Marilyn Peake  

What Lurks Beneath by Marilyn Peake

March 2020 - What Lurks Beneath

About the Image(s)

Taking this photograph was a lot of fun. I actually had no idea exactly what I'd taken until I was looking at my photographs back home. My husband and I were on a whale-watching excursion in Iceland with a travel group. Our boat came within approximately 11 miles of the Arctic Circle; it was very cold. I was quickly snapping photos every time a whale surfaced. During the time we were there, in July, the whales surface, but don't breach. I knew there were whale-watching rafts near us, but I wasn't paying too much attention to them as I snapped pictures. I was delighted when I discovered this photograph, showing how close the whale came to the raft of whale watchers.

I shot this handheld with a Nikon D7200, f/9, 1/400 sec., ISO-400. In Photoshop, I increased brightness, contrast and saturation.

20 comments posted

Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Terrific action/travel image. Not sure what the PSA rules are for processing travel images for competition, but I'll just add some processing in LR. I like that the clouds or fog send me to the whale.   Posted: 03/10/2020 17:35:14
Comment Image
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks, Bob. I submitted my original image to an S4C competition and am waiting to see how it does there. The ocean the day we went whale watching was the color that showed up in my photo. I increased the saturation, but kept the color true to how it had actually been.   Posted: 03/10/2020 23:49:02
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Interesting observation Marilyn.
Whole lifetimes have been devoted to color theory. In my opinion, the tones, hues, saturation and luminance (HSL) values in each of the RGB channels are only important to me if they can help me convey a mood, or emotion I felt at the time. I spend a lot of processing time with different gradient combinations to try to find my vision for a scene. LUTs are also a valuable Photoshop tool for finding emotions.
In product photography, the accuracy of colors is of the most importance to the client.
As the only one of us who was there that day, you also get to choose the colors you feel you want to display.   Posted: 03/13/2020 19:51:42
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I am so full of it, sometimes! Good rendition. Looks cold.   Posted: 03/13/2020 19:53:52
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks for your input. The information you provided was really interesting. I guess I like the original color because it totally captured the feeling I had being there that day. It was cold...very, very cold!   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:18:05
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I remember how cold it gets from riding the USS Enterprise in the Sea of Japan in the 1980's when the water was probably a tad colder than now. It is the wind from the Arctic that chills the bones.   Posted: 03/16/2020 10:09:46

Elizabeth Mangham   Elizabeth Mangham
With such a wide range of values, I am amazed that nothing is blown out or lost in this frame. You have gotten so far in a short time. I am really impressed. This is a wonderful image. The travel agency that you used might like to buy it. Congrats on your progress and this shot.   Posted: 03/13/2020 14:07:43
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks so much, Elizabeth! That means a lot to me, especially coming from you, as your photography skills are amazing.   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:20:28

Paul Hoffman   Paul Hoffman
This must have been so much fun, so worth the cold weather. Well done.   Posted: 03/14/2020 09:39:54
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks so much, Paul! It was a lot of fun, one of my favorite experiences in Iceland, despite the extreme cold.   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:21:31

Raymond Zurschmitten   Raymond Zurschmitten
Impressive picture, which shows well the emerging whale, the watching boat and the harsh weather. The clouds could be dramatized with more contrast.   Posted: 03/14/2020 12:09:23
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks so much, Raymond!   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:22:16

Bob Patrick   Bob Patrick
I like your shot, but the gray overpowered me and the Bob Wills adjustment looked too light hearted. Anyway, I took license and here's a suggestion for the mystery effect. Since the whale is not clearly defined, let's play up to the question. What does lurk.….?   Posted: 03/14/2020 13:50:42
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Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Oh, I like that edit! It reminds me of old photos of whales, the kind you might find in history books.   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:23:58

Randy Dykstra   Randy Dykstra
Well, since my main interest is Wildlife photography, I've learned you can never have too fast a shutter speed. You have captured a wonderful scene, I sense the boat and whale have balance. The clouds and mountains provide environmental context. The key to remember, is you are in a boat, so you and the camera are moving, then the waves and whale and boat are moving. In these cases you really want to freeze the image for the detail portions, like the boat, especially if you ever want to make a large print. I would have considered 1/1250 to be the slowest I'd have attempted and would try for
more if possible. It all then becomes the balancing act between aperture and ISO.   Posted: 03/15/2020 09:54:42
Marilyn Peake   Marilyn Peake
Thanks, Randy. Great suggestions! It was really difficult photographing that day. The boat was moving so much, I could barely walk across the boat. The whales (or whale; we weren't sure if we were just seeing the same whale over and over again) only surfaced briefly in different spots and we never knew if we'd be able to snap a picture in time. It was freezing cold. And on top of all that, it was cloudy and rainy. I had to keep wiping rain off my camera. I think I must have settled for finding settings that worked with one photo and then mostly kept using those. I actually had no idea I'd captured a picture with a raft of people near the whale until I got home and looked at my photos. :)   Posted: 03/16/2020 00:30:58


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