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Wallpaper Details: Azure Serenity

High-resolution desktop wallpaper Azure Serenity by paul.charles.k
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Azure Serenity

January 16th, 2010

This is a shot from a morning excursion to the beach. This 17-minute shot was taken at 4:50am before the sunrise in almost complete darkness. I brought a beach chair and relaxed while this picture was taken.

Nikon D90 with Sigma 10-20mm.

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This wallpaper has been tagged with the keywords:

azure » beach » blue » brown » long exposure » nature » nikon » nikon d90 » ocean » photography » rocks » seascape » sky » sunrise » water »

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Comments from the Community

Posted By: Brandon
about 4 years, 3 months ago
No offense, but I think it's kind of boring. Just my opinion though...
There's a lot better ones on the loupe.
This comment is rated: immature
Posted By: firefly.serenity
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Pretty cool!
Posted By: ilovemyking
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Nice. Finally changing from my last beach wallpaper. :)
Posted By: Tdot
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Mr. Jones didn't your mother ever tell you "If you dont have anything nice to say (or constructive) don't say anything at all"?

Great picture paul, I've never seen that beach so I can't say its a boring picture but I would have personally composed it a little differently. Keep up the good work!
Posted By: Brandon
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Tdot, I just think it would have been a better picture with more detail by having a fast rather than slow shutter time.
Posted By: SGAW_Orion
about 4 years, 3 months ago
I think it's a wonderful shot, definitely was worth the wait i'd say. Looking forward to seeing some more shots from you!
Posted By: Warwick
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Paul,
you say this was a 17 min exposure. Interesting how the long exposure 'mists' the sea. Can you tell us what f-stop you used? Many thanks.
Posted By: Yorkie X
about 4 years, 3 months ago
This isn't the worlds greatest wallpaper but for what it is simple, clean and looks good on the desktop .. I like it
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Brandon Jones, no offense taken. This picture is more about the contrast between simplicity and calmness of the ocean and detail and busyness of the rock than about exciting action or detail. If you want that, you can vote for my other submission: http://interfacelift.com/wallpaper_beta/_inc/vote.php?id=22861&sort=rating&artist_id=40673&page=1

@firefly,ilovemyking, thanks for the kinda comments.

@Tdot, if everyone said all nice things, no one would improve. I take criticism just as well as compliments. The beach in South Florida is wonderful and barely has any tourists, which is very relaxing. I have a few compositions from the same rock but having to take 15+ minute exposures in the dark made getting compositions more difficult. As the sun rose, the compositions got better (I feel) as I could see what I was composing in the viewfinder.

@Brandon Jones, unfortunately a fast shutter speed was not an option as it was an hour before the sunrise. I used ISO 6400 and f/5.6 to get my composition (I couldn't see through viewfinder) and the fastest shutter speed I could get was still six seconds (which was still underexposed by around two to three stops: http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b104/f8pc/DSC_4750.jpg
Again, you can see my other submission for a "faster shutter time."

@SGAW_Orion, thanks for the comment. I plan to keep submitting.

@Warwick, the long exposure is definitely fun to play with and definitely blurs together the wave motion. I used f/8, which was enough because it was very dark outside. Of course, the camera cannot determine exposure so you just have to guess but experience helps you know how long to wait until you trip the shutter again (I used a cabled remote).
Posted By: Brandon
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Thanks Paul. That's a great shot for that amount of light. I also voted for your other wallpaper even before this one was posted. Can't wait to see other wallpapers by you in the future.
This comment is rated: insightful
Posted By: Xinthose
about 4 years, 3 months ago
the only serenity that exists now is in that picture
Posted By: matb1982
about 4 years, 3 months ago
I do like the picture. Especially when reading that it was such a long exposure time. What I wondered about is why there's hardly any noise with ISO 6400... Keep up the good work!
Posted By: LTD602
about 4 years, 3 months ago
What? A shot taken with a camera that *isn't* a Canon EOS?

(Lovely shot, btw ;)
Posted By: Joel Antunes
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Really nice smooth image!! fantastic nice soft colors, hope want too cold out at that time ;-) Joel antunes @ flickr.
Posted By: paulevermore
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Hi. With such a long exposure can you tell me if you experienced any purple fringing in the top corners?
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
I can't understand why you would take a 17 min exposure in near darkness. There is no reasonable explanation as to what is gained by this technique. Why not wait for the sun to come up :)
All in all, it is very bland compared to some of your other submissions which I have voted for !
Posted By: paulevermore
about 4 years, 3 months ago
I think if the sun had come up then the sun would have been in the picture. I like that the sun is not in the picture.
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@paulevermore
Why would the sun be in the picture ? I'm sure if the photographer too that same pic at 2:00pm the sun would not be in it.
Posted By: Sprogz
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Yet another eye-opener for me as a fairly new DSLR owner. 17 minute(!) exposure-wow.

