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The pre-dawn light

Posted by
Curly (South Shields, United Kingdom) on 26 November 2011 in Landscape & Rural and Portfolio.

Littlehaven Beach, South Shields, shot a couple of weeks ago in the half hour before sunrise.
This is a seven exposure HDR (from three stops under to three stops over), I used Photoshop CS5's "merge to HDR Pro", I then added a curves adjustment layer to improve the contrast, and finally added a little structure to the sky using the Nik Viveza 2 plug in.

Here is a larger version of this image.

PENTAX K100D 1/6 second F/9.5 ISO 200 27 mm (35mm equiv.)

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Nina from Hamburg, Germany

gorgeous colors and light, great image!

26 Nov 2011 5:08am

sunstonemaria from California, United States

beautiful colors, wonderful mood!

26 Nov 2011 5:26am

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

beautiful colors, great!

26 Nov 2011 5:29am

Jypyä Pop from Turku, Finland

The great and spacious sea, the sky with fire burning. That image is very great.

26 Nov 2011 5:49am

Francisco Romer from Carbajal de la Legua, Spain

Fantastic scene. Wonderful colors. The darker parts fill the frame in a beautiful composition.

26 Nov 2011 6:17am

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

How, oh great maester of HDR do you do this?....Guessing that your Pentax does 7 frames a second, this series would have taken 1 second to take. But the waves are crystal clear and sharp. So do you enforce "No ghosts" in the PP-Does it always work?
Whatever the process, it bloody well works! Outstanding shot!

26 Nov 2011 7:57am

@CElliottUK: My Pentax will only shoot a burst of three shots in auto bracketing, so to do these it must be tripod mounted, I set the camera to aperture priority mode and take the first frame, I then use the exposure compensation dial set to one stop increments to shoot the other six frames. In post processing you have to check the box to eliminate ghosting, which works pretty well in Photoshop or Photomatix, but the big bonus with this scene was the timing, the tide was at its very lowest just as the sun was coming up. Hence the sea was virtually flat and calm, making any ghosting quite minimal.

Aubélia from Kortrijk, Belgium

Beautiful colors and light ! Well done !

26 Nov 2011 8:46am

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

I have the same thoughts as CElliottUK: does you Pentax the bracketing for the 7 shots automatically? and how did you get the clearness and sharpness in your waves as there must be some ghost-effects from the 7 frames?
excellent and perfect work!

26 Nov 2011 8:48am

@Roman: See my reply to Chris above, I can only shoot three frames when set to auto bracketing, so seven or more frames need to be set manually. With seven frames I use the exposure compensation dial with the camera in aperture priority mode.

Claudiu from București, Romania

Awesome hard work, congrats for waken up so early and the smart use of the plugins

26 Nov 2011 8:52am

PATRICK from miramas, France

excellent 5***

26 Nov 2011 9:37am

Anita Pena from Bretagne, France

De superbes couleurs et une belle lumière. Douceur et rêverie !

26 Nov 2011 10:23am

grouser from Ludlow, United Kingdom

it looks positively tropical Curly. Lovely glowing colour

26 Nov 2011 10:28am

Adela Fonts from Barcelona, Spain

I see that things are going ghost. In your picture there because it is an excellent HDR by an excellent photographer ... Wonderful Curly ... It is a pleasure to admire the sunrise in pink and yellow ... fabulous image! A hug, dear friend! Adela

26 Nov 2011 10:36am

Vert Pomme from Montreuil Sous Bois, France

Vraiment magnifique avec des couleurs à tomber.....

26 Nov 2011 10:55am

Mully from Carmarthenshire, Wales., United Kingdom

You have produced an excellent picture Curly.....All those shots have really worked well.

26 Nov 2011 11:02am

J.R. from Urasoe City, Japan

Great as usual

26 Nov 2011 11:08am

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Awesome with these burning tones

26 Nov 2011 11:35am

Othersideblue from Kerman, Iran

Spectacular !

26 Nov 2011 12:30pm

Sam from Chennai, India

Amazing. Fantastic image. A beautiful creation we can expect only from you. Love it. :)

26 Nov 2011 12:45pm

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Stunning HDR - and thanks for the details you provide above in response to Chris.

