Sunday, March 13, 2005

Photo of the week - 7 Mar 2005

Seems like this post is getting latter each week ...

This shot was taken at Mylup in Western Australia. Mylup is a small town west of Harvey (WA's milk capital) and north of Bunbury. The town is dominated by the single caravan-park and general store, and my in-laws have a permanent van in the park that they go to most weekends. Over Christmas last year, I spent a night at the van with my wife and daughter. From a photographic perspective, the place is pretty horrid. Strong on-shore winds blow all day during the summer, there is rarely any cloud to fill out the sky, the beach is long and featureless, and the back of the beach is grassy dunes that run uninterrupted for about 60 kilometers all the way up to Mandurah.

This shot was taken soon after dawn (which is a poor time for photos generally in a west-facing coastline), and I was very hesitant to try and take any shots. The day before the place looked horrid, with sea-spray and howling on-shore winds scattering sand and reflected light everywhere. In the morning, the wind had totally dropped, and the light was quite clean. I tried a few seaward facing shots, but they lacked any single point of interest. The weathered post in the shot was like many that lined the beach-dune divide, and was lit well enough to show detail even with the sun pretty much behind it. I could have used a flash to bring out more detail, but wanted a prominent foreground that prevented my getting close enough to use flash. I also could have used a circular polarizer to bring out the blue in the sky, but this would have killed the detail in the post. In the end, I shot unaided, and left the two could-haves for Photoshop.

The two main edits are a masked screen layer to bring out some detail in the post, and a gradient-screened multiply layer to bring out the blue in the sky. While the image stands up OK without them, the certainly bring it up a notch when added. USM and some leveling have also been performed.

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