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Lighthouse Beach Ballina NSW at sunset

Lighthouse Beach Ballina NSW at sunset
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2 Comments | Report
Marylee8797 Platinum
Marylee8797 March 19, 2019
Valerie200515 March 29, 2019

Behind The Lens

This Is my local beach, at Ballina Northern NSW - Australia
It was very late afternoon, the sun was about to go down.
A small break in the clouds to the west as the sun was setting shed some beautiful light onto the beach and clouds. It had been such a dull day and I wasn't too sure that there was anything going to happen but I took my bag anyway, because the only shots you miss are because you don't have your stuff with you. I like how the ocean beyond the break is so dark, as if the night was already there, giving a contrast to the glow of the sand and clouds.
I use Canon gear, a 5dmk4, this was shot using a Sigma 12-24mm lens with 10stop ND filter.
I love shooting weather and long exposures. The composition is fairly plain but the swirl of clouds and light and dark made it far more interesting than usual - I visit this beach so often and after many years find it can still surprise you.
The post processing of this image was a bit of a process,. Being a long exposure on a super wide, it suffered from some vignetting which needed to be repaired in photoshop. Using curves i gradually lightened the edges until it was a bit more even, but there was a lot of noise introduced in the corners, so i did have to use blur a little. Still didn't work, it looked muddy ... I will always shoot off a few exposures without the filter to get the final time right for the long exposure and I used one of the short exposures to help get rid of the noise and to bring back a bit of definition into the clouds by using several layers - this is a great advantage of Photoshop over Lightroom to be able to use 2 or more exposures and any amount of layers to fix any lighting or other issues. However, Lightroom is very good at quick editing.
In my camera bag
I am a Canon shooter, not that they are the best cameras or anything, I just started with one and after years, you have several lenses, flashes etc that to change is virtually impossible. I do like my gear though, I'm very familiar with it, and they are great cameras, workhorses. I have shot over 1.8 million shots on some of my older bodies and they are still going. I was shooting a lot of timelapse with them. I try to plan what I am going to shoot before I leave home and carry just what I need, but that can still be a bit of weight. For instance, for this shot I packed an old crumpler backpack, my favourite and I wish they still made them. 2 Bodies, a mk3 and a mk4, a Sigma 12-24, 70-200, a couple of filters and the filter holder. I carry 2 bodies so when the long exposure is happening I can use the long lens for whales or tight compositions.
Advice on getting long exposures. My best plan was always to plan ahead and know what you are going to shoot, pack the gear you need and get there and wait for the best light. BUT, so often that can not work out. So maybe the best plan is to just have the gear with you as often as you can. For specific advice on long exposures, first get your composition right and shoot off a few to check the exposure. Use an app, I use the NISI app, to calculate your exposure time. Using ND screw on filters will usually give an even exposure and the larger - 150mm filters will have some vignetting, take that into account and perhaps expose to the right for the very long exposures. Expect some post work in Lightroom, the vignetting slider tool can be very useful. A sturdy tripod will be your best friend.

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