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Looks like Lava...



A super high spring tide sent water flowing like lava over the sands of Noordhoek Beach last night... I had to dodge the waves to avoid my camera getting soake...
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A super high spring tide sent water flowing like lava over the sands of Noordhoek Beach last night... I had to dodge the waves to avoid my camera getting soaked.
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5 Comments | Report
Piav
 
Piav September 21, 2016
Excellent photo. Welcome to VB
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robmousley September 23, 2016
Thanks Piav!
Piav
 
Piav September 21, 2016
Excellent photo. Welcome to VB
suzanmoody
 
suzanmoody September 21, 2016
Very dramatic shot. Looking forward to seeing more of your work. Welcome to VB. Suzan
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robmousley September 23, 2016
Thanks Susan!
crystal_lynn PRO+
 
crystal_lynn September 23, 2016
Beautiful image! Welcome to VB.
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robmousley September 23, 2016
Thanks crystal_lynn!
naturisk PRO
 
naturisk September 25, 2016
Stunning! Welcome to Viewbug!
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robmousley September 25, 2016
Thanks!

Behind The Lens

Location
I shot this image on the beach at Noordhoek in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. I live close to the beach, so I often walk there in the evenings. It's west facing so it's usually sunset that provides opportunities.
Time
The sun was setting; this shot was taken at exactly 18h04 on August 22nd towards the end of winter. It was cold, but there wasn't any wind blowing. It was spring high tide and the seas were huge - and every now and then a wave would surge up the beach and come flooding across the flat sand.
Lighting
The sun was shining through low cloud so I knew I wouldn't be able to get a sunburst effect, but I saw the reflections in the water and figured that I could make use of that. There was enough orange in the setting sun to give it a golden glow.
Equipment
This was handheld, using a Nikon D7100 with my standard go-to lens for general photography which is the 18-200mm. It was on 29mm focal at the time. I had the camera on IOS 800 because I wanted sufficient light to freeze the wave action and I was on 1/1000th f/13. The key was to get right down onto the sand; I think I was kneeling with my backside in the air and my cap fell off as I was setting it up.
Inspiration
There wasn't much happening with the sunset itself - there was only low level cloud so the sky was boring. I sometimes focus on the waves, but that evening they were too rough and there wasn't enough light coming through them to make for good colour in the water. But when I saw the water coming flooding over the sand, I thought that I could perhaps make something of the light reflecting in it. The magic of this shot for me is in the composition - I was lucky that I was in a spot where the wave flooded the area and as the water receded into the sand, it left an elongated puddle. I saw in the moment that it looked like lava flowing, and that was the inspiration.
Editing
I only use Lightroom; I'm an enthusiastic amateur and I have Adobe CC for photographers... I just haven't had the time yet to install and learn photoshop. I have the presets from ImprovePhotography.com and I generally start with a preset that I like and then work from there, doing as little as possible. I usually adjust exposure, contrast, highlights and sometimes adjust for noise. It's seldom that I have to do much more than that.
In my camera bag
So I've started recently using a Lowepro Flipside AW400 camera backpack and I love it. For my landscape shots I usually work with the 18-200mm or the Tokina 11-16mm wide-angle lens. When shooting mountain scenes I tend to do pano shots with the Nikon lens because it's now so easy to stitch them together in Lightroom. I'll use the Tokina when I have something big in foreground and I don't care if the background looks small. I recently took some shots of farm implements in a field and the wide-angle lens worked beautifully for that. But I'm also a keen wildlife photographer. When I'm hiking long distance I'll have the Nikkor 70-300mm in the bag - with the crop sensor that's an equivalent reach of 450mm which is ok, but not great for bird shots. I have the new Nikkor 200-500mm lens as well which really excites me and I love using it for birds. The system's autofocus is fast enough to capture birds in flight pretty easily and I'm developing a good set of biceps using it handheld (it's not too heavy but it's a fairly sizeable beast). I use a monopod with the big lens and a Manfrotto tripod when necessary although I prefer to fly handheld wherever possible.
Feedback
Get down low, I think the camera was only a few cm off the sand when I shot this. Be quick! The water was sinking into the sand within seconds so I didn't have much time to work with. I was conscious of the shape of the water puddle and centered it in the frame.

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