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Thread: Early by the Sea

  1. #1
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Early by the Sea

    Second day of learning how to do landscapes. I think I must be the last person in the world to try long-exposure shots with water, so I arrived at the beach at 3.30 am with a lot of enthusiasm but not much of a clue about how to take them. The first problem is that the moon had set hours before and I couldn't see much down the viewfinder, so I didn't realise there were bouys in the water until I looked at the pictures at home. I'm thinking that a good look at a prospective site the previous day would be useful

    I learned that without local adjustment skills in PP, composition is less a creative decision for me, and much more to do with keeping unwanted elements outside of the crop. Natural beach items like seaweed and gulls can ruin a good long exposure shot . Sadly, seaweed will not flap away as obligingly as gulls will . no. 2 is cropped very badly at the top for this reason.

    I like the effect of long-exposure shots, but probably won't do many, as I'd miss the challenge of trying to capture the endless variety of wave patterns.

    I was hoping for a sunrise, but when the darkness cleared there was only one of those brief slashes of pink under the clouds then lots and lots of grey.

    I'd be very grateful for C&C from anyone, regardless of experience. My judgement is poor when looking at my own photos and I need to know what works and what doesn't. I'm still more at the stage of trying out techniques than making pictures.


    Early by the Sea


    Early by the Sea


    Early by the Sea


    Getting lighter.


    Early by the Sea

    And three just for fun because sand fascinates me. Another lesson learned is that the more I love a subject, the less able I am to judge if it makes a good picture or not *Lots* of fun with Lightroom here


    Early by the Sea


    Early by the Sea


    Early by the Sea

    This time I took a solid tripod, remote, and torch (as advised) and am finally convinced that they're absolutely essential. I also learned how to slow down a bit and contemplate the scene before pressing the remote......well, most of the time

    Seri
    Last edited by Seriche; 10th July 2011 at 04:34 AM.

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Early by the Sea

    Hi, Seri! Nope. You are not the last person in the world to have a go at long-exposure water shots... that's me! I don't have a tripod either. I do, however, have lots of sand and water.

    I think you did great. I'm not a great one to give C&C since I simply like what I like and sometimes what I like really is technically correct. If you don't care for the buoys you can easily clone them out in PP. For me, the top three each have appeal in their own way. The sand shots are really beautiful... the patterns, colors and texture. I'm sure someone else will have helpful comments. Looks to me, though, like you had fun.

  3. #3
    Seriche's Avatar
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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    Hi, Seri! Nope. You are not the last person in the world to have a go at long-exposure water shots... that's me! I don't have a tripod either. I do, however, have lots of sand and water.
    Hi Mary

    I do hope you decide to have a go at this; I know you'd enjoy it as much as I did. Do you have any ND filters ? I didn't need any for the night-time long exposures but will be trying them out for daytime shots soon.

    If you don't have a tripod, a large bean bag placed on a rock can help, but it does restrict what you can shoot.

    I think you did great. I'm not a great one to give C&C since I simply like what I like and sometimes what I like really is technically correct.
    I'm here to learn technique, but that's only part of it. Everyone has eyes to see, and new photographers, or even people who have never taken a photograph, can help to spot mistakes in composition, see what's wrong, say what needs changing or which parts they find pleasing. To me, that's an equally valuable contribution.

    As a newcomer, I've found it a bit scary to comment on other members' photos, especially when experienced photographers have already had their say. But I've had it on good authority that beginners are welcome to give critiques here, so I'm going to be doing more of that.

    If you don't care for the buoys you can easily clone them out in PP.
    Thanks 'Content-aware fill' is the only thing I've tried that resembles local adjustments. I really have to learn cloning next.

    For me, the top three each have appeal in their own way. The sand shots are really beautiful... the patterns, colors and texture. I'm sure someone else will have helpful comments. Looks to me, though, like you had fun.
    I did I love solitude, and it was perfect being out there at night by the sea.

