.

Update #2: following glen's comment, and having checked out my own link to the Lennox satellite platform, it's pretty obvious that this is a different rig entirely. As such I've changed the title of this one to "oil and the sea".

This is another shot from our walk along the beach yesterday and is probably my least favourite of the seven that I'll be putting up. I don't think there's anything particularly wrong with it – if I did I wouldn't be putting it up – but I'm undecided about the 'flatness' of the sky. Does it provide a good counter-balance to the crispness of the foreground? Possibly. Or would it have been better had there been a little more texture, maybe a cloud or two that were more visible? Also possible.

Anyway, the rig in the background is the Lennox satellite platform (I think), an oil and gas rig off the north west coast of the UK. Oh, and if you haven't seen it, check out Paul's night shot of this structure – it's quite spectacular.

12.51pm on 29/4/05

Canon 20D

EF 70-200 f/4L USM

200mm (320mm equiv.)



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DxO Optics Pro


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3x2 + fylde coast [scenic]
comment by Zishaan at 08:35 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

The reflection off the waves is good. So is the colour of the water. But somehow it leaves me wanting for more.

Pauls night shot is lovely, thanks.

comment by ira at 08:46 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

First time I've had occassion to comment; I am a big fan, check your images daily. This photo is sort of disapointing because of the lack of tonalility that gives the waves a really digital appearance, oversharpening perhaps? I hate it when it happens to my photos, I usually experience this sort of effect when I have underexposed something and then tried to lighten it up to much.

comment by Farid at 08:46 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

dave, i have a feeling there's too much red in the highlights.

comment by owen at 09:13 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

I like the close focal point of this one. I always tend to shoot for infinity but this is something I'm going to have to try a bit more of. That rig is amazing - looks like it's been superimposed. The waves look inviting too - however something tells me that the water is still icy cold.

comment by VPra at 10:00 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

I don't like this very much. The sea seems to be have too many highlights.

comment by Jesse Watkins at 11:37 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

Wow! I feel surprised at the negative reaction. When I first looked at this shot, the raw feeling of the shot me took me by good surprise. I think the contrast between the distant structure in a sea of haze mixed with the loud foreground really works well! The way the frozen white water looks, along with limited focus, reminds me of the gelatin water special effects in The Ten Commandments movie.

comment by Simon C at 11:59 PM (GMT) on 30 April, 2005

I like the composition - the outline of the rig is perfect - a real sense of space and you can practically taste the salty breeze but... that sea texture just isn't pretty - looks oversharpened.

comment by Matt at 01:09 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

This shot looks great. The oil rig in the background really gives the sense of depth.

comment by Mandie at 01:14 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

I like the depth, but the sea looks rather oily... almost like a slick.

comment by aashish vishnoi at 03:31 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

nice capture.. but it looks like the sea's got red eye :)

comment by Adam Capps at 08:32 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

Im a psychology/photography major, back in the states. Love your photos, but I think I may do a study on peoples comments following a negative review (by yourself) and a positive review. It is comical to read how open others are in leaving negative comments after you have criticized the photo yourself. If you don't care, email me at acc2g@mtsu.edu. I'd like to see if you could help me with some research. I would love to chat with you about some ideas I have been contemplating. Ciao.

comment by J.P. at 08:40 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

dark sea and oil.

comment by bmoll at 09:59 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

Honestly, I don't like these colours of the sea. It looks as if it was a sea of oil or of something dense or some filter has darkened it badly. And - with respect for mr A.Capps - it's not that you have criticisied it by yourself. I'd rather watch 95% of your previous photos but not this one. /b

comment by miklos at 10:16 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

couldn't sit idle on this one, I apologize ;) (might be a bit lengthy too)

watch what you say people.. you have anonymous shrinks watching you! you wouldn't want to end up in someone's "one of fifty copies pulished" book on "photoblog-psychoanalysis of meanie comments" would you? I know I wouldn't ;)

psychology/photography major.. lol .. I can not see how developing film or taking pictures is parallel to psychology.. that's like me saying I majored in psychiatry and belly dancing ..

i wish I could finish 5 years of psychology school (AND photography!!) as a major only to end up psycho analyzing a bunch of comments on a photoblog.

If I got to that point in life, I would consider myself an accomplished psychologist.

Adam: I will save you hours of useless research: It's easier to comment negatively if dave criticizes his own work, because then you're just going with his flow. (and at those times, his photos probably aren't that great..) But if he praises a photo, because he put time into preparing it and he might truly feel like it's a good shot, (whether it is or not) the people that don't like it usually don't leave comments which leaves the only comments being left by either of 3 types of people: 1) "newcomers" to the photoblog community who find dave as a "mini-celebrity because he's #1 on the photoblogs.org page and just want to get in touch with him somehow", 2) people that agree with his praises on his own work to make him happy or 3) the ones that truly like the photo.

