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Author Topic: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island  (Read 5274 times)

Enda Cavanagh

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cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« on: January 16, 2012, 01:18:58 PM »

Hi everyone

Here you see a photo of a pretty cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive of Achill island, an island located off the west coast of Mayo. It's an island but it is only about 50m from the mainland where you drive over on a bridge. There is some stunning seascape scenery along the island. The first time I visited Achill was back in 1998 when I shot with a mamiya 7 film rangefinder camera. I came across these rocks but unfortunately the film was destroyed during processing. Fast forward to a November 2011 and I revisited the island. I was struggling to find the location. I had a contact sheet of some photos taken nearby and eventually I stumbled upon it. It was located about 300 meters from the road where it was just visible. Even when I got there I wasn't sure if it was the right place but as soon as I took my first test shot I knew it was. I felt over the moon as I thought it was one of those missed opportunities. The light warmed up as sunset approached. I wanted the starlight to just peep over the dagger like form of the rock. It was quite a difficult shot to take as the wind became very strong and I had to wait each time for a lull in the wind.

You can view it on my website at 1800 pixels if you click here and select "view larger image"

Many thanks
Enda

« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 06:35:00 PM by Enda Cavanagh »
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francois

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 05:13:37 AM »

Enda,
I quite like your photo, especially the contrast of the water and the very textured rock formation. The warm light is wonderful and the almost monochromatic aspect of the rocks in the foreground (left side of the image) adds a cool counterpoint to the sky and the golden glow on the ride side of the panorama.

Well done!
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Francois

kikashi

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 01:25:12 PM »

It's a very lovely scene and like Francois I like the colours on the right.

And yet there's something about the photo that feels wrong. I think it's that the nearside of the "dagger" seems unnaturally bright. Wasn't it in pretty deep shadow? The "dagger" doesn't seem to be casting one at all.

Jeremy
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churly

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 02:15:10 PM »

Enda - I  enjoy the image - the setting and the light work well.  As Jeremy points out, the lack of the natural shadow gives it an other worldly feel that strikes you immediately  I presume that is the interpretation that you are looking for.
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Chuck Hurich

Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2012, 10:08:50 AM »

Thanks for the comments guys. Much appreciated.
Jeremy and Chuck. Believe it or not there wasn't really any shadows at that stage to be honest. I had waited (well sort of snoozed for a couple of hours for the hazy sunshine to warm up. It was only when it got this low that I was able to get the starlight just right. This exact point was the strongest viewpoint for me so I could get the v of the dip and the v of the dagger like rock having a nice balance. By that time the shadows/sunlight had more or less disappeared on the rocks on the right. You can see some subtle sunlight in one area.

I have attached a straight out of the can image (although stitched so you can relate to it better) showing that the differences are pretty subtle but since you mentioned it I actually did notice that the dagger type rock had brightened up a bit from my final TIF image. I had desaturated the rocks for the web as they were looking rather cyan like in tone and I guess somehow it brightened up a bit. I darkened it down slightly to tie in more with the source image.

Of course the sky is burned to hell. I used darker images for the sky and ocean. The horizon is also a little bit off for anyone superimposing. ;)



Many thanks
Enda

Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2012, 01:35:42 PM »

Issac
Do you mind if I call you CP? (copy paste)
A camera (At least my camera) as you may or may not know hasn't a hope in hell of dealing with the dynamic range between what happens below and above the horizon and especially when looking at the sun. I don't use ND graduated filters which would reduce the quality of the image sharpness (the more glass you put in front of the lens the worse it becomes) At the most I put an ND filter on to slow down water movements as is the case here. (I also don't use one because of instances like this when you have a big rock sticking up above the horizon) That does not mean that the human eye cannot easily see detail in both areas. I was trying to show in the second image that the area of rock had only a difference of 1 stop or so as you go across the areas not hit by the soft sunlight.

