Emily Kawasaki  

Dock at Sunset by Emily Kawasaki

September 2021 - Dock at Sunset

About the Image(s)

This image was taken at Sodus Point, NY. The photo was taken at 6:58pm ET on August 14, 2021. It shows the dock and boats in the foreground and Sodus Bay in the background. The photo was taken with my Sony a5000 and Sony FE 50mm f1.8 Lens. The ISO is 100, exposure time is 1/125 sec., the f stop is 3.5, and the focal length is 50mm. Post-processing edits in Luminar AI were a slight increase in accent AI, structure AI, and contrast.

14 comments posted

Cheryl LaLonde   Cheryl LaLonde
Hi Emily
This image had a great leading line of the dock and really nice color. I really like how your images show depth with leading lines and life as it is wherever you are. With this image I am left wondering what the subject of the image is? I think the intent was the larger boat pointing toward the viewer at the end of the dock but I find it is too soft to be the subject. Increasing the f stop to 8 or 11 would have given a better depth of field so that the subject would have been sharp. If you were hand held and needed a shutter speed of 125 and had to increase the ISO, Sony cameras usually handle that well and/or the noise could be cleaned up in post if necessary.   Posted: 09/10/2021 14:46:51
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Cheryl. Those are helpful suggestions. When I had my camera, what caught my eye were the dock (vertical lines) and then the slips (horizontal lines) running along perpendicularly, and then leading to the boat at the end. Plus,I wanted to experiment a bit with the lens and try shooting adifferent subject compared to usual.   Posted: 09/19/2021 13:52:35

Dan Mottaz   Dan Mottaz
Hi Emily, I hope you were not too affected by the hurricane.
Other than the dock, I'm not sure what your point of interest is in your photo. The dock is a good study of lines and has a lot of visual interest. It's pleasing to look at. I'm afraid that the detail surrounding the dock is too busy. I feel like it needs a dose of simplification.
If this were a task in front of me, I might try replacing everything outside of the dock with a misty water scene that fades off to nearly nothing. I'm always hesitant to impose my own thinking on someone else's art but perhaps this will inspire you to go in your own direction.   Posted: 09/10/2021 15:04:08
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Dan, I see what you mean. Indeed, it is a busy scene that needs more focus.
No worries, it's always helpful to get new ideas and suggestions on other ways of editing that I hadn't/haven't thought about before, but should try out and experiment with (especially now that I have the editing capabilities, i.e. luminar 4 and luminar ai).   Posted: 09/19/2021 13:56:20

Bob Wills   Bob Wills
Hi Emily, I think that this is a snapshot of a wonderful place to visit. Once you get there, then the work begins to find small areas of interest to you. One of the hardest things about photography for me is to find a subject within the beauty I see. As Cheryl and Dan point out, no subject is clear to the viewer in this image. At f3.5 there isn't enough depth to really make a crop usable for competition. I suggest returning and when time allows to work the area in depth. It looks to be a beautiful place to get images. I tried a small area off the dock as just an example. Good luck and have fun   Posted: 09/10/2021 20:58:20
Comment Image
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you, Bob. That is a good strategy for me to employ next time. I like your example image, as I too found the lily pads and water surface to be a nice contrast to the wooden dock - all very different colors and textures.
I know you're not able to respond at the moment. So, just wishing you improved health, and a safe and speedy recovery.   Posted: 09/19/2021 14:03:01

Haru Nagasaki   Haru Nagasaki
Hello, Emily. Nice to meet you. I joined this group starting from this month. I am glad to hear that you have lived in Japan!
Thank you for sharing.
I like your attempt - the pier create a leading line and add depth of the image. Morning light add a mood in the image as well.
On top of the comments by others, I feel the image is over-blue casted unless it is your intention.
Please refer to my attempt in BW - cropped the bottom and a bit of right to position the boat in 1/3 from right intersection. This is on the assumption that your main subject is "the boat". Still it has an issue of sharpness of the boat as Cheryl mentioned though. Dodge the pier and "the boat" to highlight a bit. Just to offer another perspective.

