One of the most challenging aspects of landscape photography is photographing ocean scapes. Now ocean scapes can be extremely complicated for mainly one reason, you basically have a massive ocean a massive thing, a mass body of water. With really, that can really complicate things because you really don't know how to compose it or how to tell a story. So in order for you to really understand how to create a good photograph from an ocean scape, especially one that lacks rocks or anything else can be quite difficult. So, here what you see is that throughout the years, I've learned to use basically everything around Me, kind of like everything else in other kinds of photography, you learn to use your environment. But here especially because my environment is the photograph.
So here I took advantage of this clouds I noticed at first let me open this up so you can see it. So at first I was standing on top of this rocks, and I took a few shots, but there wasn't anything happening and I wanted to tell a story. I wanted to tell a story of the ocean and I wanted to create a dramatic so when I was standing in this rocks, kind of taking pictures kind of analyzing things before the sun came up. I realized that this clouds were shifting and they were coming this way. And I noticed they created a V pattern. And here you had another one in the the far right over here.
So I noticed that as soon as I realized that then I had, I have my leading lines then I had to come up with At some sort of interesting focal point, that's when I jumped over this rocks and came down here. Now the tide was low. So I was lucky enough to have some rock showing. This is really really rare in Miami Beach. That's where I live in this is really really rare. You can only see this a few times a year.
And lucky for me, I know where the spot is and I, I happen to to get lucky and everything came together. So as you grow in your landscape photography career, you will learn to observe the wind, the wind shift, how it shifts because this clouds were facing this way at some point, we're going to the left, and then they started shifting this way and that's when all this came to my mind. So you have to really, really get creative, and you have to really create put yourself in and kind of give yourself to the earth to Create a good composition. So at this point, when I realized that this rock this clouds were heading this way, and I found this good rock, then I immediately started messing with the water. So let me show you the settings. So it's one fifth of a second at f 22.
So by slowing my shutter speed, I created this movement with the water. And I really wanted to get this rock wrapped with this movement. So I wanted to create this movement around the water, this leading lines into the into the sun, and that created this beautiful composition. It's a lot to think about. It's a lot to take in, especially when you're out there. And on top of that, you have to take in your cameras headings, but once you do it enough, your mind will start doing this automatically.
When I'm out there, it becomes automatic to me. And even when I'm with my friends they look at me they're like oh man, would you like animation? I'm like yeah Yeah, but I just it just, it just happens. So just think of telling a good story, and you have to have a lot of things going on in order to tell that story. So let me get this keywords out of the way and I like to leave my photos as I shot them. And believe me, I hang out with a ton of photographers, and they their raw images are also crooked.
You know nothing that says you see it finished. So don't worry if you if your horizons crooked you know, the recent mine most of the time struggles because I'm more focused on catching the light. I don't want this light to disappear because I'm tinkering with the level on my tripod, I throw my tripod on the ground, and I immediately start to mess with the settings in order not to miss any of this light because this light only last one to two seconds from tinkering with the level. All this light is going to be gone and by the time I level the camera, my composition is probably going to be gone. So we'll reset this fully reset, we went over settings. Now let's get started.
So first thing is first, we're going to straighten out the horizon, just like that. And I think that looks really nice. Now I want to come down to the lens corrections right off the bat, remove chromatic aberration, always. And here, enable the profile corrections and this own works image, as you can see, and it kind of opens that up a little bit. Now, having the sun on top of the water kind of makes it look like it's warped, right. So let's go over the grid here.
Let me show it, show the grid. Let me make it make it smaller. So as you can see, it's really not work. So I'm looking at the top of the grid here at the top of the line, it might be too small for you to see. Okay, this is better. So see this grid right here.
So it's still a little bit warped. So you can bring this to manual. And then we can start to overwork the image. And it's not bad. Now we'll come to recrop it and we will straighten it out just a tad more. And again, I'm looking at this grid across my horizon.
Now you're asking yourself, how did he get that grid on there? So it's right here on your menu, if it's if it's not on there, then you come on, come on. Okay, then you come to this arrow right here. And then you're going to show grid overlay just check that and this will appear. Okay, so let's get rid of that grid. And I think that looks really nice.
Okay, now we can get to the again. So now that we have all of this statically balanced aesthetically Good, let's focus on our point on our, on our settings, on our on our colors. So like I Before your cameras, my camera settings are always exposing for my lightest part. That way I don't lose any of this detail. Okay so as you can see I can still see my blue my sky and this cloud so I didn't lose any of that. Now if I if I would have felt if I would have exposed for this rock or this water, I would have lost all of this and it's pretty impossible to get all of that back.
So again, I cannot repeat this enough always exposed for your lightest point. Some people have argued with me over this and I can promise you I shoot every single day and happen for many years. It is better to not lose your, your, your highlights than to lose them because you won't get them back. I promise you will not get them back specially when they're really blown out. That will be completely gone. There's no way for you to ever get them back and your dark spots.
