How I took this shot?

Hey guys

So I decided to do my first official description on “how I took this shot”

Hope this will help you a little on your photographic journey.

This is the shot we will be working with:

Starting Shot

After lightroom adjustments

After photoshop – Final image

So, as I mentioned in my previous post, this was shot on my way to North Narrabeen and because I had plenty of spare time to kill before sunset I did a stop over at Long Reef. It was still day time so in order to get a long exposure I had to use my B+W ND 1000 filter .

First I set my tripod up, placed my camera on top and looked through the view finder to see the best composition. I followed the rule of thirds and placed my subject at the left hand side with the horizon sweeping at the top part of the photo. In this situation, because we have nice cloudy sky and still water with reflections, we could have placed the horizon across the middle as well. Once I had my camera on the top of the tripod I then set my aperture to F11 (I always try to use F11 as it gives me the most sharpest shots for my lens) Iso200 and focal length 10mm.

Camera : canon450D  |  Lens: EF-S 10-22mm  |  Exposure: 25sec at F11  |  ISO200  |  File format: Raw

I have switched to manual focus set it to infinity, clicked the shutter couple of times to makes sure I have got the right hyperfocal distance and then I have screwed on the B+W ND 1000 filter. This filter its a great thing as it allows you to take a long exposure in day light and reduce the light coming to the sensor by 10 times.

Ok so we have got the shot, now how did I proccess it?

First I brought it into Lightroom and did a few basic subtle changes

  1. Enabled profile corrections – this will correct your dark corners and lens distortion, based specifically on the camera, lens and focal length combination.
  2. Changed my profile to Camera Landscape in the camera calibration section
  3. Added graduated filter to darken the top of the sky by 1 stop
  4. Added graduated filter to lighten the foreground by 1 stop

After these setting I opened my raw file in photoshop, converting it to a raw file in the process and here are the steps:

  1. Created a copy of my background layer
  2. Clicked the Lasso Tool, selected the sky and then clicked on Refine Edge (at the top of the workspace) selected approx radius 150 and feather 90
  3. With the marching ants around the sky I went to the layers pallette and selected curves. Created a S curve to darken the darks and brighten the brights.  I really wanted to get rid off the strong red color created by the nd1000 so I have decreased the Red channel and increased the green and blue channel.
  4. For the foreground I used again Lasso tool – Refine Edge same as for the sky.
  5. We have marching ants around the forground and we select curves again and create very subtle S curve. For the redness we use the channels again inside the curves adjustment layer and decrease the red, increase the green and blue.
  6. For the rock we again select the Lasso tool and select the same settings for the refine edge. Curves -pushed the curve up to make the rock little bit more brighter and alive.
  7. I also wanted to make the rock warmer so I selected it again and went levels, move the red channel slider to the left and the blue channel slider to the right, this created the warmer look on my rock. (this you can do with curves or levels, what ever you feel more comfortable with.
  8. Once I was happy with my colors I have used topaz plugin and picked the  exposure correction setting.
  9. Next I created a new layer and drew a black to transparent gradient at the bottom of my image to make it little darker with opacity 40%
  10. As last I created new layer again and used the clone tool to get rid of any unwanted objects in the water

And thats it, I had my keeper 🙂

Thanks for reading this “how to” guys, let me know if you liked it or not, if you cant comment on my blog you can just leave your comment on my shot on Flickr

Take Care






~ by soniamasarova on January 15, 2011.

One Response to “How I took this shot?”

  1. …way too complicated for me, but at least I see there is still someone who knows how to use layers.

    Good post,

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