26 Nov 2011 12:48pm

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

This is a phenomenal image, Curly ... just beautiful with all the intersecting diagonals. *****

You've outdone yourself. I've had this one on my desktop for a while, but I think today's will take it's place! ;D

26 Nov 2011 1:50pm

johbont from rotterdam, Netherlands

smashing sunrise

26 Nov 2011 2:20pm

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Simply stunning Curly! 5-stars!!! Bravo! ;-)

26 Nov 2011 2:29pm

john4jack from Corvallis, Oregon, United States

Absolutely exquisite!! An extraordinarily natural looking HDR photograph. Bravo

26 Nov 2011 2:58pm

Elaine Hancock from Rockville, United States

The colors are fantastic. I can only imagine how beautiful it was to be standing out there and enjoying this. I wish I lived closer to the ocean but it is a 3 hour drive from where I live.

26 Nov 2011 3:27pm

Z from Shanghai, China

Splendidly cool! :)

26 Nov 2011 3:36pm

Lena from San Francisco, United States

So beautiful sunrise scenery...great captured !

26 Nov 2011 3:58pm

Ted from South Wales, United Kingdom

beautiful work Curly!

26 Nov 2011 5:21pm

Jules from Drayton, United Kingdom

as others have already said - simply beautiful - nice work.

26 Nov 2011 5:53pm

Mandar from Kudal, India

Magical.....Excellent colors.....

26 Nov 2011 5:59pm

Lorraine from Gatineau, Canada

Curly the world is beautiful, thank you for sharing your part of it....

26 Nov 2011 6:33pm

Laurie from Prescott, United States

Sooo beautiful, Curly! I can only hope to one day take shots like this with the magic that you work! I just bought a "real" camera for my upcoming dig. photo class - a used Canon 40D! Heavy thing! I'm so excited to learn what I can do with this baby! Maybe someday, I'll be showing shots half as good as this!

26 Nov 2011 7:08pm

Steve from Atlanta, United States

Gorgeous and stunning!

26 Nov 2011 9:00pm

The Mouse from Glasgow, United Kingdom

Stunning, you're up way to early.

26 Nov 2011 9:05pm

STEED from D, France

Absolutely Fabulous......

26 Nov 2011 9:09pm

Ainsley from Derbyshire, United Kingdom

Gorgeous curly, must be the only thing I can say. Perfect.

26 Nov 2011 11:05pm

Hiro from Kyoto, Japan

Wonderful work, Curly ! One of the best HDR shot.

27 Nov 2011 1:21am

Irene from San Francisco, United States

Beautiful sky.

27 Nov 2011 2:52am

Andrea from Regina, Canada

Good work. What wonderful vibrant colours, without being too garish.

27 Nov 2011 4:23am

Skyriani from Nelson, New Zealand

May we see the original?

27 Nov 2011 5:37am

@Skyriani: Yes, here is the original 0 EV frame as a straight RAW conversion.

Calusarus from St Sorlin en Valloire, France

Congratulations for the spotlight

27 Nov 2011 8:52am

@Calusarus: Thanks Fred, it was very pleasant surprise.

Stephen from Canberra, Australia

Congrats on your Spotlight, Curly!

27 Nov 2011 8:52am

@Stephen: Thanks very much Stephen, proves that it is worth getting out of bed before the dawn!

RORO from LE HAVRE, France

Cooool !

27 Nov 2011 9:02am

Evelyne Dubos from Le Mans, France

wow ! another spotlight !!
Gorgeous colors, a real pleasure to the eyes... :-)

27 Nov 2011 9:05am

@Evelyne Dubos: I enjoyed making this HDR Evelyne, see my reply to Skyriani above to see the original.

Adrian from Wakefield, United Kingdom

two spotlights in seven days, extremely well done Curly and well deserved.

27 Nov 2011 9:17am

@Adrian: Thanks very much Adrian, even I am surprised.

☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼ from Narbonne, France

i like it a lot, really good shot curly ☺

27 Nov 2011 9:30am

@☺ ► ƸɼiϾ ◄ ☼: Thank you Eric.

CElliottUK from Reading, United Kingdom

S P O T L I G H T ! Congrats

27 Nov 2011 9:43am

@CElliottUK: Thanks Chris!

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

The added art is in making the scene look effortlessly natural - even though the narrative confirms all the skills and expertise we know to be applied. So smoothly into the Color Spotlight yet again . . . well done.

27 Nov 2011 10:38am

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

. . Full Spotlight, no less !

