The Picture of the Moment


The reason for the title is that this happened to be the photo up on my screen for editing at the time I decided to do a post. 

This beautiful seascape of the boats in the harbor at sunset was actually taken a year or so back on Christmas Day.  I’d been under a lot of stress and sick.  I needed to get away and landscape photography is a great way to let go of it all.  Also, Christmas Day is one of the few days you can buzz around Los Angeles and not get caught in gridlock.  I make the most of that every year now.  New Year’s Day works well for that too.  While everyone else is home nursing their hangovers, I have the city mostly to myself!

About the photo:  This is one of the last shots that I took during a full day of shooting down around San Pedro and the harbors.  There was no luck involved here at all. I spent the entire day taking in the light, clouds etc.  Anticipating how it was going to be and where to be when it did it.  

When the moment comes, the magic begins.  And it isn’t just in what nature provided.  The shadow/highlight, or dynamic range, presented in the scene exceeded what even the best of cameras can reproduce.  The eye can see it, cameras can’t.  This is where 30 years experience comes into play.  When I push that button, I know exactly what the capabilities of the camera are… and what actions I’m going to take in post production.   That’s why I don’t like to let the clients do the post production themselves.  It’s a part of my process and one that was factored in when I took the photo in the first place.

To get the light and shadow to look correct in this image is frequently done with a technique, usually a computer app or preset for Lightroom called HDR – High Dynamic Range.  It’s a computerized blending of several different exposures taken of the same scene.  Unfortunately that’s what led to the short fad of very fake, almost comical looking images.  I developed a method of bringing up the shadows and balancing the image without the use of that technique.  

Without that technique, the boats would have been silhouettes, or had I brought the exposure up enough to show detail in the boats, the exquisite sky would have been so over-exposed it would have lost it’s detail.

This photo is available for fine art prints and rights managed commercial and editorial uses.  It can be printed at very large sizes.  Contact me to inquire about licensing.  Include the link to this blog post along with how you intend to use the image.  No use is permitted without written permission. 

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