Northern California Seascape

Northern California, just a bit before sunset. As usual, all comments welcome. Especially concerning crop: is there too much ocean on the right?

Not too much crop for me Tony. I like the balance of the ocean on the right with the rocky shore on the left. Nice capture.

To me, the two most enjoyable parts of this image are the colors and textures of the round rocks, and the convergence on the middle horizon vanishing point. But the uniform brightness and the hot yellow bluff take me away from that. I tried making it more of a sunset scent and pinching in exposure even more from the right and left … so I got what I wanted, but might be a world away from the brilliant California story you want to tell.

Tony, the crop seems fine and composition wise a nicely balanced image. But for me, too much harsh light on the bluff and stones. I bet you can coax some softer and diverse colors from the rounded stones. @Dick_Knudson’s rework seems too muted and too yellow. I am not sure I have the Photoshop skills to get there, though. Love the disarray and craziness in that coastal sky… occasionally get similar looks here in So Cal.

Tony, to answer your question on cropping, I think the right side works as presented. I think the right side clouds near the horizon, and the rock in the LRC water both do a nice job of filling that space. I also like the tall cloud being dead center in the image, and a crop would move it off center. I think the image is well balanced as presented.

In terms of processing, I think the luminosity of the midtones are too bright, and with light this strong, could see a slight deepening the black of the shadows on the rocks. I think the highlights in the sky and water look fine though. Here is a rework that uses TK luminosity masks to address these comments. I used a subtracted mask Midtones 2 minus Lights 3 to pull down the luminosity.

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Thanks for the comments all. After looking at the two corrected versions, I do agree a bit more darkening of the midtones is warrented. I think my preference would be closer to Ed’s version, maybe not quite as much darker.