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February 27, 2011
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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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