Point Sur Lighthouse

Hello everyone, I am new to this forum and very grateful to have the opportunity of receiving your critique.

Last week I had the fortune to be on holiday on the West Coast and I took these two compositions below looking towards Point Sur Lighthouse in the morning just after sunrise. I had hoped to get on top of the hill, but it was closed for works. In the end I shot the compositions from outside the boundary fence on the side oh Highway 1.

From a composition stand point I knew I wanted to align with the road accessing the Hill. One of the compositions below is a single frame (cropped slightly) while the other is a panoramic of three frames. The camera settings for both images were the same apart from the focal length. I did a poor job of levelling my tripod so did not get as much sky in the panoramic as I would have liked.

I think I prefer the panoramic composition – I think it is interesting how the electrical pole cuts through the frame on the left (maybe you disagree?). Also in the single frame it is more noticeable that the island is not symmetrical around the access road.

I am still unsure of myself regarding the post processing. In this case there are minimal adjustments – I brought down the highlights slightly, reduced the shadows. Tweaked the green to be slightly warmer.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

I would appreciate any technical feedback, particularly in relation to the processing of the image.

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

I would be interested on your thoughts on the two variations of the composition and any other input you might have. .

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

Sony A6300

Panoramic - 75mm (112mm equivalent)

Single frame 48mm (72 mm equivalent)

F / 10

1 / 200 sec

You may only download this image to demonstrate post-processing techniques.

Joseph : welcome to NPN !! You’ve got a great view here, and I like both images in different ways. The pano version does give the island a better position in the frame, though personally I am not so fond of the partial view of the post to the L. The view of the posts and wires in the other version I like a lot - they lead the eye in nicely and tell the tale of human intervention in the landscape just that much more strongly I feel. On the post processing I might just look to increase the contrast a bit - especially on the island - but that may not be a look you want, as the mistyness of this scene is certainly a big plus.

Hi Ian, thanks for your feedback.
I am of two minds regarding the post - I can appreciate how someone might see it as a distraction, but I also like the tension it creates. You make some good arguments supporting the image without the post! I will also try your suggestion on lifting the contrast to see how it compares.


Welcome to NPN! A challenging scene for your first post and I think you’ve done a great job maximizing the possibilities here. Like Ian, I like both for different reasons. For both, lining up your angle with the road leading to the island is excellent. As well as incorporating and embracing the power lines - rather than trying to hide them.

I really like the pano version and would agree with you that there’s a bit of tension with that forward pole. While I can see it might be considered a distraction by some, here’s what I like about it. My own personal guidelines are: If you’re going to cut something off, do it on purpose - and the same thing, if you’re going to include something, make sure it’s obvious that’s what you’re doing and capturing - (As opposed to the photographer being oblivious to elements around the edges, etc., not paying attention.) Having said that, in the pano version, it’s very clear to me you included the forward pole to create that tension and show the lead-in and source of the lines. My only small nit with the pano is the room up top, which you explained.

I like the room and space given in the second version. Visually with this one, the wires come out of no where and so it’s like the image is cut off and something is missing…

Processing/color/sat all look good and I agree with Ian that the haze is likely the natural sea mist one finds on the coast.

Thanks for sharing and we look forward to more.


Thanks for all your comments. I really appreciate them.
Hopefully I will remember to level properly my tripod next time … !