Shooting Diary | Seton Sands | 27th July 2012
Last updated on Monday, July 30, 2012
I've been seeing shots of the wreck here many many times on Flickr and they are all pretty excellent. It's a really nice shot when you get it right. Lately Scott Masterton had been posting some crackers from this place and it made me want to go. Worse, the night he took these shots I was going to go to this exact spot but the weather looked ropey and I didn't bother... kicking myself or what?!
Anyway, the Peco & Peel Touring Photography Circus decided to scout this place out. I checked some tide times vs capture date/times and found that we might actually be pushing it to get there before the tide came too far in and covered the wreck.
Prescient of me! :(
When we arrived I wandered down to the beach to see that the wreck was in the water as I looked so I ran - yes ran* - back to the car to hurry up Rossco as we where loosing it fast!
I didn't end up getting anything of the wreck and I don't think Ross did either but we decided to hang around anyway. Well we where here and it'd be insanity just to leave. Especially as there's no guarantees the next place would be any better!
We did find a nice rock with green seaweed on it which pretty much became our focal point for the rest of the evening...
As ever, it's an image averaged shot made up of 12 x 2 second exposures with a 10 second delay. Like our last trip the clouds where motoring along and I got the delay wrong again. I got definite "shark gills" in this one although I used a cheat to fix it - I've not written anything about this problem and fixes for it yet. I plan too. I'll update this post when I've done it.
I actually shot about 40 frames for this image but unfortunately the waves started hitting the legs of the tripod and causing it to sink a bit as the sand moves and settles which would ruin any long exposure! Luckily with image averaging you can select fewer frames where the camera movement hasn't occurred and do your long exposure over those instead. Using a 10 stop would undoubtedly resulted in a binned image.
Also during the shooting, the sun came out from behind the clouds for a bit so I selected one of those frames so I could use the beautiful golden light.
First step was to image average the shots.
Next, instead of doing a second pass, I got lazy and slapped on a curves layer to darken the whole scene a bit.
I then did a black grad Soft Light blend layer and masked it so it only affected the sky.
Because I had the dreaded "shark gills" problem I did a cheat to fix it - basically, and I so wish I'd got it right the in the camera, I stamped visible the changes then did a motion blur of about 130px in the direction the clouds where moving. I then mask out the foreground and horizon (very distant clouds don't have as much apparent movement so the "shark gills" problem doesn't occur.
I had to do this fix on a all the long exposure sky shots below. Good Night Cockenzie >> was particularly time consuming because the clouds appear to radiate out from a point in the frame - motion blur doesn't allow for this so I had to do a few different motion blur layers going different directions then masking them together into a more natural looking final result.
After the fix for the "shark gills" issue was done I then pulled in another RAW file with the foreground beautifully lit up by the sun. For this layer I masked out everything except the beach, trees and rock.
Other than sharpening and placing my watermark, that was the job done.
Also worth a mention is Every Cloud >> . I've done all the same stuff as above except I chose one of the short exposures which make up the image averaged long exposure to act as the sky alone. It's just a matter of loading the RAW into the document the masking out the horizon and down. This gives a nice long exposure sea and a short exposure sky.
All the shots from this trip: -
*Funnier things have been seen, but not by reliable witnesses (with nods to Douglas Adams for the paraphrase)