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Umhlanga Rocks. A Winter's Day

Umhlanga Rocks. A Winter's Day
Photo Information
Copyright: David Jessop (WhiteKnight) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1199 W: 130 N: 2138] (12018)
Genre: Places
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-07-17
Categories: Daily Life
Camera: Nikon D200 Digital SLR, Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 DC EX HSM
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): PLAGES ET COTES DU MONDE [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-07-18 5:12
Viewed: 3040
Points: 35
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
One of my now favourite parts of the world, especially at this time of year and it's middle of winter in SA... Fresh air and 25c/77F. Can't beