Witta Priester  

Morning Calm at Salt Creek by Witta Priester

March 2020 - Morning Calm at Salt Creek

March 2020 - Witta Priester


About the Image(s)

This photo was taken at Salt Creek, WA, about 40 minutes from my house. It is a favorite spot of mine. I almost always come a little before low tide and use a wide angle (12-22) lens on my Canon crop sensor, and of course a tripod. Every time I go, the receding water has left a different sand/water pattern in front of the sea stack island. This day is one of my favorites. I love the light and the calmness and of course the reflection in the water.

I cropped the photo to better focus on the subjects and added some light to the shadows in LR. Then in PS I cloned away the people in the distance. Back in LR, I changed the white balance to add a bit of warmth and added a radial filter with my “emphasis” settings around the island. The range mask for the radial filter was set a bit to the left so that the luminance range primarily worked on the darker pixels.

13 comments posted

Cecilia Clark   Cecilia Clark
Witta, I can see why this is a favorite spot. This low tide image is truly calm. Since you enjoy noticing the different sand/water patterns that change with the tide, I cropped and altered the image a little to give more weight to those patterns. All changes were made in LR: Cropped sky and left side to provide a little more balance to the image and more emphasis to the island; changed WB based on selecting the white of the almost hidden cloud on the right side (+17 temp/-1 tint) which warmed the landscape features but left the sky blue instead of violet; I went to HSL and increased the luminance of the blue sky +7 Aqua/+21 Blue; in the basic module Exp -0.44, contrast +6, highlights -63, shadows +25, whites +8, blacks -19, vibrance +11, sat +3; light sharpening 25/1.0/25 with masking at 73. Using a graduated filter diagonally on the sand/water textures I emphasized the texture with texture 14, clarity 14 and gave that area more weight by reducing exposure -0.21. I also used the brush set at -16 shadows to slightly darken the reflection of the land formation on the right.   Posted: 03/12/2020 18:20:59
Comment Image
Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Cecelia, I like what you did and I especially like your detailed explanation! Your interpretation is more like the original. Did you start with that original, or did you work on the final image? One thing I did notice was that in your version, the image seems a bit oversharpened. That might not have happened if you had the original raw file to work on. But the process you went through is quite instructive to those who use LR. Thanks!   Posted: 03/12/2020 20:42:42
Cecilia Clark   Cecilia Clark
Georgianne, I started with the original. I did add some texture & clarity to the sand in the foreground but only minimal sharpening to the rest of the image as I masked out the areas without texture. The images are so small that it's hard to see the fine detail.   Posted: 03/13/2020 10:37:55

Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Cecilia, I really like what you've done here.
It's often a question of what to emphasize -- what's the subject?
There's really quite a bit going on in this scene, which makes for a variety of crops and interpretations.   Posted: 03/13/2020 10:50:07

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Witta, you certainly put a great deal of thought into the processing of this image. You had some well thought out ideas and they worked quite well to enhance the image. Your results make the image so much better than the original.

With your processing skills do you often spend this much time on your images?

This image looks so peaceful with the tidal pool that you made me think of a different angle. You said you had your tripod with you so I'm wondering about running a long exposure to make the ripples in the foreground smooth out and enhance the feeling of calm? You don't mention your camera settings, but dropping the ISO to its lowest setting, raising the aperture to the highest and even adding a polarlizing filter might be enough to still that water?

So I guess this brings up two questions. First what do you think of the idea and do you use long exposures?   Posted: 03/19/2020 12:26:59
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Larry, thanks for your comments and your thoughts. Much appreciated!

I do use long exposure on occasion, and have a 4x variable Neutral density filter in my bag. The "ripples" in the foreground are sand. But perhaps with a longer exposure the tree reflections might soften, and the sky might look wispier, could work. As for time spent processing: 1) I enjoy it; 2) I'm pretty skilled; and 3) if I'm sharing the photo with others, I want it to be the best I can do.   Posted: 03/19/2020 14:02:48
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
(Groups 36 & 67)
Hi again Witta

Sorry about the sand mix up. My error not yours. :-)

I also love long exposures and use a 6 stop and a 10 stop ND plus a 3 stop GND Those filters really can add some drama to an image.

It is really good to find someone you is willing to do "Lightroom" work. I'll have to keep an eye out for more of your images. I also enjoy the magic of Lightroom and like you want my images to be the best they can be. Have you tried using the Lightroom GND filter from the bottom or even diagonal? That helps in controlling angles of light.

Do you have anything in the Group archives that I should go see?   Posted: 03/19/2020 16:04:04

Georgianne Giese   Georgianne Giese
Witta, I'm with you. To me, it is the final product that is most important: "I want it to be the best I can do." Post processing is fun, once one allows ones self to put in the time necessary to learn how to do it and what you could do to enhance a raw photo. I like to mention that Ansel Adams spent a year trying to post process one of his famous images, to get it good enough, in his estimation. His son claims that he would be ecstatic about using Photoshop!
As to the ripples in your image, they sing to me! I love to walk on the beach and note the always varying patterns in the sand. Good job in catching the feeling of your walk!
  Posted: 03/20/2020 06:25:21
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Georgianne, your comments are always thoughtful, helpful, and insightful. Thanks you for sharing your expertise and for being our admin.

With the immediate future full of more time spent indoors at home, I plan to learn even more about my editing software, try some new techniques, do some table-top photography, and work on cleaning up computer. I have ordered a new MacBook Pro and getting it set up is high on my "to-do" list.   Posted: 03/20/2020 09:00:16

Guy Davies   Guy Davies
(Group 4)
I recognised this island as soon as I saw your image. You took us there when we stayed with you some years ago, but the weather was not as nice as it is in this image. You have done a great job with the composition and post processing. I really like it.

Like you, I only like to show the best that I can do.   Posted: 03/22/2020 09:26:44
Witta Priester   Witta Priester
Thanks Guy. I do remember us heading out there!

As for what to share, I do try to put forth my best recent work, but I always hope others have ideas for improvement, or other suggestions. So often, an outside perspective is a big plus.   Posted: 03/22/2020 10:53:46

Connie Reinhart   Connie Reinhart
Very well done, Witta. Adding the warmth seemed to have made the sand more inviting. The beach leads in from the left to the smaller group of trees and thence to the larger group of trees. Classic leading lines. You brought out the clouds quite well. I wouldn't change anything.   Posted: 03/22/2020 16:36:29

Bunny Laden   Bunny Laden
Wonderful image. Your processing made the image much more atmospheric. Cloning away the people was a good choice, as it gives me more of a feeling of solitude. I wouldn't change a thing.   Posted: 03/26/2020 23:47:23


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