The sun is bright but low to the horizon, and that marks photos as being in the late fall or early winter. Here in California there are reasonably warm days into November and December, so people still go the beach on good days. The surf is picking up from distant storms, and sun, surf, and people are the ingredients of photos. A recent lunch hour visit turned out to be an exercise in timing and composition. Neither small children nor incoming waves take direction well.
Sometimes pictures seem to have potential, but they are missing something. Then the hope is that a Photoshop™ adjustment of contrast or saturation will summon up the spirit missing from the photo. When simple adjustments fail, the next step is to use filter plug-ins to apply a heavy had to the scene. I’m a fan of the Topaz Labs plug-ins, and among the most extreme of those is Adjust > Spicify. The results can be, well, awesome.
These images show advantages and disadvantages of splicing. Notice that the exposures are different in the two images. You can see the difference in the sand area, where the sand in the bottom image is overexposed to the point where detail is lost.
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