Surf at Sunset

Ventura, CA.

Ventura, CA.
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Superb Composition
photosbyjoesaladino morganmaison raygradel Dacemac robegan Rwozney JohnLim +5
Peer Award
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Outstanding Creativity
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Magnificent Capture

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1 Comment | Report
GigiJim08 PRO+
GigiJim08 August 01, 2016
Serene and peaceful!

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Behind The Lens

I took this photo in Ventura, Calif. I believe this the north end of Emma Wood State Beach just a half mile south of a popular surfing spot called Mondos.
This was taken in May of 2014 as the sun was setting behind Santa Barbara, Calif.
I moved to Ventura about 8 years ago for photography school and was very taken by the sunsets I witnessed. I was attempting to get a good dynamic range between the beach and the sky without using any sort of filter.
I believe I was shooting RAW with an old D90 on a tripop with a wireless remote to reduce camera shake. I also subtly popped an SB600 speedlight on the boulders to get a little more detail there.
My wife was pregnant at the time and I hadn't picked up my camera for anything other than documenting the progression of pregnancy. She was sleeping that evening and I saw the there may be an amazing sunset so I threw my gear in the car and zipped off to the beach which was only about 3 minutes away. Sunsets are pretty spectacular in Ventura year round so long as the June-Gloom isn't covering it up.
This was very minimally processed in Adobe Lightroom 4 at the time. I'm from a photo-journalism background so I try to keep the post-processing as limited as possible. Just a few tweaks to the dynamic range to bring out detail in the highlights and shadows, some temperature adjustment, and saturation. I'm now using Adobe Lightroom CC and Camera RAW CC so it would be fun to go back to this RAW file and see what I could pull out of this image. I'm so amazed at the post processing software these days, it just keeps getting better and better!
In my camera bag
I normally keep both my old D300 and D90 in my Reporters Bag along with a Tamron 70-200 f/2.8, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, and Nikor 50mm f/1.4; two Nikon speelights (SB600 and SB700); remote triggers; extra batteries; and a notebook. I'm so very due for an equipment upgrade but have not been making money with my photography lately so have been putting it off. Though I have been eyeing that new D500 and am thinking of getting back into sports photography.
Just keep trying and don't be afraid to try different settings on the camera. A photography teacher of mine from Brooks Institute once told me that photography is all about making choices. I find that to be so true. I try to choose one setting I think I'll will like then try the direct opposite on the next shot so I can see in real time what the differences are. The great thing about digital photography is that you can do that on site and see the results immediately to better help make a choice. I also think that sunsets are great for practice in understanding light as it pertains to dynamic range in your camera. What I have learned about this has transferred well into sports and wedding photography where I need to make quick lighting decisions based on my camera's limitations to this contrast and what kind of detail I do want to see in the highlights and/or shadows.

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