Skagsanden Beach is an amazing place... but quite difficult to photograph. It's very easy to get sucked into a leading lines vortex and end up with just that, leading lines. I scouted this place early during the day and found this composition, hoping that the Aurora would deliver at night. Nothing happened for quite some time, and then suddenly the lights started playing shyly across the sky. They were quite faint in the beginning, so in order to get some detail out of the foreground I applied some light painting with my flashlight during the 30s exposure.
As per usual, the first question was what crop do I want? I settled with a 4x5 in order to give almost the same space to both the sky and the sand, favoring the sky by just a bit. Like any Aurora shot I then cooled the photo and also cloned out the highway lights.
The photo was very washed out, even for a raw file, mainly for the low lit scene, so next in order where pushing up the lights and clarity in ACR.
The next move was to brighten up mid-tones in the sky and introduce some structure in the sand via Viveza. You should see a pattern by now... I work both on the sky and the sand at the same time so as to not lose their connection. It's very easy to lose track of time on one of the areas and then I would have to play catch-up with the other one in order to re-balance the photo.
I finished up with Orton and more brightness work on both foreground and background.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. A bigger version of the photo can be found here: http://www.brunovais.com/air/h438d27e5#h438d27e5
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