Back Modifications (4)
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Muizenberg Beach Huts at Sunrise

By RobLouw
This photo was taken shortly after sunrise on Muizenberg (Cape Town, South Africa) beach on boxing day last year. The camera was tripod mounted and a polariser was used to reduce the glare of the brightly painted huts. Some minor adjustments to contrast, clarity and vibrance and a crop were applied in camera raw. The image was also sharpened in camera raw.
The huts were taken without the birds in the sky. I realised that there would be a of empty blue space in the image and I needed to find something to add interest to the sky. There were no clouds about which I could have captured and cloned into the blue space so I had to to think of another alternative. I was fortunate that a flock of Sacred Ibis flew past in perfect formation to to fit into the wedge of sky. They were captured separately to the huts with the lens on full zoom at 105mm. The birds were then resized to fit the image before being cloned into it.
Please note that I keep the time on my camera set Universal Time (GMT) all the time. This shot was not taken at 04:11 (as per the EXIF data) but at 06:11.
Comments most welcome!

Tags: Holiday Birds Beach Sunrise South africa Beach huts Landscape and travel Sacred ibis

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


Chinga Plus
5 3 1 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2013 11:32AM
Wonderful colours!

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11 Mar 2013 12:25PM
Well made photo. Great color and pattern.

pablophotographer 5 674 269
11 Mar 2013 12:54PM

Quote:Well made photo. Great color and pattern.


I shall add that I like the momentum as well. The birds passing add a sense of life. (oops I have just read what you have written. Actually I looked at the shutter speed first and I thought that within 1/60sec at 200 iso at f.22 you should have had more wing movement visible.)

So I would better say it is nicely presented and constructed. Good taste is a useful tool in creating images.
Hermanus 4 4 South Africa
11 Mar 2013 1:00PM
I immediately recognised this from the thumbnail Smile A great photo and the birds does add to a perfect image Smile
iancrowson 6 211 142 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2013 1:06PM
I like the image as posted and the addition of the birds to the sky. Good work.
However as I like the diminishing nature of the picture. I done a mod.
The mod is a crop intended to emphasis the diminishing beach hut aspect of the image. It also takes away the distraction of the birds when viewed in this way.
This is purely a suggestion of an alternative approach to the bland area of sky (other than adding the birds)
doolittle 7 1 2 South Africa
11 Mar 2013 1:17PM
For me it's too tightly cropped on the sides. It occurred to me that you were "forced" to exclude something unsightly but somehow I doubt it.
paulbroad 9 116 1064 United Kingdom
11 Mar 2013 2:10PM
Adding the birds was a good idea and adds another dimension. A good image all told but the huts are all very pastel in colour intensity. I would have thought, given a suitable direction of light, the polariser would have given deeper more intense colours?

Whilst you have a high quality lens, I might have stopped at f16 to stay in the best area of lens quality. Extremes on zooms tend to exhibit slight quality loss.

ErictheViking 3 124 102 Scotland
11 Mar 2013 2:52PM
This is a great shot Rob, I like the addition of the birds as it adds the element of movement. I think the only real issue I have is the colours are a little flat and the shadows are a little too pale for me since the image was taken so early in the morning (06:11am).

I have loaded a mod with strengthened colours and darker shadows. All I did was to use a levels layer and adjusted the shadow slider and the mid-tone sliders to deepen the shadows.

As many of the above comments have said this is a really nice shot.

Erik Grin
banehawi Plus
12 1.5k 3530 Canada
11 Mar 2013 3:53PM
Nice colourful shot. The filter worked well for glare, but polarizers have disadvantages too, and there may be some of them visible in this shot. They can remove all colour from some objects in some situations, and dont work on all reflected light. only light that is polarized. Chrome is a example where a polarizer wont work. Looking at the sand in this shot it looks like a mono to me. Of course it may well be white, but it has no colour at all, so this may be polarizer at work, either through removing colour, or white balance.

The colours are over-saturated for me, another feature of polarizers, but it does make the image extremely vibrant.

Colour balance can be affected also by the same filter, as you are altering the colour of the light entering the white balance sensor too, so a lot to look out for, but do use one when needed.

f/22 is no place to be with this lens either as Paul mentions. It hasnt performed badly, but theres a very big difference in sharpness between f/16 and f/22 with this lens, especially at the edges.

heres a link to a test page. Its stops at f/11, but the lowr apertures slope down at a consistent rate.

Add a little motion blur to the birds so they dont look too static.

Loaded 2 mods, one with colour balance and saturation adjusted, lens correction applied, and birds blurred.

Mod 2 is a deliberate perspective distortion intended to make the line look longer, and smaller at the far end. I had the idea from Ians suggestion.


Mike43 5 17 21 England
12 Mar 2013 8:55AM
To me you just picked the wrong time of day as the sunlight is hitting the beach huts from a very low angle causing the weak colors, and a polarisering filter is not a lot of use at that angle. Which is a shame but if you live anywhere near go back and try again because you have a great photo just waiting for a bit of color.

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