The Process of the Photo – Stormy Seas

So I decided that I’m going to try out a new section of my blog where I detail the process behind one of my photos. Accordingly, I’ve decided to title these posts “The Process of the Photo.” What I’m planning on doing is explaining my composition some and outlining the post-production with the help of some before and after photos!

For my first post, I chose a photo I took on the first day of my photography internship this summer (June 3rd). I titled the shot “Stormy Seas.” For the first couple days in Mossel Bay, the weather was pretty unforgiving – it was cloudy, rainy, and cool – but it was still great to take a trip down to the beach and start taking pictures!  I remember being amazed at the size of the waves there – I had been beaches in the US a few times, but never had I seen anything close to this swell! The rocks seen in the picture probably sit a good 5-6 feet out of the water, and if I was in the wrong place, I could easily have gotten soaked. I picked a position that was barricaded by a few layers of rocks to slow down the waves (to my left was where the largest crashes were) and searched for an interesting composition. The rocks were interesting shapes and had great texture so I knew I wanted to include more of them than the sea. I found a tidepool that I thought created a needed visual contrast from all the rocks and based the shot around that. I moved around the pool until I found a position I liked and waited for a big enough wave to crash into the rocks.

In post (all done in LR4), I cooled the temperature down slightly to give a darker looking sea and sky. I bumped up exposure slightly, increased contrast and clarity considerably, and pulled down highlights to get more detail in the sky. To achieve my desired colors, I increased vibrance but decreased saturation. That’s pretty much the entire process. After I figured out how I wanted the shot to look, editing didn’t take very long at all.

During processing, I found 2 interesting little details about the shot. The first is the small rainbow in the upper right and the second is the 2 birds flying in the upper middle-left. Neither of these were planned, and I only discovered them when I was looking at the photo on my computer. I’m not sure how well they’ll turn out online, but hopefully you can see them!

Well hopefully you enjoyed this post! Let me know what you think! I will also openly accept any criticism of my work.

Before

Before

After

After

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4 responses to “The Process of the Photo – Stormy Seas

  1. It’s always fun to learn how other photographers see and proceed with capturing and processing one of their pictures. This process of the photo is a great idea and this first example a very nice one. I look forward to seeing more.

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