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California Dreaming

Posted by
Don Smith (California, United States) on 13 March 2009 in Landscape & Rural.

After finishing a recent shoot at Pt. Lobos State Reserve near Carmel, California, I was leaving for my car when I emerged from a grove of cypress trees and spotted this warm post-sunset glow highlighting the horizon. I simply found a silhouette of one of the trees and moved it into the right side of the frame to allow for a sense of depth.

This was a single RAW capture timed-exposed for 20 seconds at f/16 with my 24-70mmL lens. I did have a polarizer on the lens and it did saturate some of the faint horizon color.

I processed the image twice in Adobe Camera Raw, once for the sky and once for the the ocean, then blended the two images together with the use of the brush tool and a mask (which allows me to non-destructively paint in and out). Noise was reduced using Nik DFine software and brushing in just over the areas of the image where noise appeared.

To learn more about these techniques, please join me in one of my workshops. You can find the information on my website.

Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III 20 seconds F/16.0 ISO 100 48 mm

My Website: "how to" articles, 2018 WORKSHOP LISTINGS, galleries, stock photos, and more...

Scott Schilling from San Martin, United States

Don, I really like the balance you got in this and the trees to the right are a perfect addition to this for the depth! The glow is amazing also as a contrast to the cooler colors - I also like the movement in the clouds higher up - it adds a nice touch also - Great Shot! I am really enjoying some of the photos that I took this week! And I am using the masking tools on almost all of them - thanks for the help!

13 Mar 2009 5:25am

@Scott Schilling: Hi Scott, this was just one of those "semi-grab" shots that I kind of liked. I've always been intrigued by how long the warm glow lasts on the horizon - sometimes as long as an hour past sunset. I will be posting some of the material of the moon set next week.

Marie LC from Voiron, France

Nice and colored dream

13 Mar 2009 6:45am

@Marie LC: Hi Marie, really all this image is is color, but warm and cool tones are always a fun mix. Hope all is well.

Batkoï from Salon de Provence, France

i'm found of it, very nice contrast of colors.

13 Mar 2009 12:17pm

@Batkoï: Thank you Batkoi.

Tracy from La Selva Beach, United States

Serene & beautiful

13 Mar 2009 12:56pm

@Tracy: Hi Tracy, thanks, and I've been enjoying your blog images - keep up the excellent work.

john4jack from Corvallis, United States

Outstanding composition! Fabulous work in Photoshop. I really appreciate your sharing how you took and processed your photograph.

13 Mar 2009 1:41pm

@john4jack: Thanks Jack, part of what I teach in my workshops is that prior to working an image in Photoshop, one must first make clear in their mind how they want the finished image to look. If we just start randomly tweaking the image, more times than not, it ends up a mess. I refer to this "visualization" as "image balance." Our global corrections are made in Camera Raw, while our localized changes are made in Photoshop or with plug-ins like Nik Viveza.

Hema Iyer from Bangalore, India

Fantastic processing. Just great

13 Mar 2009 6:38pm

@Hema Iyer: Thanks Hema. I love blending images!

Farshad Palideh from Tehran, Iran

great job,
great performance.

13 Mar 2009 7:06pm

@Farshad Palideh: Hi Farshad. Many photographers form Iran on Aminus3. Thanks for joining in.

Olivier Jules from Lanciano, Italy

lovely capture

13 Mar 2009 11:08pm

@Olivier Jules: Thank you Olivier - are you new to Aminus3?

jim from sebastopol, United States

i love that slash of warmth through the coolness, it is ALMOST electric! jim

14 Mar 2009 3:14am

@jim: I see it all the time on a clear (or semi-clear) evening. There have been times when I have been driving north on Highway 1 and I'm mesmerized by it - thought it was about time to make a picture. As I said in an earlier post, I've seen it last up to an hour past sunset!

Marie LC from Voiron, France

5 stars !

14 Mar 2009 7:55am

@Marie LC: Thank yo Marie - hope all is well!

Helma from Tehran, Iran

Amazing colors and sky too !
very well done .. excellent shot !!!

15 Mar 2009 7:58pm

Maria Draper from California, United States

Oh, I took a photo from this exact spot....but you have a lot more drama in the sky than I got...

5 Dec 2010 1:58am

Maria Draper from California, United States

I definitely did not get this far last time I visited your portfolio

5 Dec 2010 1:58am