Took a ride out to Jomtien Beach just to sit by the Gulf of Thailand and enjoy a cold beer on a hot day. I’m technically retired so I’m allowed these indulgences.
Living in Thailand is a bit surreal at times. I’m in a major tourist area so I don’t get the real, Thai experience as this place caters to tourist. My neighborhood is mostly Thai with a few expat enclaves but for the most part it is Thai oriented. This means I deal with Thais most of the time. This mean Thai style restaurants, shops, and services. Having been here enough I know what to expect but it can still be a bit daunting if I have to ask for something and my Thai vocabulary isn’t there. Lots of gesturing going on. While the Land of Smiles is a bit of a myth; a smile and taking things in good humor goes a long way when there is a language barrier. Generally you can get what you want and need provided you go in with that attitude.
Shot this image on my Canon S100 because I can chuck it into my shorts pocket and be good to go. I’ll be honest and say I shoot it in P mode and let the camera handle everything. For a point-and-shoot it works better. I will override the settings if required but so far the images have been good.
Editing I did my usual then brought it into Intensify and hit a preset. I then masked in the original version of the beach to bring that down a bit just so I could get the clouds and water as the main focus.
This is one from Thailand I never got around to editing. Just liked the water and the twinkle of lights.
I alternate between HDR and non-HDR. It totally depends on my mood. I tend to shoot three brackets for most things unless I know it isn’t going to work. Then I’ll shoot just one.
I was in full HDR mode with my A7R when I shot most of the image in Thailand at the time. While I understood how to process in HDR better there are times when you just don’t want to do it. This image done in HDR is just a nightmare of colors and motion blur. While you can eliminate it things tend to get muddy quickly with the image.
When you learn something new you tend to get stuck in that mindset when post-processing. I was stuck in HDR mode so I ended up never using a lot of the images I shot simply because my mind could not consider processing it a different way. This has led me to look at images I otherwise never published because now I’m like great image. Let me process it.
This image is straight up post processing in Lightroom and Photoshop. No layer masks, no luminosity masks, no nothing. It was me doing my usual stuff in Lightroom and then adjusting exposure and contrast in Photoshop. I did a bit of local working using dodging and burning and that’s it. Took only a few minutes and I’m happy with how it came out.
This is a sunset in the Gulf of Thailand. I shot it in Jomtein, Thailand while I was down there doing some other photography stuff that day. I parked my bike in the lot which is why I got lucky when I saw the sunset and grabbed a few frames.
I published a similar photo to this in 2015. I waited for the guy who was standing in the center of the frame to move out. I was in my anti-humans in my photos phase. I was going through my archives for a series and saw it and figured why not edit it again. Knowing a wee bit more about editing then I did now. And I gotta say the human looks better in the scene.
Editing wise I didn’t do to much. I deliberately left it low key to silhouette the ground stuff to keep the focus on the sky. Once I had the light right I brought it into Intensify CK and bumped the sky. Quick mask to get the sky in at one opacity and the ground at another to keep it similar. I then loaded up Color Efex and played with the hue/saturation to make it much warmer. I also tweaked it with Pro Contrast too. Finally Noiseless Pro to remove the noise from the sky and masked that bit in. After nearly 8 hours of solid editing today I was very happy to call this done.
Why not wrap the week up with a sunset from Thailand? This was taken along the beach on the Gulf of Thailand. You can see Koh Larn (koh means island in Thai) in the distance and a little bit of Pratumnak on the left.
The beach I was on had all these weird rocks. I have no idea what they were but they looked good in the water with the sun setting. I have published previous images that were similar but I really liked this one. It seemed the HDR just made it pop nicely.
Editing was done in Aurora 2017 and doing the conversion myself. I just add layers until I am happy with the final product then taking it into Photoshop for some final work. One of the things I have to do is defringe all the images. While Aurora can do it Photoshop does a much better job in the Camera Raw Filter. Once that was done it was spot removal and then some dodging and burning and done.
I have continued to explore the archives after finding so many shots I never edited. This is another one and my jaw honestly hit my desk. It’s a gorgeous image and there was no way I wasn’t going to publish it.
I took this photo when I was in Delray Beach, Florida a few years ago. I was using my Olympus EM1 and the very new Olympus 12-40 2.8 lens.