    The top three were more like practise shots to see if I could do long-exposure. I must admit that I was more intrigued by the sand. It made me decide to do a sand project this year. Like you, I have a great deal of sand around me - such a placid and willing subject, except when it's airborne, of course

    From what's drawing my attention I'm learning more about what I want to do landscape-wise. I think I'm only likely to go wide for cloudscapes and stormy seas, but for the most part I'm most intrigued by fragments of landscape. I'm wondering at which point a photo changes from 'small landscape' to 'close up'

    Thank you so much for commenting, Mary.

    Seri

    P.S. Just noticed that you're going to buy a tripod. Yay! . You won't regret it.

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    I like these a lot especially the atmosphere of 2 & 3 and I especially like no. 4 as it looks like one of those images taken from space! Good work.

    Andrew-Bede

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Seri - from a fellow beginner, your 1st shots were better than my 1st shots, so don't stress to much.

    One of the bits of advice I got when I posted my 1st shots on this forum was to consider what I was taking a photo of (duh!). In the 1st shot, you have got a bit of foreground, a bit of sea which is a little boring, rocks in the middle and the sky. The most interesting bit of that photo for me was the reflections on the sand in the foreground. That would have made an interesting view if you had of focussed on that.

    As a last bit of advice - move to the west coast, then you don't have to get up before sunrise. Sunset shots go from reasonable hours in the afternoon

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Benedictine View Post
    I like these a lot especially the atmosphere of 2 & 3 and I especially like no. 4 as it looks like one of those images taken from space! Good work.

    Andrew-Bede
    Thank you, Andrew-Bede, I really appreciate your comments

    (I can see that I might have a job on my hands encouraging some critique from you though - next time I will be trying harder ).

    Seri

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Seriche View Post
    Thank you, Andrew-Bede, I really appreciate your comments

    (I can see that I might have a job on my hands encouraging some critique from you though - next time I will be trying harder ).

    Seri
    I have enough trouble critiquing my own photographs let alone anyone else's!
    thanks for pm.

  8. #8
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    Re: Early by the Sea

    You don't get away with that so easily - I've seen you critiquing other photos here quite ably. If you don't do it next time I will be accusing you of chivalry, and that would never do

    Seri

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricco View Post
    Seri - from a fellow beginner, your 1st shots were better than my 1st shots, so don't stress to much.
    Hi Ricco

    I do tend to think my photos are bad, but it doesn't worry me because I expect them to be bad at this stage. If I thought they were all good - now *that* would worry me, because then I'd never learn anything

    One of the bits of advice I got when I posted my 1st shots on this forum was to consider what I was taking a photo of (duh!).
    I got that advice too, but in the excitement of taking a shot it's so easy to forget. Yet it's so important. I'm trying to remember to slow down and remember that it's better to have one good photo than hundreds of mediocre ones.

    In the 1st shot, you have got a bit of foreground, a bit of sea which is a little boring, rocks in the middle and the sky. The most interesting bit of that photo for me was the reflections on the sand in the foreground. That would have made an interesting view if you had of focussed on that.
    You're absolutely right about that first shot. It was part of an experiment in long exposure but it ended up making the sea look very odd, solid and opaque. In getting all the sea in, I forgot about the composition as a whole.

    Next time I'll do some shots including more of the reflections.

    As a last bit of advice - move to the west coast, then you don't have to get up before sunrise. Sunset shots go from reasonable hours in the afternoon
    I can see the logic in your advice, but you had no way of knowing that I can only survive in temperate or cold climates I don't actually like the sun unless it's near the horizon or shrouded by interesting weather.

    I've always gone to bed at around sunrise and risen early (sometimes at 2 am). I like the peace of a world when everyone else is still asleep. I really want to do more night photography, as where I live there are very few street lamps or other sources of light. But there I am, drifting off and enthusing again....must stop now

    Thanks very much for your advice, Ricco.

    Seri

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Seri

    You've acknowledged that the first one really doesn't hit the mark. For me, the 4th one (the rock outcrop at the top of the beach) really doesn't 'say' anything either.

