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November 11, 2008
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Beneath by AndyMumford Beneath by AndyMumford
The Photo

The southern coast of Portugal’s Algarve is incredibly touristed….there are some great beaches there, but most of them are surrounded by ugly hotels and marinas, the kind of thing we call “development”
Fortunately, the west coast of Algarve is much wilder and unspoilt….not so “developed”.
The Atlantic ocean is really rough there, and it gets incredibly windy making it relatively unattractive for mass tourism. The government has declared it a National Park as well, which limits the amount of development in the area.
It’s really beautiful coastline, rugged, windswept and sometimes the landscape is almost lunar-like. While it’s only 30km away from the over-built centers of Lagos and Portimao, it’s a million miles away in how it feels.

My wife and I are moving to the area in a couple of years, and the 50 or so kilometers of coastline here is somewhere I’m really looking forward to spending my time photographing.
Every time we go to Algarve, we head out to the west coast to explore the coast there, and in October for the first time there was some cloud and drama in the sky.

On this particular day, the tide was incredibly low, and the rocks you see here are very rarely exposed (I was there again last weekend, and the tide was 100m further up the beach, completely covering these rocks, even though the tide was nowhere near it’s highest).
Consequently, the rocks are covered in barnacles and all kinds of growth so that it’s almost impossible to see the rock itself beneath the life that clings to it.
Walking out to this location was a pretty “crunchy” experience, but I couldn’t resist shooting the rocks like this…I wonder how long it will be till the ocean reveals them to me again.

If anyone’s interested, this was taken on the same day and same location that I took this [link]

Technique

I did a number of compositions, but I particularly wanted to build one around a stream of water flowing beneath the camera. I spread the legs of the tripod as wide as they would go so they could span the gap that the waves were washing up between the rocks. This way, there was less chance of the water causing the tripod to move.
I measured the exposure from the rocks using the spot meter, and then reduced the exposure by half a stop. I then measured the brightness of the sky, and put a 3 stop hard grad neutral density in place to bring the sky into the exposure latitude of the camera. Because the sun was mostly obscured by clouds, I could shoot straight into it even while it was relatively high in the sky without worrying about flare or the sky being too bright.
However, I wasn’t satisfied with the results as the water’s movement didn’t fit with how I wanted the scene to look. I added a 9 stop ND filter to allow me to use longer exposures, and then added the 9 stops to the exposure settings of the camera to give me the same level of exposure, just with a much longer shutter time.
The ND filter allowed me to get a 30 second exposure at f8.
I then just waited for a wave to crash into the rock flow up the gap towards me before opening the shutter with a cable release.

For more information on using filter for long exposure, have a look at this article here [link]

Post Processing

Very little was done to the image in post processing. Firstly I changed the colour temperature to around 5800k. I’d shot at 6700k, which was a little too warm, and the shot felt a little yellow.
I pulled the highlights in (where the sun was reflecting on the water) and then opened the shot in Photoshop.
Here I just gave a boost to the mid-tone contrast using Unsharp Mask, before resizing and sharpening for the web.

Please note, the rocks were covered in tiny white pebbles which may appear as halos from over sharpening in the final shot. They’re not halos and are present in the orginal insharpened RAW file.

Metadata

Taken on Praia do Monte Clerigo, Costa Vicentina, near Aljezur, Algarve, Portugal
Nikon D80 | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon Cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Lee 0.9 (3 stop) hard GND | Hoya ND400
30 seconds | f8 | 10mm

Workflow in Apple Aperture and PS
Add a Comment:
 
:iconwindinthecoffeecup:
WindInTheCoffeeCup Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Hello! This has been featured here:[link] :heart:
Reply
:iconempurior:
Empurior Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
so beautiful!
Reply
:iconh3llana-mod:
H3llana-mod Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2012  Student General Artist
fantastic !
Reply
:iconprettybarefootboy:
PrettyBareFootBoy Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011
Awesome shot!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Sep 19, 2011
Cheers
Reply
:iconreachingflames:
ReachingFlames Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2010  Professional Photographer
Don't go there too much now! You should wait 'till you live there to make discoveries :D

Good shot and nice to read your words.
Reply
:iconthankyoujames:
thankyoujames Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2010
Beautiful, thank you!
Reply
:iconfree2fall:
Free2Fall Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
Thats some great detail you added in the comments. :)
Reply
:iconmr-tobi:
Mr-Tobi Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
What a fantastic work, well done.
Reply
:iconcaptainkatefinch:
captainkatefinch Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010   Traditional Artist
This is beautiful :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconcaptainkatefinch:
captainkatefinch Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010   Traditional Artist
you're welcome :)
Reply
:iconiytj:
iytj Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
wondeful!!
Reply
:iconanp080:
anp080 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010   Digital Artist
Spectacular!
Reply
:iconelisahafdis:
elisahafdis Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
great shot !!
Reply
:iconvega59:
Vega59 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2010
awesome!!!

Keep u the good work!!

