It’s funny how the results of long exposure photos never get old to me. One evening last week the kids wanted to go to the beach to fly a newly bought kite. Now, that’s a disaster story in and of itself. But… you’ll be happy to know the kite did indeed make it home in one piece, which is a miracle by itself 😉
Side-Note: If you haven’t seen it yet, I started a video series over at the on1 site called Your Photo…Our Look. The idea is that instead of watching me work on my photos all the time, other people (you can be one) send in photos and I process them. It’s been really popular and it’s a nice quick easy video watch so I hope you’ll check it out here.
Anyway, once the kite-flying antics were secure and only moderately out of control, I grabbed my tripod and snapped a few photos while the sun was setting.
(photo info: Nikon D810, Tamron 24-70mm, f/16, 1/2 second, ISO 64)
I had my neutral density filters with me, but I got lazy and just dropped the ISO on the D810 to ISO 64 which naturally makes the shutter speeds longer. That and I bracketed, so the brighter photos were a bit over-exposed (again, longer shutter speeds) but totally recoverable. All of this gave me longer shutter speeds and the ability to play with the incoming waves to get this almost painterly effect.
The Painterly Effect
The patterns in the water were made by those tiny rocks you see on the beach. And it was actually done as the waves receded back in to the Gulf of Mexico, not when they were coming in towards me.
And the waves in the distance look like a painting only because they were part of that 1/2 second exposure. I especially love the way the light plays off the water and the edges of the wave.
The fun part is experimenting. That’s why I shoot bracketed photos at the beach like this. It’s not as much to try to get the shadow/highlight detail (which I can usually get in one photo), it’s to play with the shutter speed times and get different water patterns. I wish I could tell you there was some secret water formula and shutter speed, but truth is, there’s not. It’s a lot of experimentation and a lot of luck and timing.
This one was fun! I Processed it in Lightroom CC/6 for basic toning, highlights, and shadows. Then jumped in to on1 Perfect Effects and use the “Summer” filter for some color, glow and style. Finally, I finished it up in Photoshop by selecting the clouds and using a Motion Blur filter on them to enhance some of the movement/blur a little more than the original. What about sharpening you ask? That’s the great part about it. Everything in the photo is pretty much blurry, so I didn’t sharpen at all 🙂
Thanks for stopping by! Have a good one!
Just finished your Creative Live class on Landscape & Slow exposure.
Outstanding!!! What is the link to purchase your $30 bundle of presets
& brushes? Thank you.
I know this is not the right place to ask this but I do not know where I can ask. I need to ask you questions regarding the contents of your video such as your 12month video I subscribe. I know I can send them to OnOne support but I would rather ask you direct. Please advise.
I know when you are shooting landscape many times you recommend bracketing your shots. Can you tell me how you process those shots. I’ve tried the HDR in Lightroom but I don’t like the results. I would appreciate the help. Not sure where to begin. Thanks, Kent
Will, you have a few options. I’m not sure if you are using the Adobe CC for Photographers. If you are, the new LR version has HDR capability. You can also download a trial copy of Photomatix Pro 5 at HDRSoft.com. They also have some tutorials. Also you can try a version of HDR Effects Pro 2 from Nik Software … Niksoftware.com. Another option is Topaz Adjust 5 at Topazlabs.com. All of these have trial versions a video tutorials.
Hope that helps!
I’ve been using Lightroom CC and running them through the Photo Merge HDR. But I don’t want the HDR effect. It doesn’t look like Matt has an HDR effect either. So, do you run it through and then remove all the HDR changes? When Matt backets I didn’t think he did anything at all with HDR. Thanks for the help.
I think what you might want to do in this case is to take a regular bracket of three +2, 0, -2. Then use the 0 as your base photo and use a double photo process. This will require you to go into PS from Lightroom, or use on1 layers to mask out specific areas. The double process uses the best highlight and shadows from the other two photos and by using masking creates a blended photo. After you’ve completed the masking, you go back into Lightroom and finish in the development module. If you go to the on1 site you’ll find some tutorials on doing this.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for the help. I’m a member and have been for years. KelbyOne…..the best! I just wasn’t sure how to approach the bracketed images but wanted to do it the right way. Again, I appreciate the help and followup on my questions.
I’m not sure if you are a member to Kelbyone. If you are, you have lots of tutorials on HDR processing there. Also, RC Concepcion has a Wonderful book on HDR. If covers set up, shooting, and processing.
Love the Photo!!! I have a question for you. You bracket your shots of the waves. My question is are you just using the normal 3 bracket or are you doing a HDR bracket of 5,7 or 9? Also, I’m really struggling with LR-cc slowness. The splash screen takes 10-12 sec to load, and then 35-40 sec for the program to show up. Are you experiencing this slowness?
Hey Dennis. I usually just take 3 shots (-2, 0 + 2). As for LR CC, I’m afraid I’m not much of a help. I don’t really experience the slowness. Not sure it’s faster than LR5, but not slower from what I can see.
I thought it might be a normal bracketing, but wanted to check to make sure. 🙂 Also, I solved my slowness issue with LR-CC. I had to log out of Creative Cloud Manager and then sign back in. Apparently, after an update, the Creative Cloud has to check your license and update. Weird, but it worked!
Thanks again … Awesome photos!
I have just log onto your site and I am impressed with your work.and the imformation you give. Also I have just downloaded Nik Collection. Bernard.
Have you ever gotten the green flash just as the sun dips over the horizon? I’ve caught it twice on camera but it’s never been that good. Is there way to make a brief glimmer of color better in post?
Hi Kyle – Nope I’ve never gotten it. Maybe one day 🙂