    But as for the rest of them ...........
    last three are wonderful abstract images. Personally, the last one is my favourite. I think that is a cracker.

    Long exposure on water is not my personal thing, but as an example of the genre, I think this is very, very good. I think it's a good composition, with those few rocks at the top 'grounding' the whole image and providing us with context and scale.

    The second image would, I think be an even better panorama if you cropped it just as the horizon, i.e. don't show any sky. I don't think it needs it.

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    I do hope you decide to have a go at this; I know you'd enjoy it as much as I did. Do you have any ND filters ? I didn't need any for the night-time long exposures but will be trying them out for daytime shots soon.
    I wake up a lot in the middle of the night and was up this morning about 45 minutes before the sun was going to be coming up. I got up and was going to walk over to the beach. But, common sense told me to stay home. Due to some scary circumstances this week... I had to stay safely put in my house. Maybe when my guys are home someone will come with me or at least be around to know I'm gone and watch for me to come home. Life gets in the way sometimes.

    No. I do not have any ND filters. I'm working with basic equipment here.

    I've found it a bit scary to comment on other members' photos, especially when experienced photographers have already had their say.
    I still find it scary. I am such an encourager at heart that I have a terribly difficult time pointing out things I see wrong... I always try and find something good. I know... pointing out the not so good things is a way of learning. I forget that other people aren't big wussies like me and don't get their feelings hurt as easily.

    I did I love solitude, and it was perfect being out there at night by the sea.
    I love solitude as well. Good thing, too, since I spend a lot of time alone... me and my dog. The city council closed to the two beaches that I can walk to for dogs until after Labor Day ( summer here, for tourists at least, is from the last weekend in May to the first or second weekend in September) so after that, I will be able to take Lucy with me so I can get up before crack of dawn and won't be totally alone out there... my guys might go for that.

    I did I love solitude, and it was perfect being out there at night by the sea.
    You are very welcome! I look forward to seeing more of your images!

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    I still find it scary. I am such an encourager at heart that I have a terribly difficult time pointing out things I see wrong... I always try and find something good. I know... pointing out the not so good things is a way of learning. I forget that other people aren't big wussies like me and don't get their feelings hurt as easily.
    But it's not just about feelings. It's also about how people effectively learn. It is clearly shown by a massive body of research literature, that we learn more effectively by learning from good practice and from what is shown to be right, not what is wrong. Sure, we make mistakes on the way, but it's the reinforcement of the positive, as opposed to a pointing out of the negative, that works most effectively.

    Translate that into my workplace environment of child protection. It used to be thought (and it's soooo hard to change the attitudes and behaviours of some professionals), that what you need to do was get parents to see how they were failing, so that they could change. Programmes like VIG (Video Interactive Guidance) show us that by repeatedly showing people what they do well, you reinforce that behaviour and eradicate the 'failing' behaviours.

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    Mary... or Lucy... either is fine with me. ;)

    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    But it's not just about feelings. It's also about how people effectively learn. It is clearly shown by a massive body of research literature, that we learn more effectively by learning from good practice and from what is shown to be right, not what is wrong. Sure, we make mistakes on the way, but it's the reinforcement of the positive, as opposed to a pointing out of the negative, that works most effectively.

    Translate that into my workplace environment of child protection. It used to be thought (and it's soooo hard to change the attitudes and behaviours of some professionals), that what you need to do was get parents to see how they were failing, so that they could change. Programmes like VIG (Video Interactive Guidance) show us that by repeatedly showing people what they do well, you reinforce that behaviour and eradicate the 'failing' behaviours.
    Thanks, Donald.

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    Seri

    You've acknowledged that the first one really doesn't hit the mark.
    It was the first shot of the night, and I think I did it more to see what a long exposure would do to the lighthouse on the horizon more than anything else. Not the best idea I've ever had

    For me, the 4th one (the rock outcrop at the top of the beach) really doesn't 'say' anything either.
    I quite agree. I meant to add a note to it to ask how to make rock outcrops look interesting. I've taken hundreds of rock formations with the old compact and not a single one came out looking good, yet I really like them so it's very frustrating. I'll probably do a thread asking for help to improve things later on.

