At the beach

October 18, 2009
At the beach

1/800sec @ f/5.6
55mm, ISO400, 0ev
Evaluative Metering
No flash
Nikon D40
AF-S 18-55mm 3.5-5.6

This is an example of a shot I took without thinking. I didn’t work my way around the subject, I didn’t check from every angle to get the best shot, I didn’t work out leading lines and other compositional techniques and I certainly didn’t look at my settings before taking the shot. It is a lucky break. As I have discussed before that is the difference between me and a professional photographer. A professional photographer would be able to get the shot every time without fail (otherwise they wouldn’t earn much) I, on the other hand catch lucky breaks. That is not to say I don’t know my stuff when it comes to photography – I am a complete geek about it!! I am just not at the stage where I can pull it out of the bag every time.

With all of that disclaimer out of the way I actually really like this shot. The subject is interesting and has great texture. The background is enough to help the subject pop but isn’t too much to distract. The lines that run across the shot give it layers and help separate the foreground/background and the subject is positioned well in the frame to give some interest to an inanimate object.

Couple of post-processing techniques were used to help make the shot pop. Selective level adjustments were made as well as selective sharpening adjustments. I used NIK Software Silver Efex Pro to convert to black and white. I am still trying to get my head around the zone system that Ansel Adams created and then used to incredible effect. Silver Efex Pro lets you work with zones to get a better black and white rendition of your colour shot. I also used a little bit of content-aware scaling in PhotoShop CS4. Probably my favourite tool to be added to CS4 – I will add that to my list of screencasts to show people who haven’t seen it in action.