I love the way the light tapers off in this image. There was very minimal editing in Snapseed. It didn’t need anything else because the light was beautiful, to me.
There were so many people walking out to the beach at Oso Flaco Lake. I’d say 90% of them had DSLR’s. It was weird. Maybe everyone got a camera for Christmas. They were all running along the trail to the ocean, to make it in time for sunset. Nobody stayed back on the boardwalk over the lake. Sidenote, if you’re running to get a sunset shot on the beach, you’re doing it wrong. You should get to your location an hour before sunset, if you can. Relax and stay a while.
I have to say I’m enjoying the increase in interaction here on the blog and via email. I was asked a few good questions by Suzanne L. the other day, and thought I would answer them here. I’m sure she’s not the only one interested in the answers.
Q: As you review photos you have taken after an outing what is your thought process?
A: First and foremost, I look for good composition. Without that, I hate to edit the image or share it because you can’t fix a weak composition by adding filters or effects. Next, I make sure the exposure is good enough to work with and the light is at least somewhat interesting. I use HDR camera apps a lot to get more detail in the highlights and shadows. I’m also looking for sharpness, and a subject that is interesting.
Q: How do you decide which are worth the trouble to work further with?
A: Usually, I know as soon as I take the photo if it’s worth editing or not. Sometimes I just have to bring an image into Snapseed to see if I can begin to push the image in the direction I want. If it’s not a good exposure, with blown out highlights or completely black shadows, you really can’t rescue a lot of information or detail. If thats the case, I don’t bother with traditional editing.
Q: How do you decide what app to use to enhance or edit a photo?
A: Ideally, you should have an idea before you press the shutter, what you want to create. With a bit of practice, you can learn to view the world through different filters. There was a time where I could easily see in black and white. It was easy to tell what would work as a black and white, and what wouldn’t. You can do the same with other effects, like watercolor, tangledfx, and many other filters. Of course, I hardly ever do that these days. I strongly suggest you get in the habit of this though!
The final product all starts with the camera app. I like to start with TrueHDR or the default camera app. If TrueHDR has trouble blending exposures, I’ll try ProHDR. If I know I’m going to create a painting, I’ll usually start with ProHDR because it tends to create oversaturated images. Personally, I like my paintings to have more saturation than normal.
I’d say 99% of the time I start off in Snapseed to add some ambiance, contrast, and possibly a little detail and/or drama. If I want to see more detail, I use SimplyHDR. If an image has a lot of noise, or doesn’t have a great exposure, I’ll try an app that creates a painting because they are good at covering up imperfections.
Suzanne asked me these questions after reading an old blog post with this image.
Before I took and edited this, I knew the bright colors of the scene were going to look cool as a stylized painting effect. The bushes and tree looked more interesting to me with TangledFX, so I chose this edit. I’m sure the image would have been fine as a photograph, but I wanted it to pop more, and this did the trick.