Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Lines in the Sand

Signed Art

This shot was taken in North Myrtle Beach, SC where I recently spent some vacation time. The beach there is quite wide and firm at low tide and people like to ride bicycles on the sand. One vehicle which seemed really popular was a recumbent tricycle. People really seemed to like to ride these things in circles, making interesting patterns in the sand. I was heading out of our hotel room to look for pictures to take and I noticed these two cyclists on the beach making some interesting patterns in the sand. Just as I was framing the shot, they decided it was time to move on. I had wanted to capture both cyclists as they were riding, but I was only able to capture one, just as he was leaving the edge of my composition. While I wish I had a shot of both of them, I am actually quite pleased with getting the one cyclist.

I didn't really do much post processing work on this image. The raw image, shown here, was pretty flat and didn't really convey the feeling that I experienced when I saw the shot. The sun was out and it highlighted the tracks in the sand. The raw image doesn't really show that. Most of my processing was intended to bring out the pattern created in the sand by the tricycles.

The first bit of work occurred in Adobe Camera Raw. I bumped the exposure a bit and brought the black level up a bit. This helped bring out more of the character in the image. I also adjusted the white balance to give it a bit more yellow. In reality, the beach sand there, when wet, was pretty gray, but I felt the golden tone suited the image better.

Once I opened the image in Photoshop, I did some curves and levels work to increase contrast and further bring out the tire track pattern. I did a minor crop to eliminate a bit of water at the top of the image and the bring more attention to the rider and tire tracks. To finish the image, I added a bit of lens vignetting using the Lens Correction filter. Some sharpening and a simple frame create the image you see at the top.

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