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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.
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:iconvincentfavre:
vincentfavre Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2009  Professional Photographer
Fantastic colors !!
A stunning shot... for sure !
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: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!
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: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 :)
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: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
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008  Professional Photographer
Beautiful shot, the filter worked well here
Looks almost like smoke :+fav:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008
Thanks again :-)
Reply
:icondrewhopper:
DrewHopper Featured By Owner Jul 20, 2008  Professional Photographer
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconannaphotix:
Annaphotix Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008  Hobbyist Photographer
I just had to go and put a jacket on after looking at this cold atmospheric photo! :giggle:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2008
Lol..thankyou
Reply
:iconhorasbah:
horasbah Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008   Photographer
woww!...dramatic sky with cloudy water! beautiful....
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jul 3, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:iconspamkiller:
Spamkiller Featured By Owner May 11, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
What a beautiful thing. The rocks in the foreground are wonderful! :+fav:
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:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner May 11, 2008
Thanks so much :-)
Reply
:iconspamkiller:
Spamkiller Featured By Owner May 12, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You're welcome. :)
Reply
:icongeminiartnstock:
GeminiArtNStock Featured By Owner Apr 12, 2008   Digital Artist
Wow
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2008
:D
Reply
:iconton2k:
ton2k Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2008
spectacular!! very very nice!! i love it :+fav:
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:icondoedit:
Doedit Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2008
[link] featured you here. :D
Reply
:iconkkart:
kkart Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2008  Professional Photographer
This is nice ANdy, came out well,. a suggestion for ya, try shootiing at around f11 or so, u may have to go with a deeper ND, but the reason being is that I bet it will be sharper...due to disfraction at f22
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2008
Thanks again, I'm glad you like it.
As for the aperture...I know about diffraction at smaller apertures but really wanted a shutter speed long enough to blur the water in the foreground. I could have used a ND filter across the whole image as well as the ND grad across the sky, but there was so much spray in the air that I was constantly changing filters as it was and didn't want to go messing around more than I needed to...
Reply
:iconkkart:
kkart Featured By Owner Jan 16, 2008  Professional Photographer
Gotchya, ya kinda hit or miss then it seems
Reply
:iconnaexii:
naexii Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008
Really impressive picture, seems like a dream...
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008
Thanks so much, I'm really glad you like it :-)
Reply
:iconotas32:
otas32 Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008  Professional General Artist
The rocks are very cool, the misty effect of the water combined with them makes me think of an aerial shot of rain forest mountains like the ones found in my country, with forest mist surrounding them.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 11, 2008
:-) Thanks again :-)
Reply
:iconnewcastlemale:
newcastlemale Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008  Professional Photographer
superb movement in the water :-)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2008
Thanks so much, I'm glad you like it :-)
Reply
:iconlamusatriste:
LaMusaTriste Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2008  Professional Photographer
would love to shoot together...
your long exposures are tha bomb :boogie:
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2008
Carmen, you flatter me......and I like it ;-)

It would be a pleasure to go shooting with you, and if you're ever in Portugal you must let me know so we can meet up :-)
Reply
:iconcraig-352:
craig-352 Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008
Good stuff. Simple but very effective. The water looks almost like steam streaming around a brain!
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 3, 2008
Thanks mate, glad you like it
Reply
:iconk00pa-tr00pa:
K00PA-TR00PA Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2007
Very nice Andy. This is a great work of art. How did you learn to use filters, metering, and the such? I'm new to photography with digital SLRS, and need to find some crash courses.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2008
How did I learn?
I read a lot of books on photography...I mean really a lot.
For stuff on filtering I'd really recommend "Inspiring Professionals" A book produced by Lee Filters [link]
Reply
:iconpastyguy:
PastyGuy Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
now this is more my thing, stormy skies and rough seas. great shot Andy
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:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
Cheers mate
Reply
:iconphilipmatthews:
PhilipMatthews Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2007
The colors are simply great! And I understand you completly when you discribe that enormous wave crashing in front of you :D That´s why I always carry some transparent plastic bags to wrap around my camera every time I go out in a day like that ;)
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
Thanks Filipe...The silly thing is that I have a rain protector for my camera but I wasn't using it at the time.
I've just been in the Amazon for a week (I just returned to Recife yesterday) and the humidity there was 75% and we had a couple of incredible tropical rainstorms...I had all my equipment in plastic bags whenever I wasn't using it and fortunately it's survived. I think cameras are tougher than we think they are.
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:iconkato-cat:
Kato-Cat Featured By Owner Dec 17, 2007
Very brave of you! And beautiful pic - well worth the risk.
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
Thanks again :D
Reply
:iconpheelfresh:
pheelfresh Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2007   Photographer
I love the thickness and deep colors of the sky vs. the bright surf breaking the shoreline and the way they harmonize together perfectly. Excellent capture of texture on those foreground rocks as well.

Good one again Andy. I hope you are enjoying Brazil (even though you probably won't read this until after you return).
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
Thanks loads mate, glad you like it.

I AM enjoying Brazil (it's hard not to, to be honest). I just got back from the Amazon yesterday and we're taking it easy for a few days in Recife with my wife's parents at the moment before heading up the coast for Christmas.

It's been an amazing experience and I feel I've learned a lot from spending so much time with my camera in such tricky circumstances. I've had to do a lot of shooting from moving boats and floating platforms, and while I'm usually quite slow and methodical in my landscape work, I've had to be a lot faster to grab opportunities.
But I'm very happy with some of the shots I've done so far, and I'm happy that my D80 stood up to the conditions (37ºc with 80% humidity), although it has strengthened my desire for a camera that I can use above ISO400 without worrying about image quality, as well as one that shoots more fps (for animal shots).

Take care mate, I don't have time to check the submissions in my devwatch now but I'll be looking out for your stuff when I get back.
Reply
:iconsortvind:
Sortvind Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2007
Well done! :boogie: might ad some contrast to it, but thats just a suggestion.
Reply
:iconsyakster:
Syakster Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2007   Photographer
I love the texture on the rocks
Reply
:iconandymumford:
AndyMumford Featured By Owner Dec 20, 2007
Thanks so much
Reply
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