Nothing wrong with any of the three, and I know I'm being a bit bold here, but I just find it offensive for people to publically come forward and target the entire audience of commenters as just a pack of labrats in preparation for an experiment. You could just as well have written him a private email to offer this useless opportunity, which would've left me (and anyone else reading this thread in disagreement with your note) happy.

Anyway, Dave, I see how this might be your least favourite of the bunch.. I agree with the bad comments above. This shot isn't up in your "top 10". Maybe it's the tones.. I'm not too sure.

comment by J.P. at 11:20 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

I can't understand some comments that are posted on this. It is not fine-art cut as his previous photos. I think, he had a message and want to express by this picture.

comment by djn1 at 11:53 AM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

Farid: this one is a lot less red than the original capture and I think that the reds are because the waves were very shallow here and were kicking up a lot of sand.

Mandie: the oiliness was intentional, at least partly, as I thought it matched the subject matter.

Adam: I tend to agree with miklos on this one, i.e. that people do tend to go with the flow, mostly because blogs aren't too dissimilar to 'real life' and follow much the same set of rules. For example, if I bump into an acquaintane on the street and say "you should get rid of those trousers, they make your arse look big", chances are the comment will not be well received. Alternatively, if I bump into the same acquaintance, who then says to me "I'm not sure about these trousers, I think they make my arse look big"; to which I reply, "yeah, I guess you're right", I haven't broken any "rules" as I've been invited to comment on something that has already been disparaged.

Anyway, on a more positive note, the things I like about this shot are i) the oily tones, ii) the selective focus, and iii) the clarity of the waves (though I do agree they were oversharpened in the original). I still think the sky's a bit bland though.

comment by Harpreet at 01:01 PM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

Seeing the colour of the sea and the rig in the distance I thought may be there was an oil spill or something. I don't think that is the case here.

comment by Brian at 02:18 PM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

On topic: I tend to concur on the over-sharpening comments here. I'm still "attracted" to the shot, but I'm pretty sure it's not something I'd see with my eyes pre-digital processing.

Off topic (sort of): Adam, it should be noted that David has been very vocal about getting the visitors here to comment beyond the "Wow! What a nice/beautiful/awesome/etc shot!" and more to the critical help-me-grow comments. Negative might be one way of classifying these comments--constructively critical would be another.

comment by glen at 03:58 PM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

always nice to see an oil rig in a shot (i'm a medic on a platform in the gulf of mexico...happen to be there right now as a matter of fact)

very interesting combination of the sharpness of the foreground and the softness of the background... all psychology aside, i havnt quite made my mind up about the total effect, but it definatly is a shot worth looking at...

the rig in the background is whats called a jack up rig, its towed into place to do drilling operations... so unless its working right over the lennox p/f (which it may very well be doing)i dont think its the one your talking about...

keep em coming!

comment by Adam Capps at 07:18 PM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

To Dave: I find this photo to be facinating for the "levels" of the sea it offers. The decrease (or increase, whichever way you look at it) in the size of the waves is perfect. Albeit the colors seem unlike any ocean I have ever seen, I do not think that it takes away from the actual shot. This shot made me "feel" the beach again. This was my opinion before I read your comment. However, after reading your comment I had a shift in the way that I viewed it and it became less pleasurable to view. I was not implying that I want to use your commentors and fans as, Miklos so crudely put it, "lab rats". I find shifts in perception to be facinating and an abundance of research is yet to be done in this field. A public comment site, such as this, removes multiple confounds that are introduced in the lab. When these confounds are introduced, the ability to apply the principles/findings, in real life, is lost. If nothing else, I have access to a research pool and could have them view your site for 1 month posting comments to me, via email. This was all that I was going for, I apologize for not simply emailing you... in hind-site, that would have been the best route.

To Miklos: If you enjoy psychiatric work then you should get as educated as possible in that field, and become the best of the best in psychiatry. If you enjoy bellydancing (which I don't know if that is as tasteful, in the public eye, as photography) you should do whatever bellydancers do to become the best in the world. It so happens that I love psychology and I LOVE photography, ergo I double majored in those two fields. Why must they parallel? You should focus on criticizing the comment and not the person. Anyone can see that there are social norms which prohibit us from criticizing openly, in many situations. I was desiring to focus more on individuals ACTUAL perception. This is, obviously, going to be dropped after this comment is posted, but you should make an effort to inform yourself about the usefulness of simple experiments like this. I guarantee you, everyday you are bombarded with marketing tactics, sales techniques, advertising ploys, government propoganda, etc. which have derived from a multitude of experiments built on each other. To deem any type of reasearch "useless" is quite ignorant. Our world progresses with the smallest of steps, and simply reinforcing a debateable principle is often needed in a field such as psychology. Ciao.

comment by djn1 at 08:26 PM (GMT) on 1 May, 2005

Thanks everyone.

glen: thanks for the pointer, and having thought about it (and checked my own link) it's pretty obvious that this must be a different platform.

Adam: my own interest in this would be from the perspectives of either (or both) narrative analysis or social constructionism, and I agree, it is interesting. Email me if you'd like to discuss it further.