Back Modifications (2)
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Huntcliff Dawn

By IanBurton    
Hi folks,

I am looking for some constructive critique here so don't hold back. My long term goal is to get images correct in the camera and minimise post production, and to also look at compositions.

This was taken on Saltburn beach looking towards Huntcliff. I decided to set myself a little challenge to try and create something different from the usual images shot in this location. Here I was interested in the patterns the receeding waves were making and thought it would make a good lead in to the cliff. I tried different exposures and settled on 4-sec which was enough to maintain and enhance the pattern without creating a milky effect.

Here I used :
ND Hard Grad(3-stop)
Polariser (to reduce unwanted reflection in the sand/water)

Post production:
Slight increase in brightness

Thanks for looking.


Tags: Sunrise Saltburn Dawn Huntcliff Landscape and travel

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


banehawi Plus
13 1.8k 3877 Canada
26 Sep 2011 10:41PM
I like this one. Really nice detail in the foreground shapes. Youve done a lot right, - except make sure the horizon is levele, - its off about 0.5 degrees.

Overall, it can benefit with more contrast, - its not too bad, but just a little more can really enhance the mood, and make the most of the foreground patterns.

Ive loaded a mod with straightening, contrast, and cropped to place the horizon on a third.

Hope this is helpful,



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SWMahy 10 21 2 United Kingdom
26 Sep 2011 10:50PM
I love the simplicity of this. The ripples in the foreground are just perfect. I can see how a little extra contrast does give it a bit more pop, although I really like it just as it is. I'd be really proud of this one. Steve.
Tooth 13 5.8k 227 Ireland
26 Sep 2011 11:00PM
Since you specifically mention getting it right in camera, I'll expand a bit on the horizon. The problem is that if it's not straight yes you can fix it in software later but only at the expense of some of the pic - and if you've spent time getting the compositional elements just right, then you may find you're having to chop through these and so you're forced into a compromise. My mod is a screengrab to illustrate this.

How to get the horizon right in camera? well assuming you're on a tripod, use a hot-shoe spirit level (reasonably cheap) or your camera might have an in-built one in the viewfinder display. Or, if there's a thirds frame or grid in the display options you can use this as a refernce for the horizontal line. or, failing all of these, just spend time getting it right with your eyes. Only when you've got the horizon level can you then arrange your compositional elements in the knowledge that you won't be chopping through some of them.

BTW I prefer Willie's crop not specifically because of the thirsds thing but more because the lines of sand at the bottom form a stronger diagonal "lead-in" for the eye
Hope that's some use

IanBurton 8 81 7 United Kingdom
27 Sep 2011 8:27AM
Thanks guys really appreciate the feedback, I will have a go at boosting the contrast at full size and see how it prints. With re: to the horizon I do use a hot-shoe spirit level, but I have noticed that this does not seem to level it correctly, I don't know why, but it suggests I should trust my own instincts and double check with the viewfinder screen.

geffers7 Plus
7 51 1 United Kingdom
4 Oct 2011 4:47PM
Just a thought Ian but I used a hot shoe spirit level for 6 months and wondered why I still had to straighten the images in PS - the spirit level was poorly manufactured and wasn't straight anyway. I've now bought a new one!

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