Undress me now, you know how

Posted on February 13, 2013


A bitterly, cold grey day on a flat, featureless beach. This one is Brean in Somerset on the edge of the brown, silt-filled Severn estuary. Stardate; Monday 11th February 2013. The challenge, to take a photo. The antagonists; a flat and brown beach, low grey cloud and a cold companion. However, the one good thing about the beach/mudflats at Brean is that you can drive along the beach – so it was relatively easy to get away from the anoraked, gloved and muffled dogwalkers by driving to a deserted spot along the seven mile expanse.


1. These posts, set into the sand to stop motorists driving up the national trust land at the north of the beach provide a useful tool to lead the viewer into the photo. The shot is still flat and uninteresting though.


2. The advantages of shooting in raw are that you can tweak exposure and contrast (and many other things) before you export the shot to your favourite photo editing software.


3. The photo has now been tone mapped and already the sky is becoming more dramatic and there is more detail in the foreground.


4. Converting to black and white adds more drama, the best black and white converters give you some leeway on the individual colour channels and in this case I’ve been a bit heavy handed on the blue channel to good effect. There is also a few lumps of dust on the sensor that I have cloned out in the next shot:


5. Finally I’ve added a vignette. My favourite way of doing this is in the lens correction tool (found in ‘Filters’), where you may also correct the affect of a wide angle lens on the uprights, if you wish.


6. A crop, a border and and a few more tweaks give me something I quite like to remind me of the day. I hope that you like it to, add your comments below and please click on any image to make bigger.

Canon 5D with 24-70 f2.8 L and Photoshop CS5.