down to the sea #5 / 23 September, 2010 [click for previous image: Daniel and Catherine #4]
down to the sea #5 / 23 September, 2010 [click for next image: Daniel and Catherine #5]
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Title • down to the sea #5

I almost didn't bother trying to post-process this one and, if you've taken a look at the original, you'll know why. Craig and I had been shooting in relatively bright sunlight, but just before I took this shot the sun dissapeared behind a small, but particularly dense cloud. The effect was pronounced: the sky remained bright, but the sea became very dark, dull and flat.

Anyway, as I liked the composition, particularly the cresting wave to the right of the end of the groyne, I thought I'd see what I could come up with, and once I'd added an extremely steep masked curve (to lift the foreground detail), the image looked a whole lot better. The only thing that didn't quite work out was the colour balance, i.e. using an RGB curve to make such a pronounced difference in brightness and contrast also added a massive boost to the saturation – the sea was now an electric shade of blue. I did try changing the blend mode to Luminosity, but this unbalanced the image in a different direction – the sky was blue, but the sea was virtually monochromatic. This could have been fixed – I could have toned the sea, but not the sky, or vice versa – but the simplest solution was to convert the image to black and white. A slight cop-out, but in this case an effective one.

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
plugins (etc)
1.43pm on 10/9/10
Canon 5D Mark II
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
aperture priority
Topaz Detail
minor transformation
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