View Full Version : Shark Rock Pier

Tobie Schalkwyk
05-22-2014, 11:49 AM
After setting the clock for 03:30am for a sunrise photo shoot at this spot, it started raining all night through. As I woke I considered dropping my plans but then decided to do as much as I could under the circumstances. As I got out of my car it was still drizzeling and then Mother Nature gave me a little gift - the clouds pulled away for about 5 minutes. I was not out of the woods yet as I've realised that I had my bearings totally wrong - the sun was rising from a totally different spot than I've imagined (haven't heard of the photographer's ephemeris yet) and I quickly had to adjust. Eventually it was all worth it (I think)! Snapped at 4:17am.

Nikon D600
Tamron SP 24-70mm F/2,8 Di VC USD @ 24mm
f/11 | 1/30s | 1250 ISO | Handheld
Highlights trimmed, shadows raised, midtones adjusted in LR

05-22-2014, 03:44 PM
Hi Tobie. Sometimes nature can give you surprising gifts even when she treats you like crap the whole night :) Glad you stuck around and captured something you liked!

Is this a blend of more than one exposure? I think you did a good job composing the image to fit the sunrise and the pier together. The rocks also give it a very interesting perspective. I think the rocks are way too soft. I also see chromatic aberration on the pier columns and pier railing which could be corrected in LR or PS.

Morkel Erasmus
05-22-2014, 04:34 PM
04:17am! The joy of capturing sunrise on the SA East Coast :w3
Nice composition, Tobie - I like the Durban skyline framed by the pier on the right. Overall it could use a boost in midtone contrast as it feels a bit flat.
I wish you'd captured an exposure about 2 stops darker to blend in that bright blown patch where the sun is coming up.

Don Railton
05-22-2014, 11:21 PM
Hi Tobie

I going to run against the flow a bit.. I am not keen on the composition because for me the pier is masking the sky (which I think is the hero in this image) too much and leading me off to a dark corner of the image... I find the pier a barrier between me and that sky. On the plus side the sky is wonderful and I am glad you got you chance to capture it after taking the pun on the weather. You deserve that opportunity after a 3.30am getup in the rain...!



Tobie Schalkwyk
05-23-2014, 04:33 AM

Thanks for the comments, guys!

andrealeon: It's only one exposure. I've sharpened the rocks a little using LR's adjustment brush above, but it might still not be enough? I've also checked LR's CA removal checkbox this time and keep my fingers crossed that it has done something as I can't see the CA in the OP.

Morkel: this is P.E. not Durb's :t3! I was so convinced that I was not going to get a worthwhile shot that I did not take the tripod from my car so HDR was not on the charts. Having said that: perhaps I should have utilised the in-camera HDR - it's better than nothing! As I started playing with the midtones I realised that the sky is the limit (pun quite applicable here!) considering all the shades & colors locked up in this shot! I usually prefer not to show more than what I've seen with the naked eye but I've pushed it a little further above.

Don: the composition is not for everyone but the pier was intended to be the main subject with the sunrise as bonus (I did not know how nice the sunrise would turn out to be in a few minutes as I was considering my options in a misty drizzle). I have however taken a few shots from the other side of the pier. The disadvantage is the absence of the rocks, which I felt contributed to an interesting FG. I will follow this thread up with one of those shots - just for you! :w3

(PS: small correction - I have used my Nikkor 24-85mm kit lens here)

Don Railton
05-23-2014, 08:35 AM
Hi Tobie. Yep, I agree the fg rocks are a big plus... Think you did well considering the rapid change in weather and being caught un prepared.

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