I know exactly why I didn’t publish this before. There were two people in the image walking across the beach. When I took the picture I didn’t use Photoshop much at all. Lightroom’s healing brush is crap to be nice. So I could not effectively remove them from the image. Now I just go into Photoshop and either use the healing brush or the clone stamp and be done. It took a few seconds for this image and I cleaned up some crap off the beach as well.
I didn’t go too wild editing the image. The image stood up all on its own. Just some gradients in certain places and lots of localized contrast adjustments with dodging and burning. Hit saved and was done.
This is another from Thailand that I took while out near Bali Hai Pier. I always like to get out there at least once a trip so I took a ride that way and stopped and used my Canon S100 to snap a bunch of images.
The Canon S100 has surprised me to some extent. I bought it as a throwaway camera off Ebay for $100 US. It’s small enough to fit in a pocket and if it got lost or stolen no big deal. While the sensor is small and there is inherent noise issues it’s still a great camera for snaps. Sure my phones are capable of getting just as good if not better of an image I just like a camera better. Again, if it’s lost or stolen big deal. Where as my phones are significantly more expensive.
One of the tricks I have learned with shooting with a point and shoot camera is leave it in Program Mode. I’m sure some of you are dying at that suggestion. I didn’t just figure this out on a whim. Ming Thein who is a master photographer made the point about small cameras. The developers wrote the software to work optimally with the lens and sensor. It makes better sense to use what they programmed instead of trying to do it yourself. You can control light through metering so let the camera do the rest of the work. I have started to do this with my Sony RX100M3 as well and been pleasantly surprised by the results.
For this image I pushed it as far as I could go. Normally with the smaller sensors I don’t mask in a bunch of layers. This time I gave it a go.
I started with the usual curves adjustments and then dodging and burning for local contrast. I also had to spend some time removing tyres out of the beach. Since I admitted to it most of you can figure out where they were. Generous use of the healing brush and stamp tool were required.
Once local adjustments were completed I used Aurora 2017 for the first time. It supposedly handles single image HDR better than the previous version. Once I found a filter I liked I just brought it back into Photoshop and masked in the water and rocks. I then lowered the opacity and masked in the sky knowing I was going to introduce noise into the image. Then I loaded up Color Efex and added a hue/saturation layer along with Polarization and Pro Contrast. Next was noise so Noiseless Pro and just hit Balanced Preset and then masked that into the sky.
In all, not bad for a 6 year old camera that I bought for $100. I am not sure I could do this with a camera that only shoots jpeg but with a RAW file you can do a whole lot with it.
This was shot off of Jomtein Beach in Thailand. The sun was starting to set on the Gulf of Thailand and people were mostly gone for the day preparing for the evening ahead. It was mainly me and the people who rent out these chairs breaking them down for the evening. I got a few curious looks from vendors wondering why I was shooting their beach chairs but for the most part they ignored me and went about their business and I went about mine.
Apologies in advance for any qualities issues with this image. I fully admit to editing this after landing from nearly 24 hours of travel coming back from Thailand to the frigid air of the East Coast of the US. So slightly bleary eyed and jetlagged was my methodology here.
This is one from Wognamat Beach in Naklua, Thailand. The skies were threatening and I just liked how it works with the water and buildings.
One of the interesting things I have discovered while shooting here in Thailand is that sand and tripods aren’t the best of friends. Tripods tend to sink it the sand which can cause the image to shift from frame to frame.
Wognamat’s beach was better than Jomtien’s because it was course sand versus the finder sand in Jomtien’s which just basically sucked the tripod into it.
After the last few images I felt a bit whimsical and didn’t want to spend that much time editing to be honest. Plus, I wanted to ensure everyone knew of my gentleman of leisure lifestyle while I am in Thailand.
I shot this while lounging on a chair under the umbrellas on Jomteim Beach. I was hot from riding my bike and wanted a water before heading off to a massage so I figured why not pay the price and enjoy the beach for a bit.
So I got the chair and ordered my water and sat back. I liked the view so I pulled out my camera and took the shot. It it something magical and heavily layered and masked? Nope. Is it a fun photo yep.
These three shots all involve the same pier. The first is me heading through it. The second is me under the pier. The third is me on top it shooting out. The image with me shooting under it came out much better than expected. I shot about 20 images to make sure I got it. The one me heading to go through the pier is just funny how the seagull wasn’t going to move. It stood its ground and just walked slightly out of the way when I closed in on it. Never taking off. When you see one up close they are a lot bigger than you think. I was having moments of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds going through my mind.