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Sunset Splendor…

August 4, 2011

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I do love me a good beach sunset. However, it seems like trying to replicate this daily event through the lens of a camera is impossible. And it IS impossible. You can’t experience a sunset without seeing the rays spill out over clouds, reflecting over the way, warming your skin for the last time for the day.

Anyway, so here is an attempt to capture the end of what was a spectacular day. I’m really not sure what all happened that day, but to know that I lived it is a gift in itself. Here’s the before… there’s things I like about it, mainly the reflection of the sun in the little bit of water on the shoreline. I kind of like that you can see the circular haze around the sun.

BEFORE

AFTER

I must say, this “after” is quite a bit darker than the before. It seems like the trend is to make everything lighter, but I think there’s DRAMA in dark images. I love seeing a pic of a primarily dark subject with just a little light shining.

Anyway, first I went to work on the little sun reflections. I remembered a tutorial I saw on YouTube talking about starburst effects. I thought it would be cool to see one on the reflection on shore. It really didn’t do much to it, but it did provide a cool starburst on a bit of the sunlight peeking through the pier.

I wasn’t happy with how the sky ended up after these adjustments, though, so first I adjusted with curves. I still wasn’t happy, so I did another copy of the background layer and changed the blending mode to “multiply” and then masked out that on the sand to keep it from getting too dark. I then ran MCP’s Crystal Clear Web Sharpening.

Here they are side by side

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