Before and After- or ‘Get in Right in Camera First, Woman!


The photo before/after that I am showing you today  just about did my head in.  If you didn’t think I was nuts before, this may just convince you.

While we were walking along the beach at Nambucca Heads last week, I saw the youngest  crouched down, looking at the water and I had to capture the moment.  His mirrored image in the water (image 1 below) and his absorption in the waves (image 2 below) compelled me.



Both of those shots above are ok, but I wanted the shot capture in a more panoramic image. However, as I did not have my wide angle lens to capture the beach scene in its entirety in one panoramic shot, I made the dumb decision to take a series of shots to stitch a single image together in Photoshop later.

This plan didn’t work for 2 reasons:

1)  Waves don’t stand still.  The resulting composite picture had waves higgledy- piggledy all over the place.  A pho-editing nightmare that I was not prepared to work with. I have my limits.  Haha!

2) 10 year olds  don’t stay still for long.  Mine was getting impatient.  The precious moment was passing.  I rushed the shots and that never works well for me.

Days later, back home at my computer; when I tried to do a composite stitch in Photoshop, I was less than impressed with the result.  It was clear that my shooting had been sloppy at best; the lighting and colour balance in each of the shots I was trying to merge into one were all over the place.

The best composite I managed still didn’t have that beautiful frothy wave coming up to the 10 year old at all.

On top of that, half the 10 year old’s reflection was missing.  I was not happy at all.  The photo I was seeing was not how I remembered that perfect moment on the beach.

I took a day off from looking at the image.  The next day, with fresh eyes and new zeal,  I started to put together the main components I wanted to have in the finished product onto one image in Photoshop.  It looked like this, halfway through messing around with it.


It took ages, but I finally got to the point where I was pretty happy with the wave, and the reflection was completely in the shot.  Phew.

This done, I got lazy and blatantly added the clouds that gathered on the beach an hour later.  I also made the finished image a bit rounded at the ends like a globe.  This was an accidental warp I did when I was trying to fix something else.  And you know what, I quite like that ‘edge of the world’ feel.

Sometimes going crazy with photo manipulation is fun, but if I had to do this kind of editing every day, I would not last long.

I learn more each time I wield my camera to get the  shot right as best I can IN-CAMERA.  That means take the extra few moments to ensure that I get it right as I shoot, rather than having to try to rectify massive mistakes in Photoshop.

Over and out!




2 Comments on Before and After- or ‘Get in Right in Camera First, Woman!

  1. Trevor
    October 11, 2015 at 6:17 am (5 years ago)

    Wow! So much thought and hard work. Definitely worth it though, and I love the curved horizon as well!

    • admin
      October 11, 2015 at 10:05 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks Trevor! Yes, If I don’t look too close, I am happy with the result. 🙂


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