The top tip for taking good photos is to first go to a place that has a great scene almost everywhere you point the camera. Then point the camera and shoot. Goat Rock Beach on the Sonoma coast a couple hours north of San Francisco is one of those locations. In the winter there can be high surf from distant storms even when the local temperatures are mild. This past week temperatures were not bad, in the 50s, but strong winds whipped up foam on the breakers.
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.
I took two still frames to stitch into a vertical panorama. Usually auto exposure helps, but this time the misty portion of the image is overexposed to pure white. That makes the vegetation in the other frame, autoexposed without the white sky, relatively too light. The task in Photoshop™ is then to darken the pure white sky to restore some of that rainy day atmosphere, then get the vegetation in the lower part of the spliced panorama to reasonably match the upper.
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