WPC: An Ooops Moment in the Hamptons

The moment was perfect.  We were on vacation, walking with friends on the beach at sunset in Southampton.  It was one of those wonderful moments when the sun cast everything in a perfect golden light.  But in my rush to capture this scene, I grabbed my camera and snapped the shot, forgetting some basic principles of photography.   The resulting shot doesn’t do justice to the moment–the lighting is all off.   The foreground is too dark and the color in the background looks pale, washed out.   A classic oops moment.

Flying Point Beach, Southampton, NY. Original. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Flying Point Beach, Southampton, NY. Original. Shot with a Canon 70D.

So now post processing comes to the rescue.  In Photoshop, the first step is to bump up the contrast and use the dodge tool to lighten up the foreground.  This adds more detail and depth to the shot.  As you can see, some grasses and a lone yellow flower come into view.

Flying Point Beach. Dodge Tool. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Flying Point Beach. Dodge Tool. Shot with a Canon 70D.

As a next step, I use the burn tool to deepen some of the shadows in the sand and use the color adjustment tool to bring out the blue of the sky.

Flying Point Beach. Burn Tool. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Flying Point Beach. Burn Tool. Shot with a Canon 70D.

And now, here we have it.  The final shot with the light adjusted and the color much closer to that original golden moment on the beach.

Flying Point Beach. Final. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Flying Point Beach. Final. Shot with a Canon 70D.

Do you agree that the final shot is a lot prettier and more aesthetically pleasing than the original?

For those of you who are plunging into the dark and cold winter months, it’s not too soon to start thinking about the next beach vacation.  I am!  Where do you want to go?  What are your favorite beaches?

 

21 replies »

    • Hi Janet. Thanks for your thoughts! Some people think Lightroom is easier to learn. It’s more intuitive. PS is very powerful and quite complex, but I’m learning as I go along. Its capabilities are amazing.

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  1. Hi Maria. The same is true with me. It is so complex and not easy to learn. But on the other hand, it’s so powerful. I’ve been learning as I go along and it’s still a slow process! But I do like the results.

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  2. I do the same thing all of the time. I am not the most technical photographer out there. I tend to focus more on the artistic side. When I see a good composition with great light, I get excited and grab the shot. I forget to check my exposure settings.PS has saved my butt more than once.

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