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Almost Spring by JakeSpain Almost Spring by JakeSpain
Oswald's Bay, Lulworth, Dorset.

Although I was out at this same spot last week, today felt very much warmer. The first day that I have been out with my camera that felt as if we have cleared the darkness of winter for another year.

I shot 3 seperate exposures to get the full range of light using a 2 stop soft grad placed at an angle which followed roughly where the wave is breaking. I shot a futher 3 shots with my hand obscuring the sun so as to eliminate flare (I didn't "catch" all of it as you can see).
I processed all 3 exposures and a second sky exposure for the flare removal. I then hand blended them into the resulting image.
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:iconfantasylost:
FantasyLost Featured By Owner May 4, 2013   Digital Artist
Just a note to let you know that I included your beautiful artwork in my dA Journal Feature [link].
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:icongee231205:
gee231205 Featured By Owner May 12, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Such beautiful lighting you have captured casting such a lovely glow over everything. I like how you have included the rocks in the foreground as well it makes for a really stunning image.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner May 15, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou. Nice to see you have taken a good look at this and taken the time to make a considered comment.
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:icongee231205:
gee231205 Featured By Owner May 15, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome
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:iconk00pa-tr00pa:
K00PA-TR00PA Featured By Owner Apr 22, 2011
I've always wondered what it'd feel like to hear the shutter click after a long exposure, wait for the noise reduction to settle itself out, and see an image as great as this pop up on the LCD. The composition is great, the colours are spot on, and everything just works really well together. I like how you caught the wave just as it was rolling in. It works nicely with the summer-ey tones to make it feel like the season's starting to roll in.

Just a question, as I've had trouble with this in the past: How do you blend images like this together? My financial standings (basically broke :P) won't allow me to invest in a decent set of ND Grads, so any images where I'd like a foreground and background like this would have to be the result of some blending. I can never seem to blend it in such a way that the final result looks decent. The water never quite lines up between the two photos, and on matter how softly I try and transition from one photo to another, it never looks as seamless as this.

Any help would of course be appreciated. :D
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Hi Daniel.

I must assume you are using PS and that you have a basic idea of layers, blends and masks;

A mask is basically a cut out of one image showing through to another, where black is the mask colour the background image is shown and where white is the colour the foreground image is show. So on through the grey scale black to white...Think of how your initial graduated mask is working and try to visualise what it is doing to each image.

Exposure blending is a simple process but it can be time consuming to get it just right. I actually used a grad here too but that would not be necessary, many on here do the same type of image without using grads. I would have begun with a simple graduated mask between the layers (sky to water) and then touched up that mask using the brush tool and black or white to bring in or out each layer (.) In this case that meant going carefully right around the cliff edge where it meets the sky. It took a while, maybe 2 hours I don't know really (I always do it in stages with breaks and cups of tea because I have serious issues with concentrating for long periods!). All you have to do is keep in your mind how the finished piece would look in reality and keep working towards that by correcting your mask. I would be zooming in and out, often in to 300 or 400% and then back to full screen to see the over all effect. Just keep making those corrections until it looks right to your eyes. It's all about practice so just go away and cock something up to begin with just to start getting a feel for it and things will improve as you keep going. Don't expect it to take 5 minutes, although some images are dead simple most of them (with rocks cutting into the sky for example) are more complicated.
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:iconk00pa-tr00pa:
K00PA-TR00PA Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2011
Thank you for the detailed explanation. I actually do have a pretty solid grasp on Photoshop and it's abilities. Whenever I've done blending using masks, my problem is is that the water for one of the exposures will be covering parts of the stones that were not covered in other exposures, and after I spend all the time blending it together, there is still some awkwardness happening along the shore where the exposures meet. I'll perhaps upload an example when I get the chance. I guess a bit more pre-planning and just really fine adjustments might be the remedy to my situation, though!
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Just practice. Yes it can be difficult with waves and moving water because of the constant movement.
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:iconk00pa-tr00pa:
K00PA-TR00PA Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2011
Alright, thanks for the tips! I'll have to hike it out to some water (admittedly not far at all. :D) and try it out again! I'd rather invest the money (for now) in some better lenses and other gear over a good, quality ND grad set. :P
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:iconpastyguy:
PastyGuy Featured By Owner Mar 31, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent processing, pretty flawless, great capture of the waterline and the untouched sand!
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou Guy. I was actually very lucky with the sand and lack of foot prints; even whilst shooting this, people were moving past, leaving prints... Even on the last few shots prior to this one, those marks could be seen but I had one lucky wave which (after almost catching me out!!) left the sand perfect for the final moments of light for this shot.
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:iconpastyguy:
PastyGuy Featured By Owner May 24, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I love it when the waves behave in that manner however it doesn't always go that way...
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:iconhi2u2day:
hi2u2day Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011
Oh this just makes me want to go down there, but I need just a little bit MORE warmth first, such a beautiful picture.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh it's Ok if you wrap up well. Thankyou.
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:iconhi2u2day:
hi2u2day Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011
Hmmmm you see thats why you 'take' the brilliant shots and I 'appreciate' the brilliant shots - lower cold tolerance levels :):)
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:icontrashins:
Trashins Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:iconinnercoma:
InnerComa Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011
Seriously beautiful shot!
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks.
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:iconczwartek:
Czwartek Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Excellent shot, beautiful light and colours, great composition.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Technically excellent and the light is great. Maybe correct those little flares around the horizon. Id clone for some of it. Not quite sure on the comp, particularly the bottom edge, but its far from bad and overall I really like the shot.

