Smooth Moves

Good day everyone,

I use to be on NPN all the time contributing to the community, but left for a bit as life happens. I heard about this new website and had to come check it out. I have to say it looks great, and made me sign back up.

This image was captured up in the beautiful State of Michigan along the west coast near the city of Grand haven. It was such a chill Michigan evening, and I really enjoyed capturing this image.

How do y’all like the processing of this capture? I wanted to keep the foreground in the shadows a bit, as it looked that way in the field, but was thinking about opening them up a bit. Do you like the sand as is, or would you open up the shadows a bit?

canon 70d, tripod, shutter release, polarizer, i think it was f11, 3 seconds, iso 100 processed in light room and photoshop CC

Thanks ahead of time for any thoughts y’all have on this image!


welcome back ryan. :slight_smile: dig the feel to this! my only issue is the strong leading line going directly off the side. i struggle with these too bc the light is rarely lined up where one can shoot square to the coast. maybe it’s not a big issue, just something that tends to irk me. light and processing look right on to me. fun !


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Hi Ryan! The slow shutter gives the water a really nice feathery feel which is great. I like that orange band on the horizon because it really helps separate the water from the land in a cool abstract kind of way. I would be tempted to darken the sky a tad on the right side near the top. With regard to the foreground, I think you have plenty of detail there, and if was any lighter in tone, it might get kind of muddy (unintended pun). When I viewed the image large, I really liked the lines on the shore from the high water marks. It makes a pretty sweet texture.


Ryan, this is a really nice abstract sort of image. I like the use of the diagonal shoreline here, it creates a more dynamic feel to the image, I think a straight view of the shoreline would be too static a composition. The level of detail in the dark sand is fine to me, especially if you give your eyes a few seconds to adjust.

My only nitpick is that I think the orange stripe where the water meets the sand has a little too much luminance relative to the sand and water above it. The transition in luminosity from that stripe to what is around it seems a bit abrupt, maybe try to feather it a little.

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Welcome back to NPN Ryan! This is gorgeous! I love the shutter speed on this - not too long that all detail is lost; I like the texture throughout that was captured/created.

As someone mentioned the lines in the sand are wonderful in the larger view and I happen to like the luminosity of the shiny line of reflected light on the shoreline.

The only small suggestion I have would be to drop the saturation a tad right along the horizon line. We’re talking just a little. Of course it’s situation of personal choice and is totally subjective. We all know how intense colors can be at this hour, so this is right there in terms of believability. I’d say well done!


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Hi Ryan, Nice to see you posting again! This image is very beautiful and has a strong graphic quality. Only thought would be to experiment with darkening the top right area of the sky a bit to keep the eye directed into the central portion of the image.

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I agree with Ben on darkening the sky mainly on the right side a little bit. Also I would tone down the orange bands a touch. Great image though! Really has a nice feel to it.

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Thank yous so much everyone for the thoughts on this image. I love all the ideas, and I will re-work this image with the added input.

Thanks again, Ryan