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Low tide

By bigbob2
Taken in the Exe estury at Exmouth

Tags: Landscape and travel

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Morgs 12 20 62 Wales
16 Jun 2009 7:19PM
This shot has a lot of potential, but this particular image fails to hit the mark.
The exposure on the foreground is good, but the sky has for the best part burnt right out. This could have been rectified if you had used a neutral density graduated filter to hold back the bright light from the sky.
Alternatively, if your camera was mounted on a tripod, you could have exposed for the foreground and then the sky and blended the two shots together in PS.
The boat on the left has been cut in half. How about getting in closer to the boat or steeping back and using the boat as the main foreground interest by composing it on a 'third'. This would make the image more pleasing to the eye.

Hope this helps.

conrad 16 10.9k 116
16 Jun 2009 7:24PM
Exmouth! Ah, memories. (Sigh.) Wink (I lived there for a while, a long time ago...)

Anyway, about the image. Scenes like this are screaming out to be photographed, obviously. But the image is a bit dull, mainly because the light and the colours are flat. Now, you can do something about that, and I tried to show you in a mod, but unfortunately your pic was only about 41 Kb and with the many (sometimes extreme) changes that I made, artefacts were introduced into the image (as you can see in the mod), so I'm going to ask you to ignore that and try to see what you can do with the bigger image you have on your computer.

I used levels and brightness to make the image lighter; I upped contrast, darkened shadows and made highlights stronger to make the image more interesting; I upped colour saturation to make it more appealing. And finally I sharpened it, because it seemed a bit soft. Now, all of this should work better with the bigger image you have at home.

And now the question if you can improve things in-camera so that there's less post-production work necessary. Yes, I think you can. Even if there isn't any direct light to work with, and it looks like there wasn't, you can improve your exposure, emphasise the sky, etc. You could try using a polariser filter, which enhances things like colour and any interest in the sky. If there is a difference between the light in the sky and on the land, you can use a graduated ND filter to hold back the light in the sky a bit, darken it, and allow more light on the land. And even though this was obviously not a night shot, I would recommend using a tripod.

Also, I think you could play with the composition a bit more. You've only shown a small part of that boat on the left, and the only boats we see a lot of, are so far in the distance that they don't feature very prominently in the picture. Now, I don't want to suggest that a boat you use as foreground interest should always be shown whole, but you could have gone a bit closer to that boat and shown more of it, somehow, I think that would have given the image more impact.

That's it, these are all the suggestions I have for you. I hope you can do something with them.

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