Back Modifications (7)
Views 65 Unique 24 Award Shortlist   

My cotton waves

By Kostas_74
I tried to shot this beautiful landscape using a 10 stop ND filter to produce an effect on the waves. I was not satisfied with the original picture and I came up with this version.

São José Beach. Itacaré. Bahia.

Tags: Waves Landscape and travel

Get 50% off Adobe CC Photography plan with any X-Rite ColorChecker Photo product!


cats_123 Plus
16 4.9k 30 Northern Ireland
18 Oct 2018 7:26AM
Good conversion....(do you have a `dust bunny' in the original?) Smile

Join ePHOTOzine for free and remove these adverts.

18 Oct 2018 9:20AM
Sorry for the dirt on the sensor, I should better examine my lenses before using them, sometimes they take the dirt to the sensor. I was lucky this time, because it did not compromise the photo, but the sensor cleaning has already been provided. Smile
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2166 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2018 10:09AM
Hello again, good to see you back in the Critique Gallery.

This is all about atmosphere, the crashing waves, the energy of the sea. Great when you are standing there, difficult to convey in a silent flat rectangle...

You set yourself an interesting challenge, can you describe further the 'effect on waves' that you wanted to achieve? This isn't my comfort zone, but I'm surprised at how much texture, sense of substance, the waves have, given the length of the exposure, and I do like the effect. There's real weight in the water.

I've uploaded a few modifications, working from your original. The first was intended to show the basic adjustments that I made before cropping, but the rotation does not show up against the white background so I have uploaded Modification number 5 with a frame, to show the extent of the rotation.

The first thing that I noticed looking at the original was the tilt - water never slopes - followed by the dust blobs. I cleaned away eight very easily using the spot healing brush. Time for a sensor clean!

The original is underexposed, as I'm sure you are aware. Photographing into sky and light shining down onto water, that will trick the camera's brain into underexposing. You used a small minus exposure compensation, this needed plus.

The other problem is the dynamic range, from bright light on the water to foreground rocks in shadow. Foreground shadow is tricky, it reduces detail in precisely the areas that the viewer needs to be able to relate to physically.

I used the Camera Raw filter to increase exposure by a stop. I used the burn tool set to midtones, very gently, to protect detail in the white water. I also lightened shadows. Low settings for everything, nothing extreme.

Then I tried a tighter crop, but not as tight as yours, as a comparison. I left in some sky, for the sense of distance, and a strong baseline of rock to 'ground' the image.

I'm interested that you flipped horizontally. In the original, reading from the left as our western brains do, we see the rocks resisting the waves; flipped, the emphasis is on the waves attacking the shore. Both work, they are just subtly different stories.
18 Oct 2018 10:57AM
Hello, Moira, thank you for your detailed comments.

About exposure compensation, my intention was to protect the highlights, feared losing information in the waves. I knew I could control the result later in post-production, especially at ISO 100. Maybe there was not so much information in the white waves to be lost.

About the effect on the waves, it is difficult to describe. However I am interested in the transformation, which brings a result different from the normal and everyday. The wave movement has this power to create, to bring something unusual. There is a certain amount of randomness here, but controlled because I chose between four or five photos in the same position, with slightly different results.

I loved your versions and the editing steps you showed.
banehawi Plus
15 2.2k 4094 Canada
18 Oct 2018 1:31PM
Nice result from a 10 stopper.

Cant add to the feedback already provided, but uploaded a mod with sharpening, and shadow/highlight tweaks.


mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.9k 2166 United Kingdom
18 Oct 2018 3:27PM

Quote:About exposure compensation, my intention was to protect the highlights, feared losing information in the waves.

Yes, I see the logic in that. As a general procedure when there's a problem light area like this, I reduce contrast (I left that bit out), darken highlights and use the burn tool very gently, set to midtones, to preserve detail. Once I have done that I can get on with the overall adjustments, bringing back brightness and contrast. I think everyone has their own workflow...

I like the fact that you tried a number of shots, that's good. As you say, there's randomness, results are not easy to predict for this sort of take.
dudler Plus
16 1.1k 1599 England
18 Oct 2018 9:00PM
I have to say I'm surprised at the degree of underexposure: my experience with manual lenses and Aperture priority is that things work pretty much just right. This looks more like -2 stops!

Otherwise, nothing to add.
Robert51 11 7 96 United Kingdom
21 Oct 2018 4:00PM
Just thought I would a mod...

Sign In

You must be a member to leave a comment.

ePHOTOzine, the web's friendliest photography community.

Join For Free

Upload photos, chat with photographers, win prizes and much more.