Big Rock on the beach at Platja d'Aro

Photography – An Image Created Rather Than Just Snapping Pictures

It was the perfect day to go out and take a photo on the beach at the time of the year when it was not going to be full of oiled, bronzed bodies soaking up the sun. I was very pleased to see that there were some clouds in the sky as so often when you go to the beach all you have is a perfect blue sky and none of those fluffy white things to break up the monotony. At the northern end of the beach in the Costa Brava tourist destination of Platja d’Aro there is a big rock that sticks up out of the sand that some might say is a little bit phallic. Images of this photo have graced the pages of many of the tourist information books for the Catalan holiday town.

HDR photography

The range or depth of light and colour within a photograph is limited by the technology of photography and to get closer and further than what the eyes can see you need to use the HDR technique. This is where you take usually three images although it could be more images that are set with different exposures. So you will have one image that is at the correct exposure, one image that is one or two stops lower and so will be a dark photograph and then another photo which is one or two stops more and will be a washed out exposure. Then you use software to meld these photos together and the one that I use is called Photomatix. With this photography application you can go for one of the many preset templates which range from the subtle to the completely crazy templates which will completely ruin your photo. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes one of the more extreme templates will be just what you are looking for. Even when you choose a preset, you can still make alterations to the settings and get it even more to your liking.

Photographic equipment

What would have been nice with this image would have been to use a really wide wide-angle lens, but I didn’t have one available. So to get the image that I wanted, what I did was to get close to it and to take a number of pictures that I could stitch together in the same way that you would put a panorama image together. So what I had to do was to create all of the HDR images first from the sets of three exposure bracketed photos. I think I had about eight images that needed to be stitched together and the software I was using, which was probably Photoshop did a great job of putting it together. So I really did do a big job to create this image and it is a long way from being a snapshot.