View Full Version : Bowling Ball Beach

Diane Miller
12-08-2013, 12:15 AM
This is a beach up the coast from San Francisco about 100 miles. When there is a very low tide these rocks are exposed. The bigger ones are maybe 3-4 ft across. Shot a few days ago in boring, foggy light, so I converted to B/W.

Canon 5D3, 24-70 f/2.8 at 28. Singh-Ray VariND, ISO 100, f/22, 20 sec.

Rachel Hollander
12-08-2013, 11:51 AM
Hi Diane - the conversion works very well here. Nice dof too. I imagine it's tough to get a clean border at the bottom and presume there were more rocks below. If not then I would prefer to have the entire rocks included there rather than cut off. I would back off on the detail extractor on the water between the rocks.


Diane Miller
12-08-2013, 01:52 PM
The composition here was a difficult choice. Going wider to get the FG rocks entirely in the frame showed a lot of unattractive debris, and there was always another rock behind me to the left.

I see that I let the horizon drop off toward the left edge, too -- I'll go back to the file and fix that.

Don Railton
12-08-2013, 11:41 PM
Hi Diane

I like the gap (almost) in the rocks leading the eye up to the cliffs.. Nice detail, and good DOF noted. I am wondering if a bit more contrast is in order??? I struggle with B&W as bit (most other things too..!) so its just something I would play with more than what I think might improve..



David Stephens
12-08-2013, 11:57 PM
The B&W conversion works well with this. The detail in the FG rocks is pleasing and the sweep of the cliff on the right is nice. De-emphasizing the sky is a good idea here. You started with less than ideal light and ended up with a nice, balanced image with interesting details.

Diane Miller
12-09-2013, 01:02 PM
I had tried more contrast and it just didn't seem consistent with the foggy light. Good to think about things like that, though!

A factor I try to always consider isn't "what it looked like" but how it looks to someone who wasn't there -- what do I want to convey. I think that's a black art.

Anette Mossbacher
12-09-2013, 03:02 PM
Hi Diane,

I like the boulders on the beach. Even when it is a foggy day :bg3:
My take on this would be, add a Mid-Tone, a tad more drama and may darken the sky more. Btw, in the sky I saw 2-3 dust bunnies.

Have a great eve


Grady Weed
12-09-2013, 03:35 PM
Whatever "tone or contrast" you decide on here Diane...you made fine art out of cold soup! A well done is in order. I love the foreground rocks and the "cool" temp of the water on the right side. It has lots of details and tones. this would make a great wall hanger. Thanks for sharing.

Diane Miller
12-09-2013, 06:20 PM
Thanks everyone! I found several dust bunnies on the master file -- fixed now -- I usually try to be more careful. Going right now to clean the sensor.

Andrew McLachlan
12-09-2013, 07:33 PM
Hi Diane, lovely scene...I love the boulders and the arrangement of them within the comp. My first thought was more contrast...but I think the amount of contrast one likes in B&W is more of a personal preference. Very nice!

Diane Miller
12-09-2013, 07:52 PM
Thanks, Andrew. The histogram does show soft contrast and it could be tweaked up a bit, or just in the midtones as Anette suggested.

One factor we can't control, in addition to preference, that some folks will have some variation in their monitors. There are a lot of pitfalls in calibration, as there are in viewing colors on the web. Fortunately, there is also the factor that our brains re-calibrate the view to some extent -- in other words, we get used to the state of our systems.

Andrew McLachlan
12-09-2013, 08:31 PM
True enough...I forgot to say thanks for posting the Firefox info...I was able to set my browser up as you instructed...even with my computer illiteracy and technically challenged brain :S3:

Diane Miller
12-09-2013, 08:37 PM
You're welcome. I'm fleshing that document out with more BG info, and talking to Michael Gerald-Yamasaki about possible updated information for some browsers.

I hope to post an update soon.

Cheryl Slechta
12-11-2013, 10:23 AM
Hi, Diane, I like the contrast as is - it seems to convey the feeling of a foggy day.:S3:

Chris Ober
12-11-2013, 04:33 PM
Hi Diane. I like this as is.

Morkel Erasmus
12-12-2013, 04:33 AM
I like the composition and thinking here, Diane. Conversion was a good idea but it needs brighter whites and deeper blacks (more tonal range/contrast) for me? Worth experimenting and seeing if you like it. Just a bit too much "grey" for my tastes.

Bill Jobes
12-29-2013, 11:51 AM
Love the capture, comp and crop. It must have been pretty lightless to expose for 20 seconds.

Diane Miller
12-29-2013, 06:38 PM
Thanks, Bill. I was using a Singh-Ray Vari-ND to blur the waves, which were distracting. Going too far with that filter gives an irritating cross pattern of darker/lighter tones so I couldn't go as far as I wanted in this case. The light was just average fog, about 2 hours before sunset.

That pattern is something that is easy to overlook through the viewfinder, but going to live View really shows it. I need to get a stronger straight ND.