You can always get those back our technology our sensors now are insane. Just about any camera, any pointing shoot even with yourself when you can get most of this back. So, okay, so now we're going to come down here to our shadows. We'll open that up and you can see immediately all this opens up without even doing that much. Now we're going to we're going to come to the contrast and give it some contrast. Right about there and remember we can always come back up and redo this as we see fit.
I was really, really hot this morning. And again, I like to give the fuel on my photos. Like it was the time I shot him. So I'm going to bring this up. But that also does the warmth of the photo and it also gives me more orange. More color over here.
So I think that looks really nice. I want I want to bring my highlights down and what that does, it also brings out more color And it also exposes the sky a little better. Not always Will this work. But for the most part, it can, it can work well in landscape photography. Now see this star effect I got, let me show you the settings again. That's why I went to F 22.
That's the way you create this, this Starburst effect any, any, anything above f 18, you're gonna get this Starburst effect. And in there, it's really cool to have. So when you see photos on the internet, or on a magazine, they have this Starburst effect, they work with lights as well. Any source of light is because they shot it at 18 and up usually of 22 You're pretty safe to get the Starburst effect. So when I was after I thought out my composition and the settings then I had to think that out too. So all this stuff goes through your head.
When you're out there taking these photos. That's why it's super important to go out. Every single day, so your mind can just become one with all this. And you can think this up, okay, well once the sun comes up, or should I have 22 to get a starburst, and I also want to slow down my shutter so I can get water movement, and I don't want to miss my clouds. So you're thinking all of this while doing it, it's kind of automatic. And hey, if you can level the camera at the same time, please do so.
For some reason I struggle with that, but that's okay. Not a huge deal. If I really wanted to focus on having a level photo every time I showed you, I could but again, I'm more focused on my light. And I don't ever want to lose that light. Okay, so I should explain the Starburst effect. So let's go back to our editing.
So now that we got nothing, we got this highlight style then. Now let's bring up the vibrance a little bit. As you can see just brings up it just makes this colors a little bit richer. And then is entirely too tasty To me, this would be way too much oversaturated No way. So right here looks right about right, that looks really nice. Obviously, we still need to work on all this stuff.
So this is all a global adjustment, I want to come to a local adjustment. So here's my graduated filter, the Nicholas clauses basic panel. Here's a graduated filter. And now what I want to do is I want to bring this up maybe to like a 5054, somewhere around there, and I want to draw it up from the bottom up. Remember, we can always adjust that we just want to get a starting point. And look at that it opens up this foreground, which is very important to the composition.
Because here as the sky creates this V into the suns into the sun, here you have this other triangle with this wave, this rock So it's all about forming triangles. Your eye bounces from here to here, closest here, or it goes from here to here to the sun back here. It's it's all about patterns and your mind doesn't think about this when looking at a photo, but that's what creates a great story and a photograph. I'm telling you, I struggled the most with this ocean scapes because they, there's, it's you have to get really, really creative to get good compositions. So once we do the local adjustment graduate filter, I think that looks really nice. In fact, I think I want to go back to it.
And then I'm going to click on it. And I am going to bring up the contrast just a tad not too much just right about there. So I can very subtle, but but it works. So let me show you before and after. There's before There's after before, after, I think it looks really nice. Just close out of that.
That looks really good, but I'm not quite done. Let's, let's see how far we've come from with damage. Let's press the Y key. Look at that. Very big difference. Big, big difference.
I do like the blues in the sky a lot. And we lost him by warming it up, but I'll show you how to get those without losing any of this orange and yellows. So let's press or waIking get out of there. And let's go let's let's go there right now. So we're gonna press our Hue Saturation luminance, that's what this is. And we're going to go to our saturation and this is on the red.
Okay, so we'll click on the color, I'm sorry. So we'll go to the color. We'll pick pick the blue, and we're gonna come to the saturation and bring up this blue See the blue starts to start to blow up a little bit. So you can do that right about there. And if you want to bring up the oranges a little bit, you can do that as well. I don't think you need to, I think this is pretty strong, pretty strong photos.
I think it looks good. But that looks really really nice. Now when I did this, I started to see a lot of sensor spots. So now let's get rid of the sensor spots before we forget. So we'll click click on our spot healing to visualize spots, and there is quite a few. Now every time you shoot in the ocean or by the ocean, your lens is going to get really really dirty and your sensor is probably going to get dirty.
And this is because of the breeze. That's always hitting your camera. Any ocean and the planet. It happens I learned this the hard way. I didn't know when my stuff was so dirty all the time. Guess what it's because I was shooting in the ocean and not cleaning my lens all the time as I should, as I should be.
So now shoot two or three photos and then wipe down my lens. And no matter if it's a calm day, you're still going to get that ocean salty breeze on your lands, I promise you, even if it's no wind, no nothing. If there's saltwater, there's going to be there's going to end up in your in your lens. So here again, we can see all this sensor spots because we shot at F 22. So it's very important that when you shoot at that kind of F stop that you remember to clean your sensor spots. Okay, and that looks a lot better.
Very nice. All right, so I think this looks really good. So now, let's finish this finish this up with another local adjustment. We'll click on our adjustment brush. Click the effect key twice, bring it up just a tad. And now we can draw, we can draw some highlights on this water.