    But as for the rest of them ...........
    last three are wonderful abstract images. Personally, the last one is my favourite. I think that is a cracker.
    Thank you I love that one too. I did wonder if I should put something there on the sand as a focal point, but that felt a bit forced.

    Long exposure on water is not my personal thing, but as an example of the genre, I think this is very, very good. I think it's a good composition, with those few rocks at the top 'grounding' the whole image and providing us with context and scale.
    That night was fun, and silky water shots can be very seductive, but in the end it made me want to experiment with all kinds of other forms of night photography instead. I'm glad you like the rocks at the top grounding that image. I couldn't put any more space above them in the shot due to floating seaweed blurs, so I'm glad that it turned out OK.

    The second image would, I think be an even better panorama if you cropped it just as the horizon, i.e. don't show any sky. I don't think it needs it.
    I do think you're right, and my daughter agrees with you too, so I'll make the crop I was thinking in terms of rules and fractions concerning the horizon without really seeing the uninteresting straight horizon line and almost featureless sky.

    Many thanks for your helpful reply. I will do my best to apply what I've learned on the next trip out alone. I'm off out with a mountain climbing friend tomorrow, and will take the 24 - 105, but doubt I'll get anything as he strides ahead with me trotting (or clinging on) behind him with little chance to take photos . But Tuesday morning will have me back out at night again, maybe trying some inland shots this time before hunting the elusive sunrise again. I have been thinking of letting our local police know that I've taken up night photography as it's pretty quiet around here and it might look a bit odd

    Seri

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Hi Seri; I think you already know what you are doing. The last is very pleasing.

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post
    I wake up a lot in the middle of the night and was up this morning about 45 minutes before the sun was going to be coming up. I got up and was going to walk over to the beach. But, common sense told me to stay home. Due to some scary circumstances this week... I had to stay safely put in my house. Maybe when my guys are home someone will come with me or at least be around to know I'm gone and watch for me to come home. Life gets in the way sometimes.

    No. I do not have any ND filters. I'm working with basic equipment here.

    I love solitude as well. Good thing, too, since I spend a lot of time alone... me and my dog. The city council closed to the two beaches that I can walk to for dogs until after Labor Day ( summer here, for tourists at least, is from the last weekend in May to the first or second weekend in September) so after that, I will be able to take Lucy with me so I can get up before crack of dawn and won't be totally alone out there... my guys might go for that.

    You are very welcome! I look forward to seeing more of your images!
    Hi Lucy,

    I was meaning to ask about safety issues in your area when I mentioned about night photography. I live in one of the safest places on earth as far as crime is concerned, and although it's not perfect my daughter walks home alone late at night without worry as an over-friendly drunk is the most likely problem she'll ever meet.

    I rarely meet anyone when I go out in the early hours and have never had any trouble. It's small, friendly and pretty rural around here. I lived in London once and I had to learn to be careful walking at night on my own. It's good to be back home again

    It sounds as if you'd be best to have someone with you, and then you can concentrate on taking photos. For me, men = platonic friends since I was four years old (it didn't work when I did the conventional bit because I'm so reclusive) so it's lucky I live in a place where a woman doesn't have to feel nervous about being alone

    Glad to hear you enjoy solitude too There's so much to be said for it, but I can never say it as well as others can. I'm not religious, but I like this quote:

    I feel the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church. It's the light of grace for me. I never close my door behind me without the awareness that I am carrying out an act of mercy toward myself.

    Peter Hoeg

    Looking forward to seeing more of your images too (I also liked the B&W version of the bridge best )

    Seri

  17. #17
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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by arith View Post
    Hi Seri; I think you already know what you are doing. The last is very pleasing.
    Hello Steve

    I'm glad to have another vote for the third sand picture. My daughter much prefers the first. I wonder what our taste in abstract or semi-abstract art tells us about ourselves? Is it something deep-seated, or dependent on the mood we're in at the time of viewing?

