Re: Beach at Sunset: Results #case-study-results

Matthew Croxton

As in the mantillas exercise, I ended up with what is probably the densest/darkest result in the bunch. Mine is 435.

Dan challenged us to consider that this photograph (from Greece) has sentimental value to the young woman pictured. Since it has emotional weight, I made a choice that the atmospheric decisive moment it represents could be interpreted with some selective focus. Implementing a Lens Blur in PS that was semi-precision guided by a modified alpha channel had the bonus effect of eliminating much of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad grain. It is ugly and it is almost everywhere. The awful grain is also a clue. I decided early on that the scene was a very late sunset, making it darker than it appears in the original image. The reddish-orange glow in the sky is illuminating the *bottom* of the clouds in the right third of the frame. To get such a deep reddish color from that angle, the sun must be very low, or haze beyond the frame very high—perhaps both. Building lights are on; another clue. Therefore, I interpreted that the bursts of sunlight in the image are merely breaks in the cloud bank that promptly blew out given the questionably bright exposure picked by the iPad (an iPad Mini 4, FWIW). Given the available darkness implied, I wanted to complete the look by pretending that, instead of being shot by an iPad, it had been shot by what would have been the best possible optic for the situation: a large aperture wide-angle lens focused near infinity to capture the horizon. Something like a fast 28mm or 35mm at f/2. The focal length equivalent of the iPad lens used here happens to split the difference at 31mm.

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