Larry Treadwell  

Under the Arch by Larry Treadwell

June 2021 - Under the Arch

About the Image(s)

Donna Kay
The Donna Kay is a shrimp boat, registered in Louisiana, that was set adrift for the insurance money during a hurricane in 2018. The boat did not sink and instead washed ashore at Cape San Blass located near the eastern end of the Florida panhandle. It took a nearly 9 hour drive, one way, and a night on the beach to capture this image.

This 16 image pano was captured with a Nikon d850, 24-70mm lens. ISO settings were 1000 and 4000 as explained below with a shutter speed of 13 second and an aperture of f2.8. The lighting for the image, in addition to ambient light was provided by 3 Luma cubes and one Luma screen. Two cubes were placed away from the boat with one placed on the sand and the other on a light stand. The third cube and the screen were placed on the boat, one in the cabin and one on the far side of the deck behind the cabin to light the rigging.

16 images were captured with the camera placed in the vertical position on a tripod. The first 8 images were taken at ISO 1000 and were intended to capture the foreground. They were shot moving from left to right. The second set were taken with the ISO set at 4000, these were intended to capture the sky. I overlapped approximately 50% of the image. Each image was processed and merged in Lightroom CC . The two completed images were then important to Photoshop CC as layers. I placed the 800 ISO image on top of the ISO 4000 image. Then I removed the sky from the 800 ISO (foreground). I used shadow areas and various lines from the boat cabin as guide lines. Then the two images were merged in Photoshop and returned to Lightroom for some touch up editing.

The two bright lights on the horizon line to the right are actually shrimp boats working the Gulf of Mexico.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

13 comments posted

Michael Jack   Michael Jack
This is absolutely an incredible piece of work. Wonderful post processing. The image is fantastic. The color palate is well chosen. Lighting is very well done. If I had a suggestion it would be to reduce the number of visible stars but this is just a stellar image.   Posted: 06/03/2021 15:57:18

Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Michael
I spent from sunset to sunrise on the beach with the old lady. I tried everything and angle I could think of but this was the most complex shot. I really wanted this shot before I got there and was planning for it. The rising tide meant that I ended this series standing in the rising water with tripod and wet feet. I really wanted the full arch of the MW but further to the left I would pick up some lights (US Air Force base towers) that would ruin the scene and besides the foreground just got ugly.

Funny that you would reduce the stars, I wanted them all because that is what I saw --- the sky was just awash with stars----with the Gulf of Mexico as a background it was really black looking to the SE.

I thought about removing the shrimp boats but I liked them at sea as if searching for their sister boat. No one else looking it this would know that but I like them. I'm wondering what others will think. I could remove them if everyone wants them out.   Posted: 06/05/2021 13:06:24

Richard White   Richard White
Larry, you never cease to amaze me in your efforts to get a great picture. This is one of your best. Keep the lights of the other boats, they and you explanation make the photo.

Nicely done.
  Posted: 06/06/2021 19:02:00
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Like you I like the other boat lights. To me they set the stage. This is about shrimp boats on the seas, those that make it and those that do not. They seem so small in the grand scheme of the universe.

Thanks for commenting   Posted: 06/12/2021 08:24:39

Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
First I will express my admiration for your efforts in making a good image. I think most of us have a lot to learn from you here. The blue colour express drama and the light from the left is just what you needed to make this a masterpiece!

If I should give any advice, it would be to darken the sky slightly, which I think would made even more dramatic.   Posted: 06/10/2021 01:32:15
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks Arne
Photography to me is a challenge to create something original. My goal is to capture what I feel while on site. I just try to use whatever tools are in my bag of tricks to make that happen. I never arrive and start shooting. The important part is thinking about what to shoot.---
After that, the rest is fun.

Thanks for your thoughts about the darkness of the sky. I have a darker version, but couldn't decide which I like better. Since I read your comments I've been looking more at the dark version. Does the attached work better?   Posted: 06/12/2021 08:31:51
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Arne Skinlo   Arne Skinlo
Since I suggested it, I have to say that it worked better ™. I am glad you did it in such a subtle way.   Posted: 06/12/2021 11:08:50

Bill Peake   Bill Peake
Absolutely astounding image, Larry! I love the boat and the sky with the Milky Way is gorgeous. I would not reduce the stars, but I might experiment with the contrast on the sky to bring out the stars even more, particularly on the upper 3rd, maybe then use a gradient mask on the adjustment layer. But really the photo is amazing as is!   Posted: 06/11/2021 23:18:15
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Thanks for the compliment and the suggestion. Does the version I attached to Arne's comment work?   Posted: 06/12/2021 08:34:19
Bill Peake   Bill Peake
Hi Larry,
Yeah I like that better. I was thinking a little more extreme like this. I may have gone overboard though. What do you think?   Posted: 06/15/2021 19:48:16
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Barbara Gore   Barbara Gore
What a fun place to spend your night! Great job on the pinpoint stars, the composition, and the milky way. I like how the MW arches over the boat and all the stars in the sky.

The boat is well lit and has a nice soft light however I question the blue cast on the white section of the boat and parts of the sand. Was a color gel used on the lights? It's always my preference to neutralize any color casts on white objects however it's the photographer's preference to add a color cast as a creative tool for impact and drama. Great job.

  Posted: 06/16/2021 15:10:31
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Hi Barbara
Thanks for commenting. If this had been a completely natural scene, no boat, I would agree about neutralizing colors. However, in this case the boat was really really white and even when dimmed it became a sore thumb and just leaped out of the dark. The darker the sky, the more the boat jumped out of the scene. I fiddled with kelvin temperature setting in the camera to bring down the boat before I started taking the 16 exposures for this scene. I probably did 6 or 7 single frame shots until I got something I liked. Then I took the entire series.

As you noted, I applied my artist license to do this my way. The amount of sky and the nearly full arch both played a role in how I processed this image.

Some of the other angles I took of the boat I felt benefited from having the boat more white. But I liked the blue tones for this particular shot.   Posted: 06/17/2021 08:42:40
Larry Treadwell   Larry Treadwell
Hi Barbara

Here is a shot of the Donna Kay before the MW rose. Just the boat and the stars. Here I liked the boat white.   Posted: 06/17/2021 08:49:19
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