Martin
Reply
:iconjpgmn:
jpgmn Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Featured here: [link]
Reply
:iconcredible-criteria:
credible-criteria Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2009
This is freakin awesome. I love it.
Reply
:iconpictureelement:
PictureElement Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008   Photographer
Featured [link] :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 6, 2008
Thanks so much mate :-)
Reply
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008  Professional Photographer
I know I've commented this once before but I am wondering how you like the ND400 with the ultra wide?
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
It's fine...but with a filter holder, it will vignette a little at 10mm
Reply
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008  Professional Photographer
Even with a wide angle single slot holder?
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2008
You're talking about P series Cokin right.....to be honest, I haven't used a P series Cokin for over a year now, so I honestly can't remember
Reply
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2008  Professional Photographer
Yep P series Cokin, single slot wide boy holder...
Reply
:iconminor77:
minor77 Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
pure beauty!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 28, 2008
Thanks again :-)
Reply
:iconbrettc:
Brettc Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008
Great work Andy, it sounds like it will be a great place to live .
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008
Cheers Brett :-)
Reply
:iconalexwise:
alexwise Featured By Owner Nov 21, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Fantastic as usual Andy :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:iconbellavista2:
BELLAVISTA2 Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
Beautiful colours and composition. Read your comments also, what a wonderful place to move to. Stunning!:sun::heart::earth:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:iconbellavista2:
BELLAVISTA2 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
Your very welcome:iconballoonplz:
Reply
:iconsilversidhe:
SilverSidhe Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
Hello Andy! This makes me think of how I miss these beaches. I haven't visited in the last couple of years :(
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
Yeah, I love it every time I go down there....wonderful place, it's just a pity the local councils down there are so easily "bought", and will let people build ugly crap on landscape that is supposed to be protected.
Reply
:iconpestilence:
pestilence Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2008  Professional Photographer
Oh darn...I am messed with work and my free time has dropped to 0...Just got in...looked immediately for an Andy deviation and there it goes...another lovely one...makes me feel a bit sad I have not the free time to roam around and shoot and look...
Well done once again mate! :)
:+fav: :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
I know the feeling mate...I've got a D3, a 17-35 and an 80-400VR sitting beside me on the desk and all I've had time to do is take photos of my garden with it.....maybe in the Christmas holidays it will get used properly.

Glad you like the shot though mate, I always appreciate you taking the time to look and comment. Hope you get some free time soon my friend, that's what it's all about :-)
Reply
:iconpestilence:
pestilence Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008  Professional Photographer
Congrats on the new camera mate! :) darn mate...it must kick ass! :) hehehe you know now...get a few days off work...and head north, south, east, west (whatever :P ) then drop a note...I am really sorry...but I will be absent for a few...months :P
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2008
It's hard to describe how good the camera is....I was playing around with it the other day and with the 80-400mm on, I can zoom in to see people who are over 4km away!!! The resolution is that good.
I'm still getting used to it though, so it will be a while before I actually take it out and use it properly.

1 month today I'm heading east to Spain.....that should be a good place to start :-)
Reply
:iconpestilence:
pestilence Featured By Owner Nov 22, 2008  Professional Photographer
In you hands and within your eyes its an excellent place to start! :)
Eagerly waiting for new stuff! :)
Reply
:iconedgueinart:
edgueinart Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008
I Feature your work here [link]
=)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2008
Thanks mate
Reply
:iconedgueinart:
edgueinart Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2008
You welcome
Reply
:icondolore:
Dolore Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2008
Excellent landscape as always. ;)
On a side note, I really love reading your descriptions! They're always interesting and instructive :thumbsup:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2008
Thanks a lot, I'm glad you liked it and enjoyed the description :-)
Reply
:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2008
you've reached that stage whereby people feel if they critique your work then they've scored an ego point :rofl:...its made me larf!! reading your comments...and i totally agree

poor fellow all he wants to do is show us his images :D

anyways....i loik it too :).....a lot..
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 15, 2008
I do think there is a bit of that...and this shot has certainly got some of those comments.
I don't think it's my best shot by a country mile...but I like it enough to submit, despite the fact that it might not be better than stuff I've submitted before. I noticed there were a couple of comments like that....about being able to do better, about improving, but what does that really mean?
Is being better taking shots that everyone likes? Is improving making shots that more people like?

I don't mind criticism. =PastyGuy for example made an observation that I completely agree with...but at the same time I don't take the vast majority of the comments that I read here onboard. If someone says something about the water being too white or whatever, what am I going to do about that? I'm not going to change it to please him, and the next time I'm processing a shot then you can be sure that the water will be just as white as I want it to be.
It's hard to respond without sounding arsy, and I did really try this time to reply politely saying "Thanks for the comment, but don't be offended if I don't take the criticism seriously".
What wound me up a little was when I said "Fair enough, you don't like it, but I do...maybe you'll like the next shot" I thought I was polite, and in response I got a "Oh, so you don't want criticism then" comment.

It's not that I think I know better, but I reserve the right to decide what I think is helpful and what isn't.

Anyways...it's the way it is here (and anywhere where we put our work up) so there's no point my getting stressed about it (he says, sounding very stressed).

Time for dinner...and to open a lovely bottle of red :-)

Cheers mate....if you do get to Portugal this year, make sure you let me know.
Reply
:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Nov 29, 2008
mate as someone who tries to take images like this beleive me i appreciate it......but......:D....i wrote my initial comment and now have looked at the image again for reference whilst reading your reply...and firstly ill ask is it a blend?......and if so ....then i would say the edit for the sky is a little too dark......this kinda comment annoys me so i'll understand if your miming strangling me .... i always think that an image that has an element of artistic license due to creative use of shutter speed or aperture or filters for that matter is already an artistic impression in camera......so the whole argument of the water is brigher than the sky above kinda fails.....and again .,....but.... i feel your sky is a little dark......
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