27 Nov 2011 10:39am

@Ronnie 2¢: Actually, when making an HDR such as this, rather than the quick let's bang it in their face over the top sort of style, it is very satisfying and rewarding to try and bring out so much extra colour and detail without creating a surreal monstrosity.

gootchai from Belgium

Wouhaaaaaaaaaaa!! Super et bravo pour ton spotlight bien mérité!!!!!!!

27 Nov 2011 10:45am

@gootchai: Thank you very much.

Tamara from Aarschot, Belgium

WoooooW ! This is a fantastic capture Curly, I'm not surprised it was a spotlight... Well deserved !
Have a lovely sunday :)

27 Nov 2011 10:47am

@Tamara: Thanks Tamara, it's a bit cold and windy here today, so the camera will probably stay in the bag!

Don Levesque from Saint John, Canada

Beautiful capture! I was reading your response to Chris above and I never though of using the exposure compensation. My multi shot HDR experiments (never posted) were always done by setting the aperture either 1 f-stop up or down. I'll have to try this.
Congratulations on the Spotlight! Well deserved!

27 Nov 2011 1:15pm

@Don Levesque: Yes, I always like to leave the aperture alone to protect the depth of field, and in a subject where there is not a great deal of motion the exposure compensation only alters the shutter speeds, so doesn't affect the end result too much.

Florence from Paris, France

Congratulations for this image and the spotlight dear ! :-)

27 Nov 2011 1:44pm

@Florence: Thanks Florence.

StarCosmosBleu from Bedford.Qc, Canada

Absolutely a marvellous capture...lovely scene...and superb colours

27 Nov 2011 1:54pm

@StarCosmosBleu: Glad you like it Marcel, just hoping that we get some snow this winter so I might present some different views of familiar scenes. I'm sure you will end up with too much of the white stuff :-)

PRASHANT from Mumbai, India

Congratulations on your spotlight....thanks for Info.

27 Nov 2011 4:34pm

@PRASHANT: Thank you, glad that you like it.

Mhelene from Paris, France

Splendid photo ! Congratulations on the spotlight !

27 Nov 2011 5:20pm

@Mhelene: Thank you very much.

Sof from Neuchâtel, Switzerland


27 Nov 2011 6:49pm

@Sof: Thank you, yes it is a pretty grand view.

Roman from Thiersee, Austria

... and congrats on you well deserved Spotlight!

27 Nov 2011 7:39pm

@Roman: Thanks Roman

The Dark Dude from Maestoso, United Kingdom

hey dude
woah... even nicer sky

27 Nov 2011 9:22pm

@The Dark Dude: Good of you to drop by and say so dude :-)

Manuel Hompanera from La Robla, Spain

Felicidades,Curly,por el Spotlight Images es muy merecido.Me encanta la foto.

27 Nov 2011 9:26pm

@Manuel Hompanera: Many thanks for your comment.

Judy aka L@dybug from Brooksville, FL, United States

I told you so! (grin) .... this is FANTASTIC, Curly, and well deserving of the Spotlight!

27 Nov 2011 10:41pm

@Judy aka L@dybug: Thanks Judy, looks like you were right again.

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Awesome Spotlight image! Congrats.

28 Nov 2011 4:08am

@Barbara Kile: Thank you Barbara, I'll probably be down there again some winter morning hoping to catch the beach covered in snow.

Mirjam from Kyiv, Ukraine

Beautiful colors and light. Congratulations to spotlight.

28 Nov 2011 5:36am

@Mirjam: Thank you Mirjam

Christine from Ellemford, United Kingdom

Absolutely beautiful

28 Nov 2011 7:36am

@Christine: Thank you Christine,

Stu from From Scotland | Living in 京都 Kyoto, Japan

Absolutely stunning result.

28 Nov 2011 10:33am

@Stu: Thanks Stu, good to hear from you.

Laurette from Johannesburg - Fourways, South Africa

A very beautiful sunrise with magical light and colours. Beautifuly seen, captured and presented. Congratulations on this beautiful Spotlight.

28 Nov 2011 11:24am

@Laurette: Thanks Laurette it was really satisfying making this HDR.

Trina from Pennsylvania, United States


28 Nov 2011 12:30pm

@Trina: Glad you like it

Marleen from Doesburg, Netherlands

Sensational colors and view! Your HDR photography and post processing really provided for a great result! Congrats Curly!

28 Nov 2011 3:13pm

@Marleen: Thanks Marleen.

