Beach on Mars

The sky this particular morning, was this amazing purple, orange and pink. I ‘snapped’ this while I was shooting some rocks and the surf and turned around and saw this. Well, close to this šŸ™‚ I emphasized the drama and colours in the sky in post, which then lead into this kinda alien landscape you see here.

It is a good tip though, don’t forget to turn around and see what is behind you. You never know, the scene there might be even better than the one you are shooting.

Hope you enjoy it.

P.S. I’ve been getting some questions about how I achieved this image, since it’s a little over the top and un-usual looking, so read on…

The final image was something that I did not invision from the start. I knew I had something here, I just didn’t know what. The idea started by lowering the exposure back to “normal” as I had shot this overexposed to some extent. Once I saw how the awesome purple cast from the Cokin turned when I did this, its when the idea on how to move forward in processing this image came about.

I created a virtual copy of the original RAW file in Lightroom, which inĀ essenceĀ gave me two exposures. One for the sky and another for the foreground. The rest you can see below. You can click to see a full size screen capture of these screen grabs if you wish.

This is the original exposure, as shot (RAW) and imported into Lightroom. Note that at this time, I was shooting overexposed by about 2 stops, and had a soft grad mounted on the lens. It was a Cokin filter, hence the additional “awesome” tint šŸ™‚ I was over exposed to capture as much information as possible. Expose for the highlights!


This is image, underexposed, by a lot in Lightroom. Basically to bring out the purple and darks out of the sky. Note that this was processed in Lightroom 3, and I used brightness here instead of overall exposure as it gave me better quality.
This is the exposure i used for the foreground, and from what I remember of the scene, about how it looked then. The exception here is the white balance, which I tweaked to give this effect here. But when it comes to how it actually looked, this is the closest.
This is the final image in Photoshop, with all of the adjustments I made to it. Notice that I started by taking the under exposed version of the RAW file, and blended it with the “normal” exposure version of the same RAW file by using a gradient mask. I also applied a curve directly to the this gradient mask, to adjust it.