This is an image taken back in the beginning of June at one of my favourite locations on the west coast of Portugal.
Iíve shot here before, but in the last 3 months Iíve managed to find some more interesting beaches which are usually covered by high tides. We also had some dramatic skies in that period of time, and this photo was taken on what seems like the last day we had clouds in the sky (summer in Portugal is usually cloudless and not particularly good for landscape photography).
On this particular day, the tide was quite low leaving lots of these moss coloured rocks uncovered, and I was fascinated by the colour and texture of the moss, so I built the image around that.
The title refers to the colour obviously, and I also use it as this image felt very much to me like a companion piece to my Blue image [link]Technique
As I said, I wanted to include plenty of the green mossy rock in the composition. I love primary colours, especially those provided by nature, and thought it would contrast nicely with the pinks and blues in the sky.
The rock was very slippy though, and it was hard to find a place where both the tripod and I were safe from the waves.
This is of course a very long exposure. Iíve talked about the technique I use for these kind of images often in the past, and if anyone is interested in a more detailed description of the techniques in volved in long exposure photography, then Iíve written an article on it for Neutral Density magazine which can be found here [link]
For this particular shot, I wanted to do a long exposure and to avoid blowing out the highlights I waited till the sun was behind the cloud on the horizon. For metering I simply filled my cameraís viewfinder with the green rock. Green like this is pretty close to neutral grey, so I guessed it would give me a good average for the foreground making sure very little would be lost shadow detail. There were however highlights in the pools of water which I eliminated by using a polarizing filter.
I then metered the sky, from one of the brightest areas, which was 7 stops brighter than my base exposure, so I used 2 ND graduated filters (a 3 stop and a 2 stop) to bring the sky into the exposure latitude of my cameraís sensor (which is 3 stops either side of my base exposure. The sky was 7 stops brighter, so filtering it 5 stops brought it to only 2 stops above the base exposure).
After Iíd done this, I removed the grad filter holder with the filters in place, screwed in the 9 stop ND filter to give me a long exposure, and then replaced the filter holder again, ensuring the filters hadnít moved and were still in line with the horizon.
The camera canít measure exposure through all those filters, so you need to work it out in your head by removing 9 stops from the base exposure to take into account the ND filter. This gave me an exposure of around two and a half minutes, or 150 seconds.
I opened the shutter with a cable release, counted off the time with a watch, and then closed the shutter at the end of the exposure. I had time for just 2 exposures before the light changed radically and the colour in the sky was lost.Post Processing
I was pretty happy with this image straight from the camera. It needed a little noise removal, as my camera doesnít handle long exposure particularly well, and I gave the mid tones a contrast boost to give the image a little more punch.
Other than that, the image has been resized, sharpened (using Lab Colour, Lightness channel, Unsharp mask) and then titled.Metadata
Taken in Guincho, Cascais, Portugal
Nikon D80 | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon Cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Hoya ND400 (9 stop) | Hoya Pro 1 polarizer | Lee 0.9 (3 stop) hard GND | Cokin ND8 (2 stop) soft GND
159 seconds | f8 | 12mm
Workflow in Apple Aperture. Frame and title in PS