And if you can't see him, don't be afraid to come up quite a bit, you can always turn it down. So and I just want to highlight it just a tad you know, it's a subtle touches that people don't notice, but your brain does. That creates just a stunning images. And this will also help you develop your own your own style of photography. It's taken me seven years to do so. And I still I still learn every single day.
That's why I love photography so much. So see how see how this is getting getting a little brighter, a little nicer. Now let's press the O key to see what I just did. See, just very subtle, very subtle, very light brushstrokes. Now the more you hold down and the more you paint, the more The lighter you will get. And as you can see, this red is really really mellow.
That means they're very subtle brushstrokes. The spreads do to get out of there I'm gonna tone it down just a tad because I like it more subtle than that. Maybe like point 5.4 That's good. Now let's go to before and after. Before, after. Before, after they're just super subtle.
But I'm telling you it makes a difference. When you're viewing the photo. You don't realize what you're looking at because there's so much going on but it says little subtle hints of of niceness that make you go Wow, that is an insane, insane photo. And you can bring this up just a tad maybe a 55. Maybe, right there. 53 is good.
So now it's good to before and after. Let me click on it. Did I reset it? Okay, reset. So it's fine, we just gotta go to 55. And if you make any mistakes guys along the way, which you will happen to you, you can always go here.
And you have your history. This is your history of everything we've done. Everything we've done is here, and anywhere you go back to, it'll take you there. So you'll click on that, it'll take me back to the temperature when we're adjusting to temperature. Obviously, I don't want that. So I just want to come back here, and that's where we left off.
So if at any point you do make any mistakes, your history is always there for you. So Lightroom is just so beautifully designed that it's it's amazing. That's why I love it so much. Okay, so we'll get out of that another week. This, this hints of, of coolness to the photo and I mean cool essence style. And I'm not quite done, I still want to do a couple more things.
So I'll grab one of my radial filters and I want to draw around this rock. Maybe not so huge, maybe, maybe right about there. And then I want to bring my exposure down and maybe just tap it up a tad. And as you can see, I just want to bring this rock up a little bit, maybe come down this way, just like that. And now click before and after. Before, after, before, after.
So it's very subtle, but it works well. It works really well I think. And I think we got we're pretty close to wrapping this image up. Now here in the back limit zoom in. Here are some ships. A lot People would hate him, a lot of people would like him, I don't mind them.
I don't mind them at all to me, they kind of even balance off the composition. Now, if you, if you don't like him, you can always take those off. So by clicking on your Spot Removal Tool, you'll just make a big circle. And then you'll click on it, and it should disappear. But see how these lines don't match. Well, that's easy to fix, you're going to grab this other circle, and you're going to just bring it up till it matches, that's too much.
But make sure it always matches. Take your time. This is your masterpiece. So take your time. And there we have it. Now we'll do the other one same exact thing and it doesn't match.
And I have the colors kind of goofy, you can always bring this to the side by holding the mouse button down, and I like that better. So that's good. And then we can also So get rid of this thing right here. Okay, so we'll clear out that zoom out. And no ships like nothing was ever there. But I do like him.
So I'm going to, I'm going to delete those. So I'll click on that circle, delete it. I'll click on that circle and I'll delete it. To me it tells part of the story to me tells part of the place where I'm at. You know, those ships are always out there. I think they're waiting for the port to free up so they can go in.
I don't know if that's true or not, that's what I think but they're always out there. So I always see them. So to me, they tell their part of the story. And they also balanced the photo. You have this rocks here, you have this rock here, and it becomes balanced with the ships back here. Very subtle, very, very subtle, but but it to me it's part of the composition.
So let's see how far we've come before and after. Waikiki before and after. As you can see, we've come a very long way by making very tiny subtle changes. Now, let's get out of that this, this image, I believe you can do a little bit of vignette. Oops, that's not the right one. So you come to the effects tab, and you come to the vignette tab, and you're gonna go to like negative 11, negative nine.
And then let's see, before and after. That doesn't do anything. It's not for the camera. Oh, yeah. So that's for the other tab. So let's see before and after.
So that's with vignette without vignette, with vignette without vignette. So to me, both of them work. I'll leave the vignette on. I kind of just draws your eye more into the scene. And I think that's, that's a pretty good completed image. I think we did really good.
Now you can throw some accents on the strokes, as well come here to your adjustment brush to local adjustments so it's only going to adjust what you brush in. And maybe just give it like some subtle hints right here. And then let me see. Probably right about there. Yeah, that looks a lot better. I think that looks really good.
I'm really happy with it. I'm really really pleased with it. So again, guys, ocean scapes, to me they're the most challenging because you have so much water and not enough stuff going on. my thought process behind this photo again was this clouds use the water movement and completed with this rocks to to have a focal point but I think this is a beautiful photo let's go to before and after. There's before there's after. And I think that's really really nice.
Now you can always come back to your white balance if if that's too one for you. You can always come back here and cool it off a little bit. personal tastes entirely how however you like it. I can go either way. I think it's it turned out really nice.