Loner from Wörgl, Austria

A fantastic sunset mood !

28 Nov 2011 4:56pm

@Loner: Yes, I'm pretty pleased with this result.

Dokmateo from Madrid, Spain

Excellent photo! Congratulation! Cheers!

28 Nov 2011 11:38pm

@Dokmateo: Thanks mate.

Mark from United States

incredible colors! Nice wide angle too. It gives a sense of magnitude.

28 Nov 2011 11:43pm

@Mark: I wish I had a shorter lens to be honest Mark - perhaps one day!

Eric Cousineau from Sherwood Park, Canada

Congratulations on your spotlight selection Curly! ;-)

29 Nov 2011 1:34am

@Eric Cousineau: Thanks Eric.

Sylvie (Anjou) from Maine et Loire (bord de loire), France


29 Nov 2011 10:24am

Aly from Annen, Netherlands

A fantastic sunset.
Proficiat Spotlight!
:) Aly

29 Nov 2011 5:16pm

@Aly: Thank you Aly.

Didi from Orléans, France

Hi Curly
Not excessive HDR and that is well done. You did not used the rule of the third but your compositin is almost very good.
Best regards

29 Nov 2011 5:46pm

Alun from cheshire, United Kingdom

What cracker, very good work, HDR at its best

29 Nov 2011 6:27pm

@Alun: Thanks Alun glad you think it's very good :-)

Phil David Morris 2011 from Saskatoon,, Canada

Congratulations on your spotlight - Stunning photo.

30 Nov 2011 2:55am

@Phil David Morris 2011: Thanks very much Phil.

Barbara Lee from Oakland, United States

Congratulations on a well deserved spotlight! This is a superb HDR! Love the color. How fun to get so many comments!!!

30 Nov 2011 4:53am

@Barbara Lee: Thanks Barbara.



30 Nov 2011 9:25am

@DIMITRIOS: Glad you like it Dimitrios

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

simply wonderful tones!a firey evening sun.

30 Nov 2011 11:23am

daniela scharnowski from Berlin, Germany

errr, morning sun ;)

30 Nov 2011 11:23am

@daniela scharnowski: oops ha ha! Thanks for dropping in Daniela.

ORBIT from Kerman, Iran

Lovely colors :)
Congratulations :)

30 Nov 2011 2:13pm

@ORBIT: Thank you very much, so glad you like it.

Nigel from Avening, United Kingdom


1 Dec 2011 12:26pm

@Nigel: Thanks Nigel.

Karine from Loiret, France

Congratulations for your spotlight. The colours are powerful and very nice

1 Dec 2011 12:33pm

@Karine: Thanks Karine, this was very satisfying to make.

Michelle from Elverson, United States

Great spotlight image!! Congratulations!

1 Dec 2011 2:50pm

@Michelle: Thank you Michelle.

Graham Morgan from United Kingdom

Beautiful, Very subtle HDR it looks totally natural. A*

1 Dec 2011 7:55pm

@Graham Morgan: I've been wanting to make some natural looking HDRs for some time Graham, but it is a question of finding the most responsive scene with the widest gamut of light to make it worth the while. I also find that Photoshop CS5 does a great job of blending the exposures whilst keeping any noise very suppressed, it doesn't offer anywhere near as much scope as Photomatix for artistic representations but for photorealism it does a great job.

Julie L. Brown from Indianapolis, Indiana, United States

The quality of light is absolutely gorgeous!

3 Dec 2011 2:14am

@Julie L. Brown: I'd seen the weather forecast and the tide tables the evening before, sometimes you just know there might be a good chance of decent light and colour next morning.

Mj007 from Osaka, Japan

beautiful colors!! love it

3 Dec 2011 12:37pm

@Mj007: Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.

Steve Rice from Olympia, United States

Completely gorgeous colors! I consider this a perfect use of HDR. Congratulations on the Spotlight!

6 Dec 2011 6:22pm

Michael Fresh from Chester, United Kingdom

Gorgeous light and color, and the processing has provided plenty of detail.

6 Dec 2011 7:57pm

sawsengee from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

see what I missed by being absent from Aminus3?.......superb image, emerging light & colours......Congratz. on the Spotlight again!

20 Jan 2012 5:51pm

C. Regard Intempor from Paris, France

Nice vibe !

26 Feb 2012 5:22pm

1/6 second
ISO 200
27 mm (35mm equiv.)