Before and After
Hover over the photo to see what it looked like straight from the camera.
It rained today, and post-storm photos tend to be quite lovely. For me, the logical thing to do was head down to the beach near the Santa Monica Pier around sunset. I’ve done that many times before, but I can’t say that it ever gets old.
I didn’t have too much time before sunset, so I had to choose a location ahead of time. I decided getting the pier in silhouette with the sunset in the background was my best bet, so I parked and headed to the South side of the pier with my tripod and camera in a backpack. Here’s a panorama I took while the sun was still up. Since it’s multiple photos stitched together, the waves are all off.
I moved the camera around a few times, but generally stayed in this area while I waited for the sun to set. I had hoped for a more dramatic sunset, but it just didn’t work out that way. So instead, I hung around and waited for the sky to darken and match the level of light coming from the pier. Even after sunset the sky is pretty bright and can easily get blown out.
That’s when it started to rain. I had a bandana that I put over the camera to protect it, but it was hard to take photos without drops of rain getting directly on the lens filter. In the end, I was wiping the front of the lens with a tissue while hovering over it wearing a rain jacket. I kept hovering over it while I took the shot, trying not to be in the way. It was awkward, I got very wet, and I was the only person out on the beach as far as I could see.
Here are the main things I did in Lightroom to clean up the photograph:
- Crop to get rid of my jacket that showed up in the upper right
- Enable lens correction to fix the distortion of my lens
- Remove water and dust spots
- Adjust white balance to add a little more yellow and magenta
- Raise exposure and black levels to add contrast
- Lower the clarity slightly to make it smoother
Thanks for reading! Want to buy the photo? Of course you do. OK, even if you don’t check it out on in the One/Day Project, Year 4 gallery!