Blog written for Digital Jackanory
This picture was taken in one of my favourite places. Its called Ned’s Point in Co. Donegal Ireland. This photo is in a small beach near a town called Buncrana. A lovely secluded spot and a very popular area.
I didn’t set out or plan to take this image. My Fiancee and I went for a drive one summers evening and stopped off for some food. We sat in the car watching the sunset eating our chips. I noticed the light dropping and how it was casting some nice colours on the rocks and the water. I always carry my camera in the car with so I quickly got out of the car and set up my equipment. The image was taken around 9pm on a Summers evening.
The light in this scene was quickly changing as the sun began to go down so I wanted to act quickly and get the shot. The water was also moving fast so I decided I wanted a mysterious feel and misty feel to the image whilst keeping the warm feeling o the sunlight.
I used a Sony A77 and a tamron 17-50mm 2.8lens on a manfrotto tripod with legs wide to get close to the water. I used an ND 10 stop filter and a shutter release. no other equipment was used.
I have always wanted to get a nice picture of this area as its a place that I that I have always loved. The light as the sun was going down inspired me to make this image. I was always a fan on slow shutter speeds and soft mystic look of the water which is why I Used the ND filter to get this look and feel. I wanted to turn a nice Irish seaside image into something mystical.
This image was processed using various software packages. I do all my organising and RAW editing in Adobe Lightroom. I started by doing some basic RAW edits which included increasing the detail in the sahdows and bringing down the highlights. This gave me a good balance on the histogram. I ramped up the vibrance quite a bit and sharpened slightly. I then adjusted the lens correction and remove chromatic aberration. The horizont was slightly slanted so I use the straightening tool in Lightroom to fix this. Once the basic editing was completed I used some gradient filters on the sky and the water to darken slightly. Then some painting using the brushes in lightroom to bring out the warmth of the sun and the coolness of the water. I exported the image into photoshop and duplicated the photo in to two layers. I used heavy noise reduction on the bottom layer and on the top layer used a high pass filter at 3.9. I then blended the top layer using overlay blending. This maintained the sharp edges on the image but gave a nice dreamy feel overall. I imported back into lightroom and added a slight vignette to draw the eye in to the image.
In my camera bag
My bag always consists of my trusty Sony A77. Lenses in my bag are my tamron 17-50mm 2.8, my tamron 70-300mm, and my Sigma primt 24mm prime lens. Recently I also carry a Tokina 11-16mm 2.8 for super wide shots. I have a collection of filters including ND 10 stop filter, Circular Polarising filter and UV filter. I use a Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Tripod. I also carry a basic shutter release that I picked up on ebay for £10 which works perfectly. I always carry 4 fully charged batteries and a car charger.
My advice is act on your instinct and act quickly as light can change quickly as the sun goes down. Also be prepared for disappointment and don’t give up. Many times I have tried to capture an image like this but variables such as the weather and lighting let me down. Also make sure and carry all the equipment you need. You can only do so much in post processing.