I have the same question as @matb1982, why so little noise in a 17min exposure at ISO6400 or was the ISO6400 just used to get the composition right? and if so, what ISO was used for the final shot?

I checked out the image you linked to at http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b104/f8pc/DSC_4750.jpg and it's the sort of image I'd get shooting in darkness (muddy, dark, noisy, etc) so how come your final result is so colourful, vibrant and lacking in noise? What did you do to it?
Posted By:       
about 4 years, 3 months ago
paul.charles.k, for me the end result is not great. The fact is, in my opinion what affect this result is the lack of sense of reality, as between the sand and sea, perhaps because I do not see the water volume, no movement, causing an impression of 'verticality' and the ubiquitous presence of 'clear colors'. I believe it is that has led to Brandon Jones - and me - a feeling boring. In addition, you have some great works that deserve to be shown. Thank you for sharing your work.
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Brandon Jones, I am glad you voted for the other--I actually expected it to make it more than this one.

@Xinthose, I believe we've kept it civil. ;)

@matb1982, The ISO 6400 shot I refered to it only when composing in darkness. Since I can't see through the viewfinder, I have to take shorter shots to get a good compoisition. By only being 6 second shots, I can preview what the final shot will be without waiting 17 minutes. I can also recompose without wasting all the time waiting. I used ISO 200 in the final shot here.

@LTD602, haha, yes, some people like Nikon, too. Thanks for the comment.

@Joel, having seen your pictures, I am humbled by your compliments. It was somewhat warm being Florida; I think around 50F then and getting warmer as the day went on.

@paulevermore, no experience with any purple fringing or an chromatic abberations with longer exposures. Usually CA is a function of the lens, not exposure length. I always have done my long exposures with my Simga 10-20mm though and I don't get too many fringes with it. Plus, there aren't really any burning bright spots in the morning like this to create an area of really big contrast to make fringes.

@Clyde, Taking long exposures creates a different-looking image. You can never get a shot like this during the day because you'd need a whole bunch of neutral density filters and f/22. I personally like the ocean looking very smooth and calm. I was just out there at 4:30am so I was taking pictures until the sun came up at 6:40am. The pictures as it got lighter where much shorter, around 30 seconds and 10 seconds as it really got light. You can't do true night photography without real long exposures (and honestly, 17 minutes isn't that much). Somewhat bland, but I am okay with that.

@paulevermore, that is true as well, and the sun would create a focal point that I wouldn't want. I didn't want the really bland everyday beach shot.

@Clyde, if I waited until 2:00pm, the picture wouldn't have the soft light of morning--instead, it would have harsh daylight and look like every other shot of the beach you see.

@Sprogz, if you have a Nikon, you need a cable release to do longer exposures than 30 seconds (and you have to be in manual mode). I am not sure about Canon but I think the same applies. Read my response to matb1982 for the ISO question. Yes, the ISO 6400 was to get the composition right.

Thanks for all the comments.
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Sprogz, You need a lot longer shots to get clear night shots. With a tripod, you can lower the ISO to 200 or so and then let it take a long picture. The colors will come when it has enough time to expose.

@Baldanders, You must have snuck your comment in as I was typing. I appreciate the honest critique, though. I strive to improve so your comment is really helpful. That being said, for me, photography isn't about realism really. You don't really see what I have presented because your eyes can't see that well in the dark. Plus, ALL cameras distort and compress color, dynamic range, etc so I just try to create interesting images without too much manipulation. For me, this isn't really a beach shot because there is no clear sand or water. It is supposed to make you think or at least relax and just look out into a clear blue 'something.' The lack of movement contributes to this goal--more actiony shots come later in the day as the sunrises and you gain that focal point of the sun and the movement of the waves for motion--but that is all too popular here. I can accept that it doesn't create a feeling of awe or excitement but that's not it's goal. All photography isn't about activity and drama. But it's nice to know how well my goal is accomplished, so thanks for commenting.
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
But this isn't a night shot. No matter what time you took it or the length of the exposure, the end result is a daytime shot.
Really sorry, but I just don't "get it" .
Posted By: Chris Gin
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Clyde, I'm sure you don't 'get' every style of painting that are out there either (I know I don't!). A long exposure like this is just a different view of the world, a bit like impressionism is in art. I'm sure a shot taken at 2pm from the same spot would look completely different, and maybe you would like it more but that's not the point.
Posted By: firefly.serenity
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Thank you, Chris. I wish that people would look at photography as a genre of modern art. For those of us in the art world, it is refreshing to see a unique perspective and individuality reflected in submissions.

