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Mullimburra Point, NSW
Phase One XT 150MP, 32mm Rodenstock Digaron, f11 @ 10 second, ISO 50

I've just been editing Len Metcalf's second article on Style, Voice and Look for the next issue (you can read his first article in the current issue of Better Photography), where he challenges us to take our safety shot and then go and do something different. Well, he'd be proud of me for some of the photos I took at Mystery Bay on our Narooma workshop earlier this year, but I don't think he'd give me many brownie points for this photo of a wonderful rock a little further up the coast.

It has become a favourite location of mine, introduced to me by the hard working Focus Photographers committee several years ago. Every time I visit, I can't help but place this rock prominently in the middle of the frame and try to fit the rest of the landscape around it. I've shot it with all sorts of cameras, including a drone, and in all sorts of weathers. I've shot it with hardly any sand and lots of sand (the sand around the rock changes quite dramatically), but I don't think I have yet cracked something different. 

Sorry, Len, but you will have another chance to help me on our new Narooma workshop in May next year (details will be on the website very soon if not already).

I think the trick for shooting these types of seascapes is giving your subject breathing room and ensuring your exposure is

not 'clipping' in the highlights. While there are areas in the swirling water which are very close to pure white, I can assure you my raw file has detail throughout the water and the sky. Most modern cameras have really good exposure latitude, meaning a low contrast scene like this can be accommodated within the camera's exposure range without burning out the whites or blocking up the blacks. If you find yourself struggling to lighten up the shadows, then exposure bracketing will give you the detail you need.

All of the processing was handled in Capture One but could have been handled in Lightroom too. What about Photoshop? Am I over it? Certainly not!

In fact, I'm often asked if a photographer should take the time to learn Photoshop. There are some of us who struggle with software and so developing a method in Lightroom or Capture One is probably a better approach, but if you're capable of working with Photoshop, then I highly recommend learning it. Well, learning some of it. There's so much in Photoshop these days that I no longer profess to being an expert. I know the bits that I use, but there's a lot of other stuff in there that I rarely or don't need.

I say 'rarely' need. I watched a YouTube video yesterday where the presenter demonstrated how to use the gradient tool in Photoshop to give more dimensionality to the subject. I couldn't help but wonder, why not just use a couple of curve adjustment layers instead? His technique required 20 to 30 mouse clicks to implement; two curve adjustment layers would take me as few as ten! But it was interesting to watch and learn nonetheless. There's no right or wrong way, just whether or not you're happy with the result.

And if you think you might be interested in coming to Narooma with Len Metcalf and me next year, 2 - 8 May 2022, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and Kim will put a spot aside for you.

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