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Submitted on
December 7, 2007
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Winter Skies by AndyMumford Winter Skies by AndyMumford
The Photo

This was taken earlier this week on a particularly cloudy and stormy day, in a place I’ve often photographed.
Although the light wasn’t particularly good, the sky and sea was so dramatic that it was a great day for photography.
I love winter weather like this, there’s always something to point the camera at, and after months and months of cloudless summer skies, a bit of dark cloud is a welcome sight

It was also quite challenging to shoot here as it’s so exposed to wind and spray. The waves were particularly big, and of course there’s always the temptation to try to keep getting closer and closer to the edge in order to get a better shot.

One of the problems was dealing with spray on the filters, I had to continually wipe the ND graduated filters down as there was so much water in the air.
At one point, I was caught completely by surprise by a 2 meter wave which crashed over my head, completely saturating both me and the camera. I was worried that the water would have damaged my camera, so I immediately got away from the edge and started to dry it using the lens cloths and tissues I carry with me in my camera bag.
Fortunately, nothing was damaged so I could carry on shooting….but next time I’ll be a lot more careful.

Technique

This is a pretty straightforward shot really, I chose the compostion trying to get as much water around the rocks in the foreground as possible. The tripod was actually set up with one of the legs bridging a small channel of water, as I was standing on a rock completely surrounded by ocean.
I didn’t bother using the spot meter as it was obvious that there wasn’t going to be a huge range of brightness levels in the shot.
I just took a matrix reading from the foreground and set exposure for that with the rock as a mid-tone (ensuring it wouldn’t be too dark). I wanted an shutter speed of around 2 seconds as that blurs the water a little, but keeps the definition and texture, so I had to set a small aperture of f22
I pointed the camera at the sky, which told me that it needed an exposure three stops less than the foreground, so I just used a hard edged ND graduated filter placed a long the horizon to bring the sky back into the exposure range.

I kept another ND grad filter placed infront of the filter between shots to try to minimize spray getting onto the filter I was using for the shot.

I took a number of shots, timing them for when the waves were flooding the rocks infront of me or receding away.

Post Processing

This shot needed quite a bit of work with the Healing tool to get rid of splashes of water on the filter.
I processed the shot in RAW, tweaked the levels and saturation before cleaning the drops off in PS. I then resized the shot, gave it some very gentle noise reduction using Neat Image, sharpened it a little and then framed and titled it.

Metadata

Taken at Parede, Portugal
Nikon D80 | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon Cable release
Manfrotto 190XProB w/ 322RC2 ballhead
Lee 0.9 (3 stop) hard GND
2 seconds | f22 | 10mm

Workflow in Apple Aperture and PS.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconvincentfavre:
vincentfavre Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2009  Professional Photographer
Fantastic colors !!
A stunning shot... for sure !
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2009
Thanks Vincent :-)
Reply
:iconprimulatook:
primulatook Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
a wonderful, dramatic capture!
Reply
:iconkhrisjuhlin:
khrisjuhlin Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2009   Photographer
Featured in the second edition of The H'age of 2 O.

Hope you don't mind :)
Reply
:iconpotatogoji:
potatogoji Featured By Owner Nov 18, 2008
looks great. It reminds me of a background that i saw as an Ibook default.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
Thankyou :-)
Reply
:iconpotatogoji:
potatogoji Featured By Owner Nov 19, 2008
welcome
Reply
:iconkikibaci:
kikibaci Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
Oh man that's what makes me scared of shooting near water! I'm fairly clumsy and i can just see myself knocking over the tripod or some other unfortunate incident :paranoid:

The water looks great, and i love how moody the whole piece is.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
Thanks again :-)
Reply
:iconhougaard:
hougaard Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2008
This feels like it could do with some darkening of the shadows?
Reply
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