SaltyBonesPhotos
SaltyBonesPhotos

Headlands Path



Super windy night down at the beach. This particular beach has great sand trails through the dunes that lead down to the beach. I got low and got this pretty aw...
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Super windy night down at the beach. This particular beach has great sand trails through the dunes that lead down to the beach. I got low and got this pretty awesome shot as the sun was dropping behind the clouds. It was a really nice night on the beach, bright sunset, nice clouds.
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3 Comments | Report
sweetpea72
 
sweetpea72 October 27, 2015
Love this! :)
TinaTwinks
 
TinaTwinks March 03, 2017
Stunning Ryan!
dmaree33 PRO
 
dmaree33 Jan 22
Wow! Stunning!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken on Mentor Headlands Beach in Mentor, Ohio. It is a massive beach with great dunes, tress, and trails like this one. I grew up near here and would come to the beach often at night before I was into photography. Whenever I am in the area I always make an effort to get over here and take some photos.
Time
This was close to 8PM. I don't live near here anymore but was in town for work staying with my parents. I was at dinner keeping an eye on the time as I knew I wanted to get to the beach to catch sunset. I thought I was going to miss it but luckily when I changed the battery in my Suunto which tells me what time sunset is, it reset and had the wrong time. I made it to the beach in time.
Lighting
I took a lot of photos that night and for some reason I just didn't love the light. The sun got lost in haze and the shots down on the water just didn't look right. It was also super windy so when I waled back up to the dunes and down this trail I was able to get low and the sky was lighting up just right for me. I had to use some longer shutter speed to get the lighting proper which made the fast moving clouds a bit tricky to get. I shot this as an HDR photo which helped lighting the grass and sand while not blowing out the sky.
Equipment
I used my Canon 60D with a Canon 10-22 wide angle lens. I was actually using an old tripod I bought years ago. This session on the beach was the final straw. The tripod gave me so many issues with the wind that after months of debating whether or not I should get a new one I made the decision that night on the beach. I now shoot with a nice steady Oben and I wish I had it that night. I didn't use flash or anything.
Inspiration
I have always loved taking photos of beaches and sunsets. Since I started taking photography a bit more seriously I have really started to focus on textures, color and light more. I was walking up the dunes to get out the wind and the bright green grass with the soft sand seemed so obvious. The whole scene was awesome. a few years ago I wouldn't have taken this photo, I just didn't have the eye for it. But following other photographers and spending time learning what makes a photo good made this shot.
Editing
Yes I do post process. I first brought the photos together in Photomatix to get the exposure and texture just right. I then processed in Lightroom to make sure I had the colors, light and textures how they were that night. I do use some other plugins and processing tools but this photo was pretty straightforward.
In my camera bag
I always take the same things with me. I carry my Canon 60D, my 10-22 lens, my 28-135 lens, my 50mm prime lens, as well as my tripod which is now an Oben AC-1461. I also have a shutter cord so I can keep my hands off the camera for longer exposes to minimize any camera shake as well as an extra memory card in case something goes wrong.
Feedback
I really try to find interesting perspectives. I try to focus on colors and texture and perspective is what brings it all together. I had to get low for the perspective in this shot to get it the way I wanted it. If I just took it at eye level the foreground wouldn't balance correctly with the sky. I also try to look for lines that help the eye find interesting elements in the photo. The sky was not great so foreground became the focus for me. Once I knew I needed an interesting foreground the trails were a no brainer. This picture became more of a trail shot during sunset rather than a sunset shot. Balance is critical with landscapes, if the sky is weak or not looking great, interesting foreground becomes critical. If the sky looks awesome that's where your lens goes. Probably the most important thing is lighting, this shot work because it was sunset. The low light looked great on the grass and made the sky pop.

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