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Thread: Elie Beach

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Elie Beach

    Hot on the heels of having gone to the West Sands at St Andrews yesterday morning, this morning I again headed into the East Neuk of Fife to pursue this 'seaside' theme.

    We had a really stormy night last night, but by sunrise (08:11am) this morning, things were quietening down. But there was still a very strong wind blowing in from the west.

    As always, your perspective is very welcome.

    Elie Beach
    40D, 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM @ 59mm. ISO400.1/180@f8 - handheld with a gale blowing straight into my face!

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    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Hi Donald,

    2 things I have become very interested in your use of: 1) the 1:1 crop which for reasons I cant explain I often find appealing- can you share how/when you determine it to be the ideal? and 2) your use of negative space, especially a fairly featureless sky which seems to work as an enhancement for your images but is often stultifyingly boring in mine. Any guidelines you can share? And finally, what did you use in this particular image to determine the proper horizontal- the elongated rock outcropping at the top of the beach?

    thanks,

    Kevin
    Last edited by kdoc856; 27th November 2011 at 07:51 PM.

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    Re: Elie Beach

    Very nice image again donald. This time i feel the bright stripe in the sky distracts from the subject. I darkened the sky with the gradient tool and brightened the houses and land a bit.........


    Elie Beach

  4. #4
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Thank you, Steve and Kevin

    Steve - I toyed with darkening the whole sky, but it added an air of gloom that wasn't there and that I didn't want to introduce. If there is a fault, it is probably the fact that I burned the top of the frame with a Silver Efex Pro 2 equivalent of applying a digital GND. That was maybe not needed.

    Kevin - Could you not ask an easier question!? I told the story on here once of 'The Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede' which goes something like .......

    This little centipede was a sensational dancer. His 100 legs moved in beautiful harmony and weaved the most amazing dance patterns. Until someone asked him to analyse and explain what he did and how he did it.

    The result was that he thought about it and lost all his natural rhythm and timing. His legs got all tangled up and he broke about half of them. And he never danced again.


    I feel a bit like that.

    First off - Why am so into 1:1 ratio stuff at the moment?

    Well, I visited the 'Land Revisited' exhibition of Fay Godwin's work at the British National Media Museum earlier this year. I was totally blown away by her square images. I just stood in awe looking at them. And, since then, the bug to try and be semi-competent at making such images has got hold and won't let go.

    Having thought about why, I reached the conclusion that I think 1:1 is a wonderfully simple, well-organised, orderly, and structured format. There's a formality to it that I like. I have no doubt that it in someway reflects either what I am, or what I'd like to be. I know this is getting very touchy-feely, arty-farty, but it's the best explanation I've been able to come up with.

    Like I've said on here before, it's a phase I might well grow out of. But until then ............!

    When do I determine 1:1 to be ideal?

    Well, given that I go out knowing that any finished product from the shoot is going to be a 1:1 image, then it's not so much a case of thinking if something I see will make a good 1:1 image. Instead, it's 'seeing'/looking for 1:1 images as I walk through a landscape. Sorry, I can't be any more scientific than that. I do compose in teh viewfinder for a 1:1. I shoot in portrait mode and what is then the bottom and the 2-sides of the frame become three sides of what will be the finished image. All you have to do then with a DSLR viewfinder, is visualise the top of the square. You just ignore everything else above that line.

    The negative space


    I think what I'm trying to do is put space and air into my images. I have done stuff that's quite tightly cropped around the subject. But I always try to make that subject-specific. I've found that the best way of showing the 'wide-open spaces' is with what you term 'negative space'.

    I hope some of that rambling has made sense. Like I say, I don't want to end up like the Wee Kirkcudbright Centipede

  5. #5
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Donald,

    thank you. It may be a matter of my "Euclidian osmosis" I broke the binding of at least 2 books on Euclidian geometry, throwing them about because it wouldnt "sink in". But eventually with enough exposure, it "sunk", and is now a thing of beauty to me. I'll continue gazing and hope the osmosis prevails.

    Kevin

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    WilliamS's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Like your Signature style in these Images Donald, Interesting crop ratio, BTW, Good to see your into Beachy type of shots lately , You'llprobably notice a familiar theme in all of mine as well - Cheers Mate , Bill

  7. #7
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Thanks, Bill.

    I wasn't too sure if I'd see anything on this trip, knowing that the tide was right out. But, given that I'd gone down to that little corner to see if there were any images in a harbour that's close by, I thought I'd pop in to Elie on the way past and go down to the beach.

    What really caught my eye were the reflections of the houses in that think layer of water still sitting on the sand.

    I brought up those reflections by using Silver Efex Pro 2's 'Amplify Whites' and 'Amplify Blacks' sliders, which alone and together provide a more subtle and variable tool than the global 'Contrast' slider.
    Last edited by Donald; 28th November 2011 at 01:19 PM.

  8. #8
    Daisy Mae's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    More of an emotional response than a critical one here.

    So nice to see a picture of Elie taken from that aspect ( towards Earlsferry) and not the Granary, Tower, lighthouse scenes that have become standard.

    I spent every childhood holiday ..and many adult ones... on that stretch of beach. Dad took pictures in B&W and in that ratio and seeing it like that snaps my heartstrings.

    Thank you for that.

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Daisy Mae - That is beautiful. You've made a grown man shed a tear. I am so glad that my image has meant something for you.

    My own partner also spent many childhood holidays on that beach. Her father worked overseas and when they came back to the UK on leave, they would stay in Elie, travelling from Edinburgh on the train ... now long gone.

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    ChrisH's Avatar
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    Re: Elie Beach

    Well held Donald. Pin sharp and a great reflection from the sea on sand? I like the proportions too. Smashing shot.

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