Archive for the ‘waves’ Tag

They Call It “Thunder Hole”   1 comment


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I was thinking about running an ad: “For Sale: Nikon D600 with 24-70 f/2.8 lens. Cheap. Used once in a marine environment.”

Despite the proximity to the crashing waves, the camera is fine. I kept it covered whenever the spray got too close.

Thunder Hole is a popular destination along the Park Loop Road in Acadia National Park, and is usually loaded with tourists. More often than not, people don’t get to see much action at this spot. But when offshore storms kick up larger waves, the place really lights off. Indeed, in the past some visitors have been flossed off the rocks by rogue waves.

At this cleft in the rocks, incoming waves rush in, trapping air in a small cave or hole. Something has to give, and the competing forces of incoming water and escaping air create a thunderous explosion of sound and spray. On a good day, you can hear the “Whump!” from a fair distance, even from the cliffs overlooking the area.

I wasn’t sure how best to convey the action of the place, eventually deciding to create a tetraptych of just one wave as it came in and broke against the rock.

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Schooner Head   9 comments


Schooner Head

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I needed a refreshing change from all this blasted heat here in N.C. It’s been well over a week of days with heat indexes between 100-115F.

Located on the eastern side of Mount Desert Island near Bar Harbor, Maine, this little ramshackle place sits exposed to the elements. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to build here. Too salty.

This image was created from a single RAW, but I used a second pass in Adobe Camera Raw to bring up the details, blending the second layer in Luminosity mode, thanks to a tip from Calvin Hollywood. I couldn’t resist touching in just a bit of Photoshop’s Oil Paint filter, but not enough to impact the realism of the photo.

Shout out to Klaus Herrmann for the interesting watermarking technique.

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“Determination”   3 comments


A surfer plies hurricane swell during Hurricane Earl, near Oceanana Pier, Atlantic Beach, North Carolina

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A surfer plies the storm swell from Hurricane Earl, off the Oceanana Pier in Atlantic Beach, on the Crystal Coast in North Carolina.

This is an HDR image, although there clearly isn’t a great deal of dynamic range available. It was processed with both Photomatix Pro 4 beta — available to all — and another beta HDR program that is not yet released.

If I have one issue these days, it’s choosing between the various HDR programs available, and which to apply to a given image. All of the programs are really strong, and each has its own distinct capability or style. Each also has its not so great points, so sometimes you have to find one with a nice balance.  Other times, you can process an image with different HDR programs, and then combine the results using layers and masks in Photoshop.

Such is the case here. I really liked what Photomatix Pro 4 beta did with the textures and definition in the water, but, as expected, it didn’t treat the surfer (i.e., skin tones) quite as well. Even the tonemapping of the water needed just a little something.  I could have also taken a pass with HDR Expose from Unified Color, or better yet, their new 32 Float plug-in for Photoshop, but I’m testing another new HDR product, so I decided to try that one.

Choosing between various presets available, I found one that came close to the look I wanted, and I then adjusted the sliders to balance definition, color, and contrast, with an eye to ‘keeping it real.’  Perfect.  Combining the Photomatix results with the second pass results allowed me to a) patch in the surfer the way I wanted, and b) blend the two environments — water, foam, wave — to good effect.

This multiple pass approach certainly takes a lot of time — more time than I’d prefer to spend. But I think that as time goes on, one can develop an eye for a specific image and immediately know which program would do the best job at rendering for the artist’s desired result.

And yet, that’s just one aspect of post-processing.  Now… which filters to apply? 8)

Although it makes one want to do a 365 project of nothing but SOOC shots, it’s nice to sit back and look at the final product while thinking, “That’s cool… I hope others enjoy this.”

I hope you do.

Rob

Still Standing   1 comment


Image of Hurricane Earl at Oceana Pier in Atlantic Beach, NC. Large swells engulf the pier.

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Oceanana Pier made it through the night.

Hurricane Earl passed by Atlantic Beach, NC, on September 2nd, 2010.  This was taken shortly after the owners of Oceanana Pier closed off access to the pier, for good reason. The crowd of spectators that had been gathered at the end of the pier to watch the waves and surfers quickly reconvened on the beach. When you’re standing so close to these powerful waves, it seems that you just can’t stop watching, and you’re sure that next wave will be even bigger and more badass than the last.

Oceanana Pier is one of the last remaining fishing piers on Emerald Isle.  Whereas there were once a good number of piers all along Emerald Isle, relentless hurricanes and even more relentless real estate development have caused the removal of all but three — Oceanana, the Sheraton Pier, and the Bogue Inlet Pier. In addition to being great places to fish, the piers also create nice wave breaks for surfers. Now that so many piers have been removed, it’s causing large crowds of surfers as they bunch up to take advantage of the few good remaining surf spots.

You can see a live-feed cam of this pier by clicking here

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