    As for knowing what I'm doing, I'm very flattered but I feel as if I'm completely lost. Well, I would be without this place So much unpractised theory whirling around in my mind, but this forum grounds me and makes me want to do better.

    Thank you very much for your input,

    Seri

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    But it's not just about feelings. It's also about how people effectively learn. It is clearly shown by a massive body of research literature, that we learn more effectively by learning from good practice and from what is shown to be right, not what is wrong. Sure, we make mistakes on the way, but it's the reinforcement of the positive, as opposed to a pointing out of the negative, that works most effectively.
    That is a profound statement, the concept of which we can all carry into every aspect of dealing with others. When dealing with our own views on what makes great photography, it reinforces the concept of analyzing great photographs to see what techniques we can incorporate in our own picture taking and processing styles!

    Extremely well put and a very valuable lesson for all of us. Thank you, Donald, for that insight!

  19. #19

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    Re: Early by the Sea

    I was meaning to ask about safety issues in your area when I mentioned about night photography.
    I do live in a safe area. So, normally, it wouldn't be too much of a problem. I have been home alone for quite a while... not totally out of the ordinary... but not usually for this long of a time period. I walk a lot... and have had someone following me, or at least, my paranoid self thought I did. Lucy and I came home the other day, from a walk. When I went upstairs it was very obvious that someone had been in the house. Whether or not my feeling of being followed and then this incident are related, I don't really know. I do know that it is very unsettling to think you are being watched and followed and then to come home and know that someone has been in your house.

    I'm trying to be extra cautious while not letting my imagination get the best of me... not easy.

    “I feel the same way about solitude as some people feel about the blessing of the church. It's the light of grace for me. I never close my door behind me without the awareness that I am carrying out an act of mercy toward myself.”
    That's a beautiful quote. Grace and Mercy. Two things that I try to freely extend to others.

    (I also liked the B&W version of the bridge best )
    Thank you. I'll get back there and capture it with my dslr.

  20. #20
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    Re: Early by the Sea

    Quote Originally Posted by ilovelucydog View Post

    I still find it scary. I am such an encourager at heart that I have a terribly difficult time pointing out things I see wrong... I always try and find something good. I know... pointing out the not so good things is a way of learning. I forget that other people aren't big wussies like me and don't get their feelings hurt as easily.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    But it's not just about feelings. It's also about how people effectively learn. It is clearly shown by a massive body of research literature, that we learn more effectively by learning from good practice and from what is shown to be right, not what is wrong. Sure, we make mistakes on the way, but it's the reinforcement of the positive, as opposed to a pointing out of the negative, that works most effectively.

    Translate that into my workplace environment of child protection. It used to be thought (and it's soooo hard to change the attitudes and behaviours of some professionals), that what you need to do was get parents to see how they were failing, so that they could change. Programmes like VIG (Video Interactive Guidance) show us that by repeatedly showing people what they do well, you reinforce that behaviour and eradicate the 'failing' behaviours.
    I can see how that would work, but maybe it's different when it comes to art critique. Well, for some people. If I had to choose, I'd ask for a pointing out of the bad because that would also show me what I was doing right

    I've been on a lot of art forums but never posted my drawings there because everything was greeted with claps and cheers regardless of merit, and I knew I couldn't learn anything there because people were too nice to ever say what was wrong.

    Some people posting their work only want praise, and will collapse in tears if it's suggested that things could be improved. I want reinforcement of the positive *and* a pointing out of the negative because they both help me to learn.

    I think that perhaps degrees of sensitivity to critiques may have to do with people taking criticism of their work as criticism of themselves. I've never felt that way, so unless someone offers criticism in a deliberately nasty way, meant to wound, I am very, very grateful for every opinion, as a much-valued learning tool

    Something else this place got me thinking about. I rather liked just being and not having to think about why - it made life so much easier Introspection is such a lovely word though...

    Seri

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