Alex
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks for commenting Alex. Just a couple of issues I have here, maybe you have time to help me out;

1. Shooting. I blended the 3 exposures which I had blocked out the flare from and then brought back the sky/sun from the images which had all the flare still in. That is the opposite way around to how I wanted to do it. How would you do it? Bare in mind that I have to shoot multiple shots to get the sea how I want and then shoot for the flare removal, in this case blocking the sun with my hand.
2. I can never seem to get as much out of the brightest areas as I have captured. The darkest exposure which holds the suns details is always too dark to use as is and I have to blend it in and then brighten it with curves, thus losing details. Is that the only way?
3. I seem to be using curves to finish the blending often, to balance the separate exposure together is that normal?
4. Can you see where I have had to bring back the highlight on the wet sand? It seems a little obvious to me and again the exposure I blended from had far more detail but if I kept the detail it would have been far more obvious and fake in the final image.
5. Would you shoot for the full dynamic range, even on my darkest exposures the highlights are lost?
6. would you ever use different WB for the shadow/highlight areas? I have found a middle ground here and then knocked back the blues except in the sky. OK?
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:iconalex37:
Alex37 Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
1) I would probably do it like that and steal the layer masks from my first processing so that there isnt double the work. Whenever I have used that technique though the part of the image affected by the flar has always been 100% the brightest exposure so I have previously blended all the images with the flare, then just introduced the flare free brightest image.
2) Get your darkest exposure and brighten it in RAW so that the highlights very local to the sun are very bright and colourful (ie they dont have that grey look which become apparent when you introduce a dark exposure at a low opacity local to the sun) Always err on the side of conservatism. Personally I think the way you have dealt with the highlights here is absolutely ideal.
3) for shots with dynamic content where you cant choose the blendlines solely based on tone and have to instead choose blend locations based on motion as well, then yes, that is normal. If the subject is more or less static (ie ghosting doesnt appear when you blend the images) then you should be able to get a complete blend without any curves adjustments between layers. Try to get an eye for the right 2 exposures...Your brightest exposure should generally have your foreground correctly exposed or fractionally underexpose. Your middle exposure should generally have the correct exposure in the transition area (usually the horizon). Your darkest esposure should be as bright as you can possibly get it without losing your hightlights.
4) Yes I can. To be perfectly honest the solution is going to be specific to the image. It is true that you cant do a perfect job with every image, but you might be able to do better here in terms of the highlights transitioning from orange you yellow to orage again, which looks weird. Try blending in a couple of different exposures of your darkest image to get the transition a bit better. Unfortunately what you are seeing there is the result of the channels clipping in different places so it may be hard to fix.
5)No probably not. You have to accept that sometimes you will lose highlights, the sun is incredibly bright and any direct reflection like that is going to be so much brighter than the surroundings that you're never going to make it work. As a general rule I go for around 3 stops as my maximum with the exception of an even darker exposure at a lower opacity surrounding the sun. In my experiments I have found if you try to do more than this it a) is almost impossible to blend and b) looks aritificial.
6)Rarely, but I have done in cases where the foreground is really really warm, so I make it cooler only to realise that the sky looks too blue. I think the result you have speaks for itself and as long as you think its realistic (and I do) I dont actually see any issues of having a different WB between exposures.
On the subject of matching colour and dealing with uneven clipping of colour channels in highlight areas it may be worth trying different colour profiles in lightroom.