Photography is not meant to produce a crystal clear image every time...at least in my opinion...
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Chris Gin

Photography is not "art" in the traditional sense. That's my personal opinion and to compare impressionist painters to someone who can push a button is an insult.
Don't get me wrong, I love photography and everything involved with creating a great image but if you gave monkey a camera, eventually it would produce a stunning image.
Posted By: firefly.serenity
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Clyde

I'm just curious - what is the "traditional sense" of art? Wouldn't you agree that there are many pieces of modern art that looked like someone gave a monkey a number of brushes and buckets and told it to "go nuts?" Some of these items can fetch quite the high bid at auction...and I disagree entirely that photographs are created simply by pushing a button.

Finally! An intelligent discourse on IFL. Let's debate!
Posted By: Chris Gin
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Clyde, whether photography is comparable to painting is irrelevant. My point was that there are different styles of photography, and that there are some styles you may never understand or appreciate.

In general, the longer the exposure the less 'realistic' a photo becomes, and that's why I chose impressionism in paintings as an example. Having said that, impressionist photography does exist as a genre of its own (e.g. http://www.redbubble.com/groups/impressionist-photography) although this submission doesn't quite fall into that category (IMO).
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Clyde, I diagree about your "no matter what time you took it" theory but to each his own.

@Chris, I think you stated the "idea" of this image well, thanks.

@firefly.serenity, yes, some photography is art. So are water colorings by five year olds. Quality is determined by a number of factors and like five year olds, most experienced photographers don't create art until they are more mature in their craft. Every photograph isn't good art. I'd say most good images are clear though--that blurry stuff is iffy.

@Clyde again, read my response to firefly. If you have enough monkeys on typewriters, you'd get Shakespeare, too.

@Chris again: Again, good points, but I guess I don't appreciate/understand the impressionist photography.

It's not debatable whether photography is art. It is. The problem that causes contention, I believe, is what photographs should be considered art. Snapshots are generally not considered art photography (if you know what I mean). However, that can be debated because many older paintings are of family, etc.
Posted By:       
about 4 years, 3 months ago
paul.charles.k, I realized that was your goal and I must say that I left my comment while looking for a wallpaper, not for a photo. But I admit it was not clear enough. Sometimes the fact that we share knowledge and malice we got behind the lens makes us feel privileged to exercise that function, while we forget that the artist is who chooses and decides the level of content, even if the 'lover' refuses or falls within the final value of the work, because it is only the artist who sees what he did and come away satisfied that it ends, as you said. This matters, whether in a picture, a painting, or in any legitimate sense of art. Thank you for your answer and, by the way, Star Trails Ablaze seems incredible...
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Let me first state that my opinion of "art in the traditional" sense is just that. My opinion.
Yes, I would agree that there are many paintings/drawings/sculptures that have nothing to do with art. Just because the creators of these pieces have managed to find a willing market that will pay silly money for them is of no consequence. It isn't art.
I don't agree that if you give monkeys typewriters they would produce Shakespeare, eventually. That. obviously, cannot happen :)

Great photography consists of a brief moment to compose the picture and a press of a button. If we take away post processing, which we must in this argument, then there is nothing more to it. Knowledge of the technology definitely helps, but isn't essential.

Great painting/drawing consists of weeks, months or even years of meticulous work. Also,unlike photography, it is not dependent of having the very best equipment as some contributors on this site seem to imply.

No photograph I've seen could capture an image like Goyas "Shootings On The Third of May " or "Colossus".
http://www.canvasreplicas.com/images/Shootings%20on%20Third%20of%20May%201808%20Francisco%20de%20Goya.jpg
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/70/Goya.colossus.jpg

Yes, these are paintings that combine both real and imaginary events so perhaps not fair examples. But the brilliance and determination of a true artist like Goya is hard to comprehend. He witnessed these things, he sketched the basics of his work and then took his sketches and his memories back to a studio where he would paint the final work.

That's my idea of traditional art.I highlighted Goya as he's obviously my favorite artist. But I do enjoy many other styles including impressionism :)
Posted By: Chris Gin
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Why must we take away post processing in this argument? The reason photography is considered an art is because it isn't strictly about capturing a scene for documentation purposes, but rather using filters, long exposures, and post processing to express what the photographer is seeing or feeling.

I think when you say "art in the traditional sense" you mean paintings, in which case you're right - photography is not that.

Another thing to consider - how much time do you think the great photographers like Ansel Adams spent hiking to remote places and waiting for the right light before clicking the shutter? Let alone the time spent in the darkroom.
Posted By: paulevermore
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@ paul.charles.k

Thank for your response. The purple fringes I mean are caused by the sensor heating up during long exposures. Nikons are known for it. Canons less so. This is why historically, Canons have been preferred for astrophotography. I have a D80 and it still exhibits these purple halos's. They must have resolved the problem with the D90.
Posted By: paulevermore
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@ clyde

The light and mood would have been different at 2.00pm.
Posted By: Sprogz
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Whoa, I feel very small with all this debate about what "art" is o_O because I have a very noob question...

