Happy Monday, and I hope everyone had a nice weekend.  Here in the northeast we had the classic summer combo of absolutely beautiful weather mixed in with some nasty storms.  This shot was taken right after some t-storms had passed just before the sun set.  I had to scramble to catch the last of the color, and found this spot not too far from my house.  By the time this long exposure was finished, the color was fading, and I was hopeful that I had managed to get something good.  Fortunately the 2 minute exposure really helped to bring out the colors in the sky and the reflection in the water.

I can’t seem to get enough of these boardwalks that lead down to the beach.  While they are all typically made from wood or composite, that’s where the similarities among them ends.  Each has its own personality in either its age, color, its chosen path to the beach, etc.  It seems that no two are actually alike, and that means plenty of great photo opportunities like this one.  For this shot, the colors were a little flat and muted, so I decided to process it in black and white.  I think I like this version better than the color one as the focus is now only about tones, textures and lines.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 24 mm, 3 brackets tonemapped in Photomatix and processed in PhotoTools 2.6 and LR 3.

Happy Tuesday, and I hope everyone had a nice long holiday weekend.  Have you ever had one of those times where you keep trying to find the right composition at the right moment, but each time you set up you wish you had stayed in the spot you were just in?  That’s how my morning on Plum Island went this past weekend.  Each time I moved from the wide angle shots of the boardwalk and sky to some abstract shots of the waves and sand, and vice versa, the lighting conditions kept making me wish I stayed put.   Finally, long after the sun had risen, the light and the clouds conspired together and presented me with this shot.   As for processing, I blended two exposures – one of the boardwalk and grass, and one of the sky – in PS to balance the contrast of the scene.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/13, 24 mm, 2 exposures blended in PS

I didn’t really know what else to name this post, so I just went with a literal description.  Some days it’s the best I can do.  The is the harbor in Newburyport, and is one of so many possible compositions you can find there.  The harbor is huge and quite busy as it provides access to both the open ocean, as well as the Merrimack River.  For this particular image, I was really drawn to the contrast of the beach grass and the water, and along with some nice light, it was all I really needed.  I tried an HDR of this scene, but found that just processing one of the brackets looked best.

Camera settings: ISO 800, f/11, 48mm, 1/160 second

I drive down this stretch of road everyday, always hoping for a nice sunrise or sunset sky to add drama and contrast to this marshy area.  I caught this sky a few months ago on the way home from work, and pulled over to grab a few shots.  It’s a little dicey sometimes stopping here with cars whizzing by in both directions, but I used my car as a shield and got the shot I wanted.  Because of the bright sky and the dark areas of the marsh, I ended up blending two images in PS as the HDRs I tried just didn’t seem to work.

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/11, 18mm, 1/800 second

Today’s image is exactly what the title says… just some rocks.  I was at the beach hoping for a nice sunset, but was left with a cloudy and kinda washed-out sky.  I certainly didn’t want to go home empty handed, so I chose to slap on the ND10 and play with some long exposures.  In addition to the silky effect it creates with the water, I also really like the way colors get a more saturated look with this filter.  Now this shot will never be confused with some of my more dramatic landscapes, but I do like the simplicity of it just the same.  I also tried it in B&W, although I think I like the color version better.  Which do you like?

Camera settings: ISO 200, f/16, 46mm, 25 seconds