Hope that helps!
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Yep that will really help, Thanks Alex. I'll be coming back to this comment.
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:iconmplichard:
MPlichard Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011
Beautiful shot !
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks.
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:iconimlesliebradley:
ImLeslieBradley Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011   Photographer
OMG, absolutely stunning Awesome work :D
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:iconphotima:
Photima Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
Excellent shot - love the colour/warmth, and nice clarity.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
nice light jake and a good shot, just the circle of flare to the right of the black rock that is a little off putting.....
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks Steve, might try my hand at correcting it a little.
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:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011
birthday boy!! what you up to?....ive awoken from my winter slumber, bought meself a camper so we got no excuse not to get together and shoot,
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Ahh, that's sweet of you, cheers Boy. Yep a year older and certainly a year wiser which is good and more than most can say....

I am up to little as far as bookings go, I am up for anything...anywhere in the world if I can find the time and afford the expense. More realistically I am free and booked off ready to join up all the bank hloidays over Easter, Mayday and Royal bloody Wedding.... 11 days off basically end of April. Up for sommin'? thinking Wales....
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:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2011
yeah wales is great and really accessible round the coast then either into snowdon or brecon...?
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
You up for it then?
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:iconsassaputzin:
sassaputzin Featured By Owner Apr 2, 2011
i am jake....i want to go back to brecon for june sometime, alex mentioned something about scotland?
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Apr 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Alex and I have discussed doing Scotland, leaving on the Tuesday after Easter up until the following weekend. So instead of the Wales trip I had considered. Alex has all the locations and plans and we have not discussed this in any great detail but we both have the time off work and it would be silly not to do something....
It will be driving up and about and spending nights in tents on location. I am really looking forward to it and would love for you to come along. I haven't done anything like this before with the entire focus on photography in stunning surroundings. Seriously, if you are even slightly interested Steve get in touch.
The only obstacle is the weather and we both think there is little point unless it shows some promise, so the final decision will be made days before we are due to leave. If we see no point in going then maybe another location where the weather is better could be substituted.

As for June, tempting but I have a week planned off work for Lundy.

Anyway, we have to get together this year one way or another, good to hear from you, bit dead on here these days eh?
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(1 Reply)
:iconmia-95:
Mia-95 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
waah this is so beautiful! instant fav :+fav:
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:iconskyphoenixx1:
SkyPhoenixX1 Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011
Excellent work! I want more!!!
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Haha, thanks.
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:iconeighty-three:
eighty-three Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Lovely, it really does look warm.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thanks, indeed for a few minutes it looked warm, It was warmish but still coats and hats there by the sea standing around a tripod for hours...
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:iconeighty-three:
eighty-three Featured By Owner Mar 1, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
I can imagine it would be freezing stood still waiting for the right moment. If its any consolation it is well worth it to get a shot like that.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh, it's never too bad. If it is then I have the wrong clothes on...
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:iconsnowbristle:
Snowbristle Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011
Awesome image, the lighting is great.
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:iconjakespain:
JakeSpain Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2011  Hobbyist Photographer
Thankyou.
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:icondeb-e-ann:
Deb-e-ann Featured By Owner Feb 27, 2011
This is beautifull Jake. Makes me think Spring and summer will soon be here :D
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February 27, 2011
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