I spent some considerable time at the astonishingly beautiful beach of Falasarna on the extreme west coast of Crete and attempted some HDR imaging with the breaking sea, beach and mountainous outcrops. The light at ca. 9.30 am was extremely intense. The Canon 40D was mounted on a tripod with the Canon 24-105 mm L series zoom. In addition, to lengthen exposure times I had a circular polarizing filter set to darken the sky, a 4xND Conkin filter, and a 4xND grad Conkin filter, inverted to selectively darken the lower half of the image. Using, eventually, manual control with a set Av of 22, an ISO of 100, and a variable Tv, I failed almost completely to achieve what I had wanted. The HDR software, Photomatix Pro 3.2 and Picturenaut, could not cope with the differences in the sea surface, from sharp to very soft.

However, the following image shows a pseudo-HDR, via Photmatrix 3.2 set to very realistic conditions, of the best central exposure (2 seconds) of the various series that I shot. I have cropped the result to a Golden Mean, set the WB, sharpened and re-focused via PSP9.

Cretan Images - Pseudo HDR plus 4ND Filter

Now I know I have a problem with pink/magenta casts, but the sand colour is "real". The beaches around Falasarna are known for their pink sands and you can be prosecuted for stealing the stuff. However, in the glare of bright morning light, the sand does not look as colourful. Yet all the shots I took show this same dark pink; it is not an artefact of the HDR software. I put it down to the effect of the ND filters and would welcome any comments upon this or other matters.