Two Surfers at Dawn

Another from my recent trip to Cape Henlopen SP, DE. I decided to use the jetty again to add a little more interest to the scene as there are no FG objects to use other than the beach. Apparently this is a popular spot with the surfers as they arrived both days before sunrise while I was on the beach. The SS wasn’t to long so the surfers are reasonably sharp. As always thanks for taking a moment and leaving a thought.

What technical feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

What artistic feedback would you like if any?

All C&C welcome

Pertinent technical details or techniques:

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Nikon D800, Nikon 17-35 @ 28 mm, f 18 @ 0.3 sec, ISO 100, cable release & tripod

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Ed, I like the mood a lot. You’ve done a find job of capturing the surf breaking on a quiet morning. I am finding the bright top and bottom with dark horizon a bit distracting. I wonder about dodging the brighter tones in the lower clouds. The golden glow on the distant water is very nice and the jetty does a good job of pulling my eyes into the distance.

Hi Ed,

I like the light and the sense of depth that the scene has. I agree with Mark about the highlights on the foreground.

I also think that the colour balance has bit too much green for the scene. I think removing a bit of green helps the complimentary blue and orange colours come through giving the image more pop.

Below is a quick edit with a curves layer applied in photoshop with the midtones in the green channel pulled down slightly.

Ed, another dramatic scene for sure. I like that the surfers (despite being small) fill some negative space, and help to balance the composition. I do like the direction that @Nathan_Klein has taken his rework, dodging the highlights in the bottom half of the image helps the appearance of the clouds, and the brighter clouds also make the surfers stand out a bit more. Overall this is a very pleasing image, a nice addition to your recent series.


Not as compelling as your previous version - although I love the sky here. In previous version of course you had the sun rays… At least for me, the surfers don’t come close to having the same impact as the sun beams. The angle of the jetty and the timing of the foreground wave work very well for the composition, but I just think this one is missing something. No nits or suggestions otherwise.


ps. I do like Nathan’s edits

This has a much better sky than the previous one. I would remove the surfers and just treat this as a classic seascape. I prefer this one over the other. @Nathan_Klein’s rework is a subtle improvement for sure.

With not having the best light in the world, you sure came away with some good shots. That’s still a good looking sky even without blazing colors. Again you tripped the shutter at just the right time to catch the breaking wave. I would keep the surfers. On the thumb, they don’t show up well, but they look good in the larger image. I like @Nathan_Klein rework.

Thanks to everyone @Mark_Seaver, @Nathan_Klein, @Ed_McGuirk, @Lon_Overacker, @Igor_Doncov and @Michael_Lowe for taking a moment to leave a thought.
@Nathan_Klein: Thanks for taking the time to do a rework as it looks good; I like it.
@Igor_Doncov: Funny you should mention removing the surfers as I did just that in some other images. I decided to leave these two as they are relatively sharp whereas the images with longer SS were just a blur.
@Michael_Lowe: I have a few more to post. They are not wow images, but I like them nevertheless.