Tag Archives: Beach

Friday Image No. 169

Formby Beach at Sunset
Formby Beach at Sunset. Captured using a Fuji X-T2. Please see text for full details.

It’s felt like an eternity since I witnessed a good sunset or sunrise. But last weekend, I made a trip over to Formby with a friend and it was as if everything just fell into place.

The day had been a little frustrating, alternating between too much cloud and not enough. As we sat on a rock, about an hour from sunset the sky was crystal clear. I didn’t hold out much hope of a sunset. Then, the clouds seemed to change direction and a large formation drifted slowly across the sky. It didn’t seem to be moving fast enough to reach the sun in time. But it did, and the scene was glorious.

I captured this frame on the Fuji X-T2 with a 10-24 lens. I had the camera mounted on a tripod which was set quite low, probably about two feet from the ground. I also got to use my new Kase Wolverine Reverse Grad filter which made an amazing difference to the scene. I’m a complete convert after one outing – using this filter on sunsets is amazing. The camera was set to ISO200 and the aperture stopped down to f/13.0. I did this primarily to create a star effect around the sun. Unfortunately, it didn’t work for this frame as the sun had dipped just that little too low.

I should also say that I didn’t process this RAW file in Lightroom either. I opted instead for Capture One Pro 11, which seems to have added a remarkable amount of subtle colour detail into the clouds. Lightroom in comparison rendered most of the cloud above the sun as a monotone mass of colour. In Capture One the cloud looks like more like flames. I’m going to run a few more trials on Capture One as the image quality appears much better than a couple of versions back, especially with the Fuji RAW files.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

Upgrading Exposure

Porth Kidney Sands, Cornwall. Olympus EM5 and 12-40mm lens. ISO200, 1/640″ at f/7.1. Processing in Exposure X2 with the Velvia 100 film simulation.

I have finally taken the plunge and upgraded my copy of Exposure from Alien Skin. This is a great all-purpose piece of editing software which I tend to use as a plug in to Photoshop. What I really like are the film simulations.

I already owned Exposure and was resisting the temptation to upgrade. What really changed my mind was a 40% discount and the other Alien Skin tools thrown in. These were Blow up for enlargement and Snap Art for painting special effects. I’m not really one for painting effects but since upgrading my iPad I have started to draw more. I’m finding packages like this provide a nice yet creative break from work.

I’m now under more pressure to find time to experiment with the new version of Exposure and learn how to best use the new Layers feature.

Friday Image No.98 & Thank You

Cannon Beach, Oregon. Olympus EM5, 45mm, 0.4" at f/7.1 and ISO200
Cannon Beach, Oregon. Olympus EM5, 45mm, 0.4″ at f/7.1 and ISO200

I love being by the sea, especially when its sunset. This image was taken at Cannon Beach in Oregon. The sun had set around 30 minutes earlier and most people had cleared off the beach. There were just a handful of photographers left and the light was well balanced. A sea mist had also started to roll in which crated a lovely soft haze. This was taken with quite a long lens to help compress the scene. I also cropped out the unwanted foreground as I wasn’t able to get a close to the scene as I would have liked.

I would also like to take a moment and say thank you to all the people who has taken the time to provide feedback to my last post. I’m planning to give this real thought over the weekend and then update on my plans. I really appreciate all the support.

I hope you like the image and have a great weekend.

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Friday Image No.97

Canon Beach, Oregon.
Canon Beach, Oregon.

One of the things that I love most about the Olympus EM5 is the stabilization. It allows me to shoot at some ridiculously slow speeds that just shouldn’t be possible. Sometimes I do set the camera to burst mode and fire off 5 or 6 shots. Doing this I can be pretty sure that at least one of the images will be sharp.

The shot above is one such example where I shot handheld at 1/3”. Strangely, I then decided to add some blur to the image (around the edges) as the image looked too sharp. At least I had the choice to do this though. Had the shot been slightly blurred to start with it wouldn’t have worked.

Have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.95

Haystack Rock, Canon Beach, Oregon. Sony A7R with Canon 24-70 lens.
Haystack Rock, Canon Beach, Oregon. Sony A7R with Canon 24-70 lens.

For the Friday image this week, I wanted to share another shot from my recent trip. The rock in the frame is rather famous (I could find a Wikipedia page anyway https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haystack_Rock) and is called Haystack Rock. It’s located at Canon Beach in Oregon which is a fantastic place to visit. It’s a little like St Ives in Cornwall but done American style.

Whilst this sea stack is an impressive and imposing sight, it’s not that easy to create a pleasing composition. At a distance and with a wet beach/reflection you can create some interesting arrangements. But when the beach is very busy as it was here, you find yourself quite limited as you try to dodge the many people.

I struggled for some time before I moved sufficiently close to shoot this and have to admit that it was more of a grab shot taken hand held. What was fantastic though was the light. There was a bit of a sea mist rolling in and the low setting sun was catching it; sometimes the light makes compromise worthwhile.

I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.