  Posted: 09/11/2021 00:03:56
Comment Image
Bob Wills   Bob Wills
I agree that Haru has uncluttered the image by his conversion to B&W and by use of dodging and burning. Nice edit, Haru.   Posted: 09/11/2021 08:22:10
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Haru, I think your B&W edit really pulls out the key elements that I was thinking about when I composed the picture. I like how the B&W simplifies the hole scene and brings attention to the key subjects/lines. I have also gotten feedback and suggestions from others to consider editing an images into B&W. So, your editing suggestions and guidance on cropping and dodging are very helpful.   Posted: 09/19/2021 14:10:04

Stuart Caine   Stuart Caine
(Group 42)
Hi Emily! A very nice image, being it is a sunset image, I would like to see a better sky reflecting a sunset image. Since you are using Luminar Ai, I went into it and selected sunset collections and this is what I came up with.   Posted: 09/11/2021 14:01:57
Comment Image
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Stuart. I love how your edit creates a very distinct sunset scene (which would/does fit with the setting of the dock at dusk, were the dock to face west instead of north). I am excited to try out Luminar ai more and experiment to see the kinds of editing/effects it can create (of which there are many, I'm sure).   Posted: 09/19/2021 14:15:10

Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Hi Emily. You have a pattern of finding very compelling leading line structures, and the dock here is another excellent example. I'd second a lot of the comments above, but the high priority one is adding a compelling focus that you've chosen at the end of your leading line. The clutter issue, that is de-emphasizing other things, can be more easily dealt with in post. Haru has done an excellent job in the B&W version he offered. But even if the leading line itself is for you the subject, you still need some reward to the viewer that follows it - the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

If indeed the leading line is for you the interesting subject, another suggestion I would make is to get down low and close to it, with as wide a lens as you have. I think you could have filled the front of the frame here with a close up of the dock and its interesting weathered and textured wood. In doing so, you will have to probably focus stack to get front to back sharpness. You needed that (or at least a smaller aperture) here as it is not just the far boat which is soft but the front part of the dock as well. It will only get harder to keep all sharp when you get low and close. You can do this with your 50mm, but it is also more effective with a wide angle lens, even a super wide angle - something like 12mm for your APS-C style a5000, so I'd use a wide angle if you have one (or can rent or borrow one to try this out). Just some thoughts.   Posted: 09/11/2021 14:42:36
Emily Kawasaki   Emily Kawasaki
Thank you Robert. Yes, I do find myself drawn to leading leading lines throughout my daily life. Luckily, the streets and architecture of nyc as well as upstate NY all present a wonderful visual array of them. So, I'm fortunate in that regard. I like how your explanation covers it so well with having the "pot of gold" for viewers or taking a different approach and looking at it from a different angle. The next time I am upstate, I will definitely try that out because I have my wide-angle lens, so I can give it a try. For focus stacking, would that be achieved in editing/post (i.e. like layers)? I haven't heard that term before.
  Posted: 09/19/2021 14:26:33
Robert Atkins   Robert Atkins
Yes, in focus stacking you take several shots, manually focusing at different distances, and then you combine them in post processing - essentially taking the "in-focus" part of each image. You can get much greater depth of field in the final result than you can from any one shot. Generally people do this with the camera on a tripod so things are framed exactly the same in each of the versions you are combining. If you were very careful you probably could get it to work hand held.

I actually don't have any experience doing this since I shoot film and it would get expensive to be shooting multiple frames to focus blend, particularly in 4x5 (but 4x5 cameras allow you to tilt the lens which is another trick for greater depth of field). There are dedicated post processing software packages for doing focus stacking - helicon focus is one of the better known ones. But you can also do it in photoshop by stacking, aligning, and auto blending the individual images. I am not sure there is yet a way to do it in Luminar AI.   Posted: 09/19/2021 15:33:33


Please log in to post a comment