Sunday, November 25, 2012

Capture, feeling and processing coming together

Composite Image processed with Nik Silver Efex Pro, Snap Art 3 and Photoshop
Last weekend I led a morning workshop in Annapolis Md. It is always a favorite location for me, helping participants, near the water working with reflections, boats and interesting architecture of the old homes. I often like to suggest shooting details on the sailboats and the sails. There was an old boat in harbor with great sails folded down creating interesting shadowing. I liked the old fittings and folds in the sails. I made two images of the sails demonstrating how pieces of the whole can be more interesting sometimes than the whole. When I shot the sails I had in mind processing with a vintage feel, although I did not know the exact process I was going to use I had the "feeling" I wanted to create. I began to work on the image of the sail with the old fittings first making several versions. The edits below show the process. Still have some spots open for my Ireland 2013 tour, it would  make a great holiday gift for your favorite photographer! Here's the link for more info, CLICK HERE.
Original Shot Unprocessed
Image 2 processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro: Antique Plate
Image 3 processed in Snap Art 3
Then I made several versions of the folded sail image.
Image 4 Original shot
Image 5 Processed in Nik Silver Efex Pro
Image 6 Processed in Snap Art 3
Final image composite blended and processed in Photoshop using Layers and Masks

Monday, November 12, 2012

After the "Superstorm Sandy"

Bayside Sunset Assowoman Bay
Last Thursday, the day after a nor'easter and a week and a half after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast I made my way back to the beach. When I arrived a lot of the streets were still under water from the combination of storms. The ground was totally saturated as was the air. After cleaning up around the outside of the house, sweeping, carrying away and raking up all the debris that had floated in on the three feet of water that surrounded the house; I made my way out to the beach. Except for the devastation the storm caused, I love when the beach is returned too its natural state; that is flat and scattered with shells. After the past five or so years of beach replenishment projects on the Delaware shore the beach took on a man made character...with waves breaking right in front of the shore drop off. But Sandy leveled the the shore had been before the replenishment efforts. I know the beach needs to be in tact to hold back massive damage but I really love when nature takes over. Tide pools form and shelling is once again a fun thing to do.
f-8, Nikon 17-35 2.8 Lens, 10 sec. ISO 100

This morning I made it out for sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean...the moon was a sliver and the sky was bare but for a few wispy clouds, but the color on the horizon was awesome. The long flat shoreline allowed for beautiful reflected light to play on the wet sand as the gentle waves moved in and out, you would never have believed the seas fury two weeks ago, compared to today's gentle surf.
Atlantic Sunrise f-8, Nikon 17-35 2.8, ISO 100, Shutter 4.0 sec.

Bayside Sunset  f-22,  Nikon Lens 17-35 2.8, ISO 100, Shutter 1/30

I hate to say but this will probably be my last time to shoot a sunrise by the ocean until next April as I am closing up for the winter season and will be heading out tomorrow...I hope the winter is good to the shore!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Shooting for composites in post processing

Today I am thankful to have power back after a couple days without. I am also thankful that my beach house survived any major damage in South Bethany Delaware! And happy to be back on the blog.
Last weekend I conducted my fall beach workshop as Hurricane Sandy was making her way up the East coast. I had a feeling it was going to be a bad one. It was windy with rough surf and dark grey overcast skies. We got in a pretty sunrise shoot on Saturday AM and continued to shoot all day on Saturday as rain was predicted for Sunday morning. One of the stops I made with the group was near the Addy Sea in Bethany Beach. The dunes were tall, the dune grasses were blowing and the seed pods of the yucca were interesting to me against the blank grey sky. I shot the yuccas with the idea that I might blend images or find textures in my files to blend together in Photoshop using layers and masks. I shot the image of the sky later in the day as the clouds darkend with the idea that it would be good to blend in the sun with the shot of the Yucca plants.
I also thought about adding a texture to the image...the shots below will show you how I saw the final image as I was shooting the raw shots with my D4.

Here are the shots before blending:
Shot 1: Yuccas
Shot 2: Sun with heavy gray clouds
Shot 3: Texture from Library of textures: I chose this texture for the color and design which reminded me of sand dunes with abstract fence lines.
Composite Image before Snap Art 3:
Composite Shot after Snap Art 3 filter:
So.....Next time you go out shooting and your subjects seem boring or the light is dull, think about shooting for and using a composite, making several ordinary shots which can be combined to create a whole new image with a unique look! Use your imagination! and keep shooting!