Powerful Black & White Seascape

With the sun peeking in and out of the clouds around sunset, I had some color issues with this composition. I couldn't find a satisfying white balance. Well, why not go Black and White with it?

High contrast black and white - with dodging and burning.

So, some technical info about the photo: f/22, 2.5 seconds, ISO 160 with an ND filter. 

Lightroom basic panel settings

Lightroom basic panel settings

For basic processing, I dropped the highlights and raised the shadows, then set white and black points to bring back contrast. This spreads the histogram across the spectrum. Then I grabbed an adjustment brush to dodge and burn. I brushed the brighter parts of the rocks and surf, making them lighter, and darkened parts of the rocks.

Adjustment brush overlay

Adjustment brush overlay

I Spy With My Little Eye

During my visit to Lake Solano I found a tree with the trunk nearly horizontal to the bank. Climbing up this interesting tree I just happened to catch a duck swimming by. 

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The Golden Beach

The golden sky reflected on the sand of Muir Beach. This is digitally blended from two exposures in Pixelmator. The long exposure of the surf made the sky too bright but I shot in auto bracketing and used the zero exposure for the sky and the +2 for the surf. Even stopped down to f/22 during the golden hour I still used an ND filter to darken the image to give me the kinds of shutter speeds I wanted.

The golden sky reflected on the sand of Muir Beach. 

The Motion of the Waves

My visit to Muir Beach not only coincided with sunset but also the incoming high tide. I went there knowing I wanted some long exposure shots of the surf. 

A long exposure, but not so long as to make the waves look like fog.

There seems to be a magical quality to water in motion when captured in camera. The response I get from people is one of amazement at seeing things like this.