Making the most of this scene’s light and texture results in a great shot
Chris says : My photo of Portland Bill Lighthouse in Dorset was taken on my Canon EOS 5D Mk II with a 24-105mm f/4 lens. It was shot at f/16. With the help of a B&W 10-stop filter, I was able to achieve a slow shutter speed of 15 seconds.
I warmed up the image slightly in Lightroom to exaggerate the warm glow in the setting sun. I also used the Darken/ Lighten Center feature in Nik Color Efex Pro to accentuate the lighthouse and add depth, ensuring that the lighthouse was the star of the image.
Andrew says : Portland Bill is a great location, Chris, and you enjoyed some good conditions for your shoot. I like your composition, although the horizon is almost exactly in the middle of the frame, something I try to avoid if possible. But since the land to the right of the lighthouse starts to rise up, I think you’ve gotten away with it.
The foreground rocks lead the eye neatly out from the bottom right-hand corner, but I would prefer them about half a stop lighter, just to bring out the detail. The lovely blurred sea could also do with being a little bit lighter to make more of the contrast between the sea and boulders.
What really makes this shot work is the gorgeous sky – the warmth and tranquility of it get a thumbs up. The main issue I can see are the slight haloes around the lighthouse and building. You’ll get a bit of this naturally when you shoot into the light, but the post-processing has enhanced it.