NIGHT SLEEP - 18 JULY 2014
Venus Setting with Elephant Seals - Piedras Blancas, California
Link to original image: http://www.tom-hill.biz/Galleries/Scenics/California/i-g6x7RCp/A
I've spent a few hours working on images that didn't reach their potential. What I mean is I had certain visions when I began to collect images for eventual post processing. Unfortunately, at the time I couldn't make what I "visualized" be realized. I'm not sure why but I couldn't.
Fast forward about six months to last weekend, I got motivated from reading a few blogs about night photography to try to salvage what I could from that shoot a six months ago.
What the situation was, was shooting at the overlook of the Elephant Seal rookery near San Simeon, California. It's right along HWY 1. I've been there many times but it's been years since the last time.
In this case, I imagined capturing the seals sleeping on the beach with a cool starry night background. Six months ago I couldn't make the tonal relationship between the foreground and sky workout. This time, motivated by the blogs I read, I tried to create what I envisioned.
What you see here is pretty much what I hoped to capture. None of this would be visible in real life. Except in a very special moonlit situation, there's no way a viewer could see Venus set (that's Venus in at the horizon) with seals illuminated. So, I created this image by merging many images taken as the sun descended below the horizon. The seals on the beach were taken well before the final image of Venus just prior to it setting.
While all of this was predicted and envisioned by me before I triggered my first capture with the camera, it was not easy bringing together at home during post processing. The major issues were twofold. One was making the colors of the night sky look right. The second issue was making the relationship between the seals on the beach look right compared to the night. At least, it had to be believable. I think it does in this case.
Even though this particular image could not exist in a single "capture" it does represent what I saw and envisioned when I started this process six months ago. I just feel very fortunate to finally see it to completion.