@paul.charles.k thanks for answering my original question. I am still amazed at the vibrance of the colours. Are you saying this sort of colour comes out purely as a result of the long exposure or is an element of digital processing (I'm purely talking about the vibrance of the colours here, not noise-reduction or anything else) required?

I ask because I recently took a shot of the moon in a clear November sky. Ignoring the moon, the sky was, of course, black. Are you suggesting that with a long enough exposure, if I just pointed at a blank bit of sky I'd get a blue-coloured sky (if it was clear of cloud) or would it require some digital processing? Surely I'd end up with one of those rotating, star trail photos against a black (not blue) sky?
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Baldanders, you had fair enough assessment looking for a wallpaper. Unfortunately for IFL, I take photos not wallpapers ;) Thanks for your comments and I am still working on making good star trail photos so maybe my next will make it.

@Clyde, your entitled to your own opinion but people are entitled to disagree and debate it. Also, about the monkeys, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infinite_monkey_theorem.

Post processing is unavoidable. It MUST be done, not optional, because either you let your camera do it or you use Photoshop to convert from RAW to JPEG. It happens. Great photos take time too but I understand your point.

@Chris, I agree with a lot you are saying. Sometimes, though, photography isn't capturing what I am seeing though. For some photos, (not this one), I like to make it different than real world. (For example, I like infrared photography but don't do it yet).

@paulevermore, I've only had sensor heat manifest in slightly more noisy pictures. I think the difference between Nikon and Canon was CCD versus CMOS sensors but that is becoming less of a difference because the Nikon D90 has a CMOS sensor, unlike the D80, which uses CCD. CMOS doesn't get as hot as quickly and is partially the reason video is making it's way to dSLRs. No purple halos in my CMOS D90 or CMOS Canon bodies. Also, light and mood are everything, you're right.

@Sprogz, everyone starts somewhere--don't feel bad about questions. Yes, most of the color comes from exposing the scene correctly--having any artifical light will usually ruin night shots though--this scene was lit by the moon. You can make the colors pop though in post processing but the colors are there because of exposing the picture long enough. Taking a picture of the moon is different because your taking a picture of a light source. You'll never get the blue of the night sky and the moon because it'll overexpose before you get the blue of the sky. You would get a blue sky if you just pointed to a blank bit of sky but it could take minutes instead of seconds--if you'd like to talk about it more, contact me using the "Contact the Artist" button and we can talk in email.
Posted By: Clyde
about 4 years, 3 months ago
From your own link.."and the "monkey" is not an actual monkey, but a metaphor for an abstract device that produces a random sequence of letters"
I meant real monkeys :)
If post processing MUST be done then why not take a photo at 2:00pm and Photoshop the hell out of it until it looks like a shot taken at 04:00..Saves you getting up so early ;)
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
I guess I didn't see your last part. You would get the rotating star trails but you wouldn't get a black sky. You might need to do a custom white balance to get the blue sky (sometimes my skies are red but that's because the camera struggles with the white balance).

Maybe these pictures will help you:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b104/f8pc/startrails.jpg

And the picture I submitted here:
http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b104/f8pc/azure.jpg
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 3 months ago
@Clyde, I laughed at your monkey comment but monkeys could type if trained ;) We'll drop that argument though.

"If post processing MUST be done then why not take a photo at 2:00pm and Photoshop the hell out of it until it looks like a shot taken at 04:00..Saves you getting up so early ;)"

Because it would literally be impossible to recreate the light of 2am. You might as well paint the picture pixel by pixel because the harsh light and shadows dominate in the afternoon. I don't mind getting up early for photography. There are no people, it's completely relaxing and calming. I am just there alone on the beach doing what I really enjoy. I know you weren't being completely serious but whatever.
Posted By: Evil Napkin
about 4 years, 3 months ago
Like your other recent photo I think I would've loved this as just a click and done shot. No long-time exposure or whatever. I guess though I prefer those types of photo's more. The color in this is really great IMO, but again, if I could've seen more detail from the water I would've loved this colorful shot.
Posted By: Haak
about 4 years, 3 months ago
not a fan. it was chosen because it was a 17 min shot. otherwise its nothing great
Posted By: Four Symbols
about 4 years, 2 months ago
I never would have guessed this was taken in complete darkness, but now that you mention it, the only way to get a shot like this during day is with an insanely dense ND filter.

Anyway, great work!
Posted By: paul.charles.k
about 4 years, 2 months ago
@Four Symbols--they actually make a very dense ND filter. I believe it is a 9 or 10-stop filter.

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