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Title: Heron and Mount Rainier
Location: Double Bluff Beach, Whidbey Island, Washington, USA
|Shutter Speed||2.5 seconds|
|Exp Comp||+1 stop|
|Lens||Canon 28-300mm L|
|Time Of Day||3:57pm 13 minutes before sunset|
This shot took some experimenting and a fair bit of post processing, which I tend to avoid but I had a certain picture in mind. Shots of the heron at a ‘regular’ shutter speed of 1/8th and f/8 just weren’t working for me. As you can see the water is fairly calm but there was that one small shore break behind the heron. With a faster shutter speed, that wave was frozen and looked out of place. So I decided to blur things a little. Pushing my 28-300mm lens to its smallest aperture of f/40 gave me a shutter speed of 2.5 seconds. It took me about 6 shots to get one where the heron was still enough for that long. I also jockeyed back and forth, hurriedly, to frame the shot in a decent manner.
In post-production I removed some sensor spots made apparent by the small aperture. I then leveled the horizon and made a copy of the background in Photoshop. I masked the water from shoreline to the bottom. Bumping up the contrast a bit, I removed a bit of blue saturation after upping the overall saturation. I also brought the white point way in to darken things a bit. Masking the top section from shoreline to sky, I increased saturation until it appeared as I remembered for just an hour before. The sun was pretty intense as it was setting over the Olympic Mountains to my right, shining brightly on Mount Rainier and the coast. I also fiddled with the contrast to create a bit more distinction between the mountain and sky (the slow shutter speed had reduced that somewhat).
In the end, this isn’t my normal type of shot. But I wanted to play with something way softer than I’m used to and more pastel. This bird and I were alone on the beach that night and I wanted to convey some of that solitude. I hope you enjoy it.
Photograph Copyright Peter West Carey
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