I have not been to Cannon Beach in years. As usual when visiting the ocean in the Pacific Northwest, the weather is very difficult to predict and changes quickly. When planning a trip in advance, it’s a complete gamble. When we got there it was overcast and cloudy.
The plus of an overcast sky is that the light is filtered through the clouds, less direct, and more even across the scene, with less harsh shadows to compensate for. The disadvantage is muted colors and lower contrast scenes, resulting in dull looking photos.
My approach to dealing with overcast, dull scenes, is to 1. Shoot in RAW format, 2. Do the best I can in Lightroom, 3. Hand off to NIK Color Efex Pro 4 to bring out more detail and color. The goal is to take a flat, nearly colorless photo, and bring it back to what our eyes perceive when we’re actually standing there. But I admit sometimes I push things a little further.
In the photo above, I left a bird in which is so small, due to the wide angle lens, that it looks like a dust spot.
I am really liking wide angle photography, so much so that I have been looking at Samyang’s manual 14mm and 12mm lenses. I shoot at 17mm a lot and can’t get any wider. These manual, Korean-made lenses for Canon cameras have good optics, but no auto-focus, and you have to set the aperture value on the lens, because the camera cannot control it. But the Canon 14mm lens for full-frame sensor cameras is $2,100, while the manual Samyang 14mm is $339, so MUCH more affordable.
I was initially disappointed with the cloudy weather, but I made the best of it and I think I got some good photos.
In the next post I plan to discuss my first experiment with longer exposures and what I learned.