Kieu-Hanh Vu  

Beach Treasure Hunter  by Kieu-Hanh Vu

September 2021 - Beach Treasure Hunter

September 2021 - Kieu-Hanh Vu


About the Image(s)

This image was taken at dawn last week in VA beach using my cell phone.

I hit the beach early to watch the sunrise. It was such a thrill to see this treasure hunter. He was strolling along a stretch of the beach, swinging his metal detector. He was also geared up with a set of headphones to help block out extraneous noise and a remote control in his hands (that looked like a super-sensitive metal detector model) so he could quickly detect something metallic and precious (such as earrings, necklace, wedding ring, etc...). I guess that the beach treasure hunting was quite successful since I found 2 more hunters coming out to search that morning.

In Photoshop, I enhanced color using Levels and sharpened it using Hi Pass filter. I also used Dodge to brighten the man’s face. My original version is included.
No Exif data was found since the image was captured by my cell phone.

6 comments posted

Mary Ann Carrasco   Mary Ann Carrasco
Kieu-Hanh, This is a very interesting scene. I like how you captured this treasure hunter! The colors are beautiful in the sky and on the sand. I wonder what the scene would have looked like had you taken a wider angle from farther away to capture the expanse of the ocean in comparison to the treasure hunter.   Posted: 09/04/2021 10:14:27
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Mary Ann, Thanks for your comments! I did have some other shots when this treasure hunter went to the distance. I'd prefer to use this image to tell the story of his work, and I think that the story won't tell well if the vast ocean is included (because he will be very small in the expanse of the seascape).   Posted: 09/04/2021 16:25:36

Michael Hrankowski   Michael Hrankowski
Hi Kieu-Hanh. You've captured a remarkably sharp image, given it was taken with your phone. I think your tight framing brings all the attention to the treasure hunter, making it clear he - and not the sunrise/beach/landscape - is the subject. Your image keeps my attention as I think about what he might have found. I have a couple of comments about the edit. First, the horizon line tilts down to the right - a quick fix with your in-phone crop tool. In your original image, I rather prefer the soft appearance of the sand. To me, the sand and water in your edited image look over sharpened. Regarding the man's face...I wonder what it would look like had you gone the other direction? That is to say, instead of brightening his face , to have darkened him completely so he appears more of a silhouette against the backdrop of the sunrise. Just a thought.   Posted: 09/05/2021 11:29:48

LuAnn Thatcher   LuAnn Thatcher
I like the simplicity of this photograph, Kieu-Hanh. I think you positioned the man well as the main subject in the frame. I also like the gentle roll of the water as he hunts for treasure. The soft tones of the sunrise are lovely and perfect timing to catch him at his job. He is situated on the left side of the rule of thirds, so all is well with the composition.

The one thing that caught my eye was the texture of the sand, perhaps from sharpening the image. To me, sharpening the image isn't working. I think it conflicts with the dawn of a new day and the lone man on the beach. My edit was to soften the image a bit. I used Nik Color Efex Pro 4, applied the Soft & Grainy preset, and lessened the amount of grain because I don't think you like grain as much as I do.

The edit was completed with the original photo. I am curious what you think.

LT   Posted: 09/08/2021 12:23:53
Comment Image
Kieu-Hanh Vu   Kieu-Hanh Vu
Thanks Michael and LuAnn for your comments and your edits. My preference is to keep a warm sunrise while lighten up the skin tone of the treasure hunter a bit. I found that for some reasons, the image looked fine on my computer when I enhanced the original file using Photoshop, but when I resized it to save in .jpg file, it became over sharpened. I will revisit my file and reduce the sharpness to see how it works.   Posted: 09/09/2021 19:11:48

Lisa Cirincione   Lisa Cirincione
Very nice image and story... I do like the less sharpened edit that Luann did, and she fixed the horizon, I felt like the man was falling forward a bit. But very nice story, with the beautiful sunrise.   Posted: 09/23/2021 13:20:43


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