Persistance...The Making of an image

For a long time (probably on and off since about 2009) I have been going to New Brighton hoping for a rewarding sunset/sunrise. Each time for one reason or another it just hasn't happened.

I have faced cutting winds, and ice cold temperatures. I have arrived early in the morning, late at night and each time the sky has been uneventful, or the cloud cover has been too heavy to provide anything of interest.

 Finding a solid piece of stone amongst the soft sand provided a firm base.The shot was framed, and then captured using a remote release. Shutter times were approx. 1 second to allow the light in but prevent the clouds from becoming over exposed.

Finding a solid piece of stone amongst the soft sand provided a firm base.The shot was framed, and then captured using a remote release. Shutter times were approx. 1 second to allow the light in but prevent the clouds from becoming over exposed.

Finally after probably a dozen attempts mother nature rewarded me.

It was hard to believe that it was September. I was equipped with a fleece, a warm North Face down coat, ready for the wind coming in off the sea. What I got instead was temperatures in the late teens, and no wind at all.

This meant that water pools around the lighthouse appeared perfectly flat (without the need to use slow shutter speeds)

And no flying sand to damage everything in sight.

It was also nice to not have to fight with a tripod to keep it still. The only issue I did have was the soft, silt like sand that meant the heavy (Manfrotto) tripod (I have demoted to beach tripod) kept sinking into the sand. This was solved by finding a solid piece of rock that had protruded out of the sand. Surrounded by water I set about framing the shot, and waiting for the light to change.

I even had time to walk away from the setup and take some picture (using my iPhone 5). The very fact that the two images (left, and below) were taken using a camera phone gives you some idea just how beautiful the sunset was.

 The light and colour changes during sunset are constant from one second to the next. This was another photograph taken using the iPhone just so that there was a record of how stunning the scene was.

The light and colour changes during sunset are constant from one second to the next. This was another photograph taken using the iPhone just so that there was a record of how stunning the scene was.

Once back home I got to work on post processing. It is always a good indication if post processing is minimal.

Below are a list of modifications made to get from original to final

  • Adjust angle to ensure that lighthouse was straight
  • Enable Lens profile correction
  • Remove chromatic aberration
  • Slight adjustment to the vibrance (+10)
  • Slight adjustment to the saturation (+2)

And finally, here is the image that I most happy with.

Final version - ©www.marc-gardner.com

Prints available on request.