Undress me now, you know how

Posted on February 13, 2013

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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:

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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.

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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.

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