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jamesrushforth

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Taken just before midnight, a stack of 80 photos taken over a 40 minute time period at 30 second intervals.

Taken just before midnight, a stack of 80 photos taken over a 40 minute time period at 30 second intervals.
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Awards

Contest Finalist in Lapse Of Time Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Circle Games Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Composing With Spirals Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Playing With Geometry Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Unreal Realities Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Spiral Photo Contest
Contest Finalist in Symmetry Photo Contest
Winner in Statues & sculptures Photo Challenge
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Outstanding Creativity
Peer Award
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Absolute Masterpiece
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12 Comments | Report
MaryAnne306 PRO+
 
MaryAnne306 February 13, 2015
What an amazing sculpture. And beautifully done. Congratulations on winning the Statues & Sculptures challenge.
barbarapettibone
 
barbarapettibone April 15, 2015
Wonderful counter movement -- really beautiful!
ChrisKIELY PRO+
 
ChrisKIELY April 25, 2015
Awesome.
ChrisKIELY PRO+
 
ChrisKIELY April 25, 2015
Were you in the dessert when this was taken? It looks pretty isolated.
redwriter PRO
 
redwriter August 27, 2015
Great creative image. Nice work. - Jake
nandicmb
 
nandicmb September 30, 2015
Congratulations on your Contest Finalist win in Playing With Geometry Photo Contest!
russellkinerson PRO+
 
russellkinerson November 27, 2015
The star trails are perfectly done. But what you did with this tin can really makes the image! Great imagination!!!
naturisk PRO
 
naturisk January 24, 2017
Brilliant!
NJ_Libitinarius
 
NJ_Libitinarius August 07, 2017
This is incredible
DuffyDoherty PRO
 
DuffyDoherty November 29, 2017
Outstanding Creativity!
aloryandaneaglet PRO
 
aloryandaneaglet March 05, 2018
Wow!
Nlcarnes62
 
Nlcarnes62 Aug 26
I just LIVE this stuff. Nice.

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Behind The Lens

Location
The photo was taken on Cleveleys beach in Lancashire, UK. Designed by artist and sculptor Stephen Broadbent, the shell is 8m long, 4m tall and weighs 16.5 tonnes. Mary’s Golden Shell is part of the Mythic Coast Artwork Trail and features in the Lancashire based children’s story book, ‘The Sea Swallow’.
Time
From the outset I was keen to capture the ‘mythic’ nature of the sculpture and opted for a long exposure night time shot. The photo was taken just before midnight with a new moon to help accentuate the stars.
Lighting
I gently painted the shell with a hand held torch on a low light setting to help bring out the wonderful detail of the sculpture. There is also a decent amount of light provided by nearby streetlights which helped to illuminate the whole scene. I was particularly keen to bring out the coil at the back of the shell as it completes the fantastic spiral pattern.
Equipment
I used a Nikon D610 with a Nikon 14-24mm lens for this shot; coupled with a Gitzo Series 3 tripod with an Induro BHL1 Ball Head. I also used a remote release cable in conjunction with the cameras continuous shooting mode in order to capture a photo every 30 seconds for 40 minutes. In addition a hand held Black Diamond head torch was used to help ‘paint’ the shell.
Inspiration
Mary’s Shell at Cleveleys first came to my attention when I saw a beautiful long exposure shot taken in the day by local photographer Brenda Hempton. As a photographer I was immediately intrigued by the unique shape and leading lines of the sculpture on the beach, so I promptly drove down to take a closer look. I’m also a big fan of the folk-lore surrounding the Lancashire coast which has been beautifully brought to life by the various artists and sculptures involved in the ‘mythic coast’ project.
Editing
This photo was achieved by merging 80 photos taken over a 40 minute period at 30 second intervals. Thus the majority of the post processing was stacking all of the images together. There are many programs you can use for this (Imagestacker, StarStaX, StarTrails) but personally I prefer Adobe Bridge / Photoshop. An example of a typical Bridge / Photoshop workflow for an image such as this would be: > Mass edit all the RAW files (usually between 30 and 100) in Photoshop Camera Raw > Load all the files into Photoshop Layers > Correct any single layers to remove plane trails, excess cloud, bright lights, etc > Change all the layers blending mode to ‘lighten’ > Merge the layers to create a single star trail layer?> Do a separate edit of a single shot for the foreground > Overlay the startrail layer at somewhere between 50-100% opacity (often 100% looks a bit strong and the startrail takes over; I often prefer a more subtle effect). > Do any final corrections
In my camera bag
I predominately work as a climbing / ski touring guidebook writer. As such I tend to use a wide angle (Nikon 14-24mm) for close up work and a telephoto (Nikon 80-400mm) for far away climbing shots / photo topos. Both of these lenses are heavy and have a fairly specific use so I only tend to use them when I have a particular shot in mind. The rest of the time I use the Nikon 28-300 as the huge focal range ensures you never miss a shot, the lens is lightweight and the quality surprisingly good for a ‘do it all’ lens. I currently use a Nikon D610 but am looking to upgrade to a Nikon D810.
Feedback
- With sculptures like this experiment with a wide angle lens up close to accentuate the shapes with a bit of gentle lens distortion abuse. - Come up with a suitable composition in daylight. If you need to do it at night use the highest ISO you can to help with framing. - If you want to get the stars sharp learn where your infinity focus lies for each lens. Remember to do a separate shot focussed on the foreground sculpture if it’s very close. - Learn to operate your camera in the dark without a head torch. - Use a decent tripod - people often like to spend money on good bodies / lenses but neglect the tripod. It won’t look sharp after a 40 minute exposure if you’re camera has been swaying around in the wind. - Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lighting techniques - natural, flash, filtered flash, hand held torch.

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