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Friday Slide Show: Ocean Beach Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

30 May 2014

It's no secret that the beauty of a beach belies what a harsh environment it is. Salt is corrosive. Wind erodes. Sand gets in your eyes (including your zoom lens).

Ocean Beach. Beauty and the Beast.

A little over two years ago, we took a Fujifilm X-S1 down to the beach for some test shots. We shot a mix of Raw and JPEG using the 12-megapixel megazoom's built-in 24-624mm zoom lens. Boy, was that fun.

Fujifilm discovered a fault with the sensor as we were testing it and we returned it before writing a review. But we've always liked these shots from Ocean Beach.

We used them to make a Pholium book when we reviewed that app. And we've the shot of the surfer in a curl for a test print.

These images were all processed in Lightroom 5.4 but we took more liberties than usual.

Some are color, some are black and white. Some were shot in black and white, actually (like the turn lane). But a few more were converted to black and white, either to avoid duplication (the wave) or to show off some tonality obscured by the color (the landscape).

There aren't a lot of color to manipulate in the black and white conversion. The Green, Aqua and Blue sliders about did it for the ocean and the sky both. Lightroom makes it as simple as a click to go between color and monochrome, so we could reference the color data visually, click back to monochrome and move the right slider to lighten or darken the area that needed work.

We also cropped a good deal, changing aspect ratios. There are some natural 16x9s and 4x5s and a few square crops we added.

The only image that needed perspective control was the Aqua sign. We didn't use any other lens corrections.

Last week's shots of Lotusland were all JPEGs and we wrestled with them to get acceptable images. There just isn't much latitude in a JPEG. We saw that again in these images. The fun ones to edit were all RAF, Fujifilm's Raw image format. The tough ones (like the square surfer, over which we labored for a long time, nearly resorting to a mask) were JPEGs.

This series is all over the place, in short. Just like a beach, with its beautiful colors and dramatic views contrasting with the endless erosion and corrosion.

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