2018-08-20: Monochrome Monday

I was inspired by my post yesterday on white balance to continue editing images from my time at the Skelton Coast in Namibia.  Given the flat light in a lot of the images, I thought black and white edits might be a good option.  I am quite happy the way the turned out.

All of the images from my time at the coast were shot with my Panasonic FZ1000, which I have mentioned before is a great and capable camera, but sometimes the quality is a bit lacking when comparing to the files I got out of my Nikon or that I now get from my Fuji.  But these were shot at the start of a long trip and I thought it would be wise not to subject the Nikon to blowing sand, given its terrible habit of picking up dust particles.  So, I’ve done the best with what I got that day.

 

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Ripples in a sand dune leading down to the ocean.  All images April, 2017 during a trip to the coast from the Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp.
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A group of seals perched on a rock.  The seal colony had a smell that was out of this world (and not in a good way).  We were all grateful our vehicle had windows, and we kept them closed as much as possible.
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No image I took did justice to the number of seals in the water.  At least here one is jumping, so you know what all the other little black specs in the water are!
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A lone seagull on the fringes of the seal colony.  We had hoped we might see a brown hyena during our visit, but only saw remnants of their visits littered along the shoreline; they seemed spoiled for choice with all the baby seals.

2018-08-19: Creative white balance

I recently watched a Luminar editing tutorial discussing technically correct vs creative white balance.  Since I am almost always shooting outside, in changing light conditions, I don’t have a shots with a grey card in it to actually come up with the technically correct white balance.  I tend to leave my camera on auto WB, and then adjust it as needed in post processing.  But the tutorial still got me thinking about the different mood and feel that an image can have, depending on the choice of colour temperature.

I decided to play around with this concept a bit with a few images that I took on the Skeleton Coast of Namibia.  We took a short flight from camp to the coast and took a drive through the dunes, where it was warm and sunny with clear blue skies, but once we were at the coast line, low cloud and fog swirled around in strong winds, causing subtle, but rapidly changing light conditions as we visited a seal colony, explored a few of the wrecks along the coast, and enjoyed a picnic lunch on the beach.

On a previous trip I had flown over a portion of the Skeleton Coast, and found the abandoned buildings and shipwrecks fascinating to see, so having the change to see some of the wrecks up close was really interesting for me.  The different colours and textures of the rusted, twisted metal against the natural sand, rock and water provided lots of options for photos.

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A portion of wrecked boat on the Skeleton Coast.  Here I chose to play up the blue of the background water and intensify the textures in the rusted metal.  I feel the cooler tone of this image intensifies the feeling of desolation I get from this image.
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Taking things in a different direction, this image is much warmer, as well as a bit faded and matte.  Combined with the subject, I think it lends a sense of age to the image.  You begin to wonder just how long this boat has been breaking apart on the coast.
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This image would be closest to a technically correct white balance, though given the changing light conditions, all of the images are representative of how the area actually looked at different moments throughout the day.  I thought this small piece of metal looked a bit like the blade portion of a ice skate.