I'm starting a new series on my site called About This Shot where I share my thoughts behind my Landscape, Architecture, and Timelapse photos.
One of the first seascapes I ever captured was at Rodeo Beach a number of years ago (pictured left). Cronkite/ Rodeo Beach is a popular beach in the Bay Area and the sea stacks are among the best to photograph. During the winter time, high tides pull a lot of the sand off the beach and expose interesting rock patterns. Compositions are endless here and I think this is why it attracts so many photographers.
I've shot here over 20 times and each time achieved a different result. One of the keys to photography that I've learned is to pre-visualize your shot. I knew I wanted to use the exposed rocks and water flow as my foreground but deciding when to shoot the sky was the challenge. I arrived about 40 minutes before sunset to asses what state the beach was in. After spending 10 minutes watching the water flow I settled on this composition.
The Original Images:
After looking over all the photos taken that night I selected the three shown above. One for the sunburst/sky and two for the water movement. The water in the foreground helps lead your eye to the sea stacks then out to the horizon. I start by applying basic edits like highlights/shadows, exposure balance, and some minor color adjustments to each of the images. I then export them out of Lightroom into photoshop as smart objects. Smart objects allows me to make micro adjustments once they are in a single file. Sometimes when you stack images you have to tweak the edits a little in order for them to blend correctly.
Once this is done I begin to work on adding more depth to the image by “painting light”. Creating both light and dark masks, I can target specific areas of the image to help move your eye through the scene. Lastly, there was a large blue hole that formed which distracted from the image. Using the clone tool I used various parts of the image to lightly fill that area in. I finished it off by cropping down and sharpening for various online outlets.
I hope you enjoyed this read and I look forward to sharing more posts like this!
Induro ct-213 Carbon 8x
Adobe Lightroom/ Photoshop