Tuesday, July 20, 2010


The coast guard has a small lighthouse on the cliffs on the mesa. I think it's more like a small rotating spotlight than a lighthouse, but I don't know what else you'd call it. It sits on a piece of property owned by the coast guard which includes about eight homes occupied by coast gaurd members, half of which have unobstructed views of the ocean. Not a bad deal!

This was a couple hours after sunset with a mostly full moon shining behind me. It's a three minute exposure, and the lighthouse light was rotating, so that's why the starburst is a little funky.

This was shot from Thousand Steps, and was one of my first outings with our new EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS lens. I'm very pleased with how sharp it turned out!

The original, unedited image.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Tide's Coming In...

A couple weekends ago my mother-in-law was in town to help Jess around the house and with Logan, so I had some more flexibility than usual for photography. To take advantage of the situation, I rented my current dream lens, the EF-S 10-22mm, for the weekend.

The lens was great--very sharp, and I really appreciated the extra wide field of view.

I'm excited with the results from this outing, though not necessarily about the images themselves. There wasn't any color in the sky, so the images are missing that drama that I love. I'm excited, though, because I think I finally nailed the exposure in terms of balancing the foreground and the sky while still getting the water effect that I was after. Now I just need to wait for a dramatic sunrise or sunset to come along, and I should be golden!

The original, unedited image.

Also, here are some more details / notes that I posted in the comments:

A couple notes on the exposure:
- I shot in full manual
- I zoomed in on the rock and metered off of the foreground, which ended up being about +2 stops overexposed for the whole scene.
- I experimented with different shutter speeds, from about 1/4sec to maybe 1sec.
- I occasionally took a 0ev exposure to capture the sky in case I wanted to blend it in. Turned out to be unnecessary in this case; I just used a virtual grad filter in Lightroom to bring down the exposure of the sky.
- I shot in RAW, then I sent the saturation through the roof in Lightroom.

Finally, I picked a rock that was mostly out of the water, waited for a wave to hit, and then started the exposure just about as the water hit the rock. I experimented with starting the exposure at different points there, too. You can never really predict what the water's going to do or what it will look like, so experimentation seems key :)