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Madrugada by AndyMumford Madrugada by AndyMumford
Location

This was taken on the North East coast of Brazil, in a place called Tibau do Sul in Rio Grande do Norte during December.

This beach is at the bottom of some very steep cliffs, and the hotel I was staying in was at the top. Sunrise at this latitude is at the ridiculously early time of 5am, and getting out of bed, and then descending 200 steps (yes, I did count them) to get to the beach was a challenge of willpower. You can see a shot of the beach from near the top of the cliff here:

[link]

Sunrise in Brazil always seem to be great, they just always have wonderful cloud formations there, and the fact that. even at that time, the air and water are beautifully warm compensates for the fact that they happen so early.

Madrugada by the way, is the Portuguese word for dawn

Technique

This was a tricky one to capture really. First, in terms of compostion these were the only rocks on the beach, and so the only real source of foreground interest. The problem was that they slope very steeply into the water, so it was precarious to climb on them, and my each leg on my tripod had to be at a different length and angle to the others.
Also, because the rocks were steep, it was hard to include much of them in the compostion without cutting too much sky off, so I was left with less foreground than I would otherwise have liked.

To compensate for this I used a faster shutter speed to try to capture the movement of the water breaking over the rocks and also use the waves breaking on the beach to create a leading line through the composition.

The other tricky aspect of this was the exposure. Another issue about shooting so close to the equator is the speed with which the sun rises, and thus the speed with which exposure values change.
After every 2 or 3 shots I had to take a new meter reading, and adjust the exposure and filters accordingly, as well as try to keep spray from the water off the filters whilst not slipping on the wet rocks.

This particular sunrise started quite cool, but as the sun crested the horizon, it’s rays painted the clouds this beautiful red, and bathed the wet rocks in warm light.
The range of exposure was very high from the shadows in the rocks to the brightest part of the sky.
Spot metering the foreground and water gave me a wider range than the camera could record without losing detail to either shadow (in the rocks) or highlights (in the water where the sun is reflected).
In situations like this I’ll usually elect to lose shadow detail as I think it’s less obtrusive to the eye, while keeping the highlights in the water from clipping.
The sky was considerably brighter than the foreground, and even with a 3 stop ND graduated filter, there would still have been significant lost highlights there, so I added 1 stop ND grad filter to a 3 stop hard grad to bring the sky’s brightness within the range of the foreground exposure.

I managed around 4 shots before the sun was too bright to shoot in that direction because of the highlights in the water and the wet rocks.

Post-processing

As usual, very little has been done to the original RAW file. First the horizon was leveled and a spot of water that landed on the filter was cloned off. I’ve tweaked vibrancy and contrast in my RAW converter, and then the image was framed, resized (using bicupic smoother) and titled in PS.

Metadata

Shot on Praia do Madeiro, Tibau do Sul, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil
Nikon D80 | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Lee 0.9 (3 stop) hard ND grad & Cokin ZPro ND2 (1 stop) soft ND grad
0.4 sec | f9.5 | 10mm | ISO100

Comments

I really appreciate all comments and faves, even though at the moment I may not have time to reply to them all individually.

But thanks so much in advance. As I said, I really appreciate the support
Add a Comment:
 
:iconadhago:
Adhago Featured By Owner Jan 17, 2013  Professional Interface Designer
Trabalho divulgado na nossa página :)
www.facebook.com/brasilART
O link para o álbum é esse [link]
Reply
:iconfyredrgn:
fyredrgn Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Beautiful.
Reply
:iconjonathanfry:
JonathanFry Featured By Owner Jul 22, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Amazing!
Reply
:iconhugoo13:
hugoo13 Featured By Owner Aug 20, 2010  Professional Interface Designer
Great photo :)

carried in Cruzine: [link]
Reply
:icongold-rose:
gold-rose Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2010  Hobbyist Photographer
featured in my journal :iconlovenodplz:
[link]
Reply
:iconviolafrederikke:
ViolaFrederikke Featured By Owner Oct 18, 2009
It's amazing... You're a very talented human! :)
Reply
:iconlestatbbk:
lestatbbk Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2009
Wow, it's beautiful
Reply
:iconjaime-kendrick:
Jaime-kendrick Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
beatiful!!!!!!!!!!
Reply
:iconozgurdenizistanbul:
ozgurdenizistanbul Featured By Owner Sep 24, 2009  Hobbyist Writer
* f e a t u r e d...

[link]
Reply
:iconopj:
OPJ Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
This picture is terrific. And it's awesome that you share your technique and thought process on this... thanks!
Reply
:iconjusteline:
justeline Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2009  Professional Photographer
:iconomghaiplz: Hi there Andy and welcome back!
this deviation is being featured in my journal
:blowkiss:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2009
Thanks so much for the support my dear...I really appreciate it :-)
Reply
:iconmemod:
memod Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2008  Professional
Haha, your description is quite vivid, it really sounds like it was not too easy to take this shot :D But you did really well. Love how you captured such a wide range of values, still, and how beautiful the colours came out.
And I have to agree, the clouds are just awesome, really strong shapes there.

Well done! :highfive:
Daniel
Reply
:iconcrawling1stepcloser:
crawling1stepcloser Featured By Owner Dec 28, 2008   Photographer
Wow, this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL.
Reply
:iconraulzatt:
RaulZatt Featured By Owner Dec 27, 2008
Awesome job!
I like the in depth description of your technique.. you've got some skill!
Reply
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008  Professional Photographer
Spot on with the exposure Andy, well done mate!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008
Thanks mate
Reply
:iconfrozenwhisperx:
FrozenWhisperx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008   Photographer
which kind of polarizer do u use? The cokin Z one?
Reply
:iconfrozenwhisperx:
FrozenWhisperx Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008   Photographer
which kind of polarizer do u use? The cokin Z one?
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 5, 2008
This image doesn't have a polarizer..but I use a Hoya Pro 1
Reply
:iconfrozenwhisperx:
FrozenWhisperx Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008   Photographer
Thank you for answering.
So how do you do if you want to use a polarizer plus a ND/GND?
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 6, 2008
Generally, if I shoot at 10mm with a screw in filter (like the Hoya Pro 1 CPL), and NDGs, I have to crop a little of the image. I use the Lee filter holder though, which is better than the Cokin Z Pro for vignetting.
Reply
:iconfrozenwhisperx:
FrozenWhisperx Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008   Photographer
And i can use the cokin Z filters in the lee holder?
Which is he difference? The lee is larger?
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 7, 2008
Lee and Cokon Z Pro are the same size (10cm x 15cm) and fit in the same holders. Lee filters are slightly thicker though
Reply
:icongaleee:
Galeee Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2008
This picture has been featured here: [link]
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2008
Cheers :-)
Reply
:icongaleee:
Galeee Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2008
:)
Reply
:icontourofnature:
tourofnature Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
Hey Andy, I featured this shot in my latest journal. One of my favorites from you for sure.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2008
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconnumsi91:
numsi91 Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008
nice shot
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:icondeliciaa:
Deliciaa Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2008
Just too beautiful for words! :)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2008
Thanks so much
Reply
:icondialac1:
dialac1 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
amazing...theres soo much detail in the water!!! :+fav:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:iconthe-wandering-ranger:
The-Wandering-Ranger Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008  Hobbyist
fantastic shot!
:)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
Cheers
Reply
:iconjayshree:
jayshree Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
absolutely stunning.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 10, 2008
Thanks so much
Reply
:iconpsychopyro13:
PsychoPyro13 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008
Oh wow, that's brilliant. Breathtaking :love:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008
Thankyou :-)
Reply
:iconpsychopyro13:
PsychoPyro13 Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2008
You're welcome :aww:
Reply
:iconjulkusiowa:
julkusiowa Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008
:wow: niceeeeeeeee :love:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008
Thankyou :-)
Reply
:iconsensorycore:
SensoryCore Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2008  Professional Photographer
wow. i wish more were as respectful and diligent on photography and photographic technique as you are. Im sorry but i had to say it and i believe you have taught me more in the past 5 minutes of reading this than i have of reading countless threads in different places.

If you have a place where i can read more, where you think i can actually expand what i know, im all ears. This is amazing stuff.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008
Thanks so much, I'm glad you find the desciptions useful.
Most of what I learned about photography comes from great books like "First Light" by Joe Cornish, and "Mountain Light" by Galen Rowell...but at the end of the day, the best way to learn is to get out with your camera and take photos. Then be really critical of them, look at photos from pros and compare them with your own to see what it is you like about your work, what it is you need to develop, how your photos are different.
Reply
:iconsensorycore:
SensoryCore Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2008  Professional Photographer
awesome to hear. Thanx a lot. I'll defenitely look into it.
Reply
:iconsensorycore:
SensoryCore Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2008  Professional Photographer
another note. madrugada is also the spanish word for the same thing.
Reply
:icongeminiartnstock:
GeminiArtNStock Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2008   Digital Artist
Wow

At least now i will be able to look at more of your gallery now
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2008
Thankyou :-)
Reply
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