The Four Elements
We have spent two weeks this winter in a warm Sagres in Algarve region of Portugal. Algarve has a magnificent coastline. Praia do Martinhal was one of the closest to our house, so I had been there several times trying to catch the right conditions. That morning was windy with the lovely clouds and beautiful colors of sunrise.
Camera: SONY NEX-6
Lens: Sony E PZ 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 OSS
Focal Length: 16.0
Other: Luminosity blending, noise reduction stacking
I had spent about 10 minutes in that very spot shooting the waves and waiting for the best one. I have got 60 shots with the different wave patterns and several ones of the sky. I was shooting the waves with exposure of 1/15 s. It helped to capture the movement but keep the texture at the same time. The shadows were slightly underexposed, and I knew I could bring them up in post process, but here comes the noise. To reduce it I decided to use a stacking technique with averaging. I just needed to open several photos (I came up with 10) as the layers in Photoshop and align them. Then keeping my bottom layer with 100% opacity, I had set the upper ones to opacity 100%/N, where N is a number of layer (50%, 33%, 25%, etc.). This simple technique helps to reduce the noise significantly.
The sky was still blown out, but I had several shots at 1/30 s to select from. I picked the best one and blended with the image I got on the previous stage by using luminosity masks.
I wasn't quite happy with the sun though. It decided to rise slightly to the left to my taste of composition. And here I let myself to slightly change the world and move the sun closer to a lighthouse. I know I step into the field of a holy war with this move, but in my opinion, it is ok as far as it is a little intrusion and I always can say: "Hey, it is my art! I can do whatever I want here!" ;)
However, I would know what do YOU think about the boundaries in the landscape photography. What we can or can't change? Do you manipulate your photos? How often?
Behind the scene
Completing this post here is a photo a couple of minutes later. I was trying to save my gear of the biggest wave. I did well, and that time my camera was rescued. Knowing, that my gear isn't weatherproof I have to be extra careful and fast in such the situations.
About the place
wikipedia: The Algarve is the southernmost region of continental Portugal. Tourism and related activities are extensive and make up the bulk of the Algarve's summer economy. Although Lisbon surpasses the Algarve in terms of tourism revenue, the Algarve is still, overall, considered to be the biggest and most important Portuguese tourist region, having received an estimated total of 7.1 million tourists in 2017. Its population triples in the peak holiday season thanks to seasonal residents. The Algarve is also increasingly being sought after, mostly by central and northern Europeans, as a permanent place to settle. An American-based study concluded that the Algarve was the world's best place to retire.