Staying Local

Sunset at Horton Point, NY
This was the last shot I took. I was walking back to the stairs to go back up the cliff and spotted this composition. When I viewed the three shots on my camera's LCD, I was pretty sure I had a winner.

So I love to go to exotic locales- specifically US National Parks- as much as anyone.  They are my favorite locations to shoot.  But sadly, I don’t live anywhere within 3 hours of a true National Park.  So when I’m just itchin’ to make some pictures, I have to look closer to home. Thankfully, living in New York, specifically on Long Island, offers me a few opportunities.

I do get bored with Long Island tho. I’ve scouted out my favorite locations, shot them countless times, and quite honestly, I’m scared I’ll get stale.  So last night I went to a location I’d been to before, but had never truly photographed properly. This spot is a sunset spot, thanks to the high cliffs, on the the north shore of the North Fork of Long Island.  At sunrise, the entire area is in shadow.  The location? The beach at Horton Point, looking out onto the Long Island Sound, in Southold, NY.

Thanks to the bright sky and some backlighting, the huge amount of contrast put these scenes well out of the dynamic range of the camera. A Neutral Density Grad helped some, but was an imperfect solution.  Still too much contrast, and the rocks got a weird gradient on them.  So, the next solution? HDR.  I have slowly gotten more and more into HDR, as I seek to find ways to render the scenes more as I saw them, rather than simply as the camera is capable of.

Long Island Sound at Dusk
Horton Point at Sunset

For these shots, I took 3 images. One at even exposure, one at -3 stops, and one at +3.   I was using the EOS 5D Mark II, and EF 24mm f/1.4L II lens.

For some more great Long Island Photos, click here: long island photos

For this one, I knew it was going to be tough, thanks to the sun being directly behind the rocks. But I wanted the color in the sky, AND detail in the rocks, so again, taking three shots, with a range of plus/minus 3 stops, I was able to get this. I'm using Nik HDR Efex Pro to blend the exposures.

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