My reply was just to Jeremy where he mentioned the side of the dagger was too bright. As I said the desaturation played a roll in brightening it a bit and thanks Jeremy for spotting it. :)

CP do you prefer the 2nd image? Do you think it looks more natural to you?

Enda

Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2012, 02:38:05 PM »

Ya but it's not as catchy. Otherwise it'd sound like a multinational

churly

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2012, 04:22:11 PM »

That's interesting Enda.  I guess I was fooled by the brightness of the light behind the rock because the first thing that struck me was the absence of an expected shadow.  I don't think I've ever encountered a natural case of such diffuse lighting.  Thanks for taking the time to explain.
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Chuck Hurich

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2012, 04:31:29 PM »

Now we know where your God complex comes from ;)

Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2012, 06:18:33 PM »

Enda - A male Irish name, Enda is occasionally given to girls. This tendency is reinforced by the fact that there is a Cornish female saint called Eneda.
For it was written

Genesis 17:19 But God replied, 'Yes, your wife Sarah will bear you a son whom you must name Isaac. And I shall maintain my covenant with him, a covenant in perpetuity, to be his God and the God of his descendants after him.

langier

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #10 on: January 23, 2012, 01:12:05 PM »

Nicely done, Enda!
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Kerry L

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2012, 01:46:14 PM »

It's a very lovely scene and like Francois I like the colours on the right.

And yet there's something about the photo that feels wrong. I think it's that the nearside of the "dagger" seems unnaturally bright. Wasn't it in pretty deep shadow? The "dagger" doesn't seem to be casting one at all.

Jeremy

Could it be that the very light rocks of to the right and not in the frame bounced the sun back into the "dagger" ? There really aren't the dark shadows anywhere that I'd expect from such a low sun angle.
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Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2012, 02:12:13 PM »

No it's just when the sun goes quite low in Ireland the light can be very soft sometimes. The sun was pretty hazy that evening. If you look at both the unedited and edited images you can see very subtle sunlight on the right. There must have been a v shaped gap in the rock through which the last bit of sunlight hit it.

Could it be that the very light rocks of to the right and not in the frame bounced the sun back into the "dagger" ? There really aren't the dark shadows anywhere that I'd expect from such a low sun angle.

ivan muller

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #13 on: January 24, 2012, 03:09:16 AM »

Enda, as it stand its a great great image, but I can't help shake off the feeling that it somehow looks too heavily processed-and that's before I saw the original 'before' image, btw...Great skills to get it there, but, to me, I can see all the effort you put into it, does it look a bit too digital perhaps...? You know its like going to see a Holywood block buster as opposed to a nice basic Scandinawian production....or is it just me?.... ???  (sorry if its been said before but I didn't read any of the other posts until after....)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 03:15:16 AM by ivan muller »
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Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2012, 01:21:40 PM »

Hi Ivan
No problem at all. Everyone to their own. I guess the whole scene had quite an otherworldly feel to it. At least that's how I saw it and that's what I tried to translate into the final image. It's not for everyone of course. :)

shaunw

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2012, 08:29:07 AM »

Strong bold composition with superb detail in the foreground, the setting sun adds the drama/atmosphere...great image Enda
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philipkenney

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2012, 10:21:39 AM »

I think this image is great. It's not necessarily over processed, I just think it could use a little less sharpening and local contrast. The rock formation is already quite sharp and that in contrast to a softer ocean and sky would make a very compelling contrast of smooth and sharp. I like everything about it, but I think selective sharpening would add more drama.
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Enda Cavanagh

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2012, 12:05:26 PM »

Hi Philip.
On looking at the image you were right. The image did look over sharpened, which in turn makes it look more clunky and over processed. The image is bloody sharp anyway I probably went too far. I held back on the sharpening and uploaded it again both here and on my site.

degrub

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Re: cool rock formation on the Atlantic drive off Achill island
« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2012, 12:15:10 PM »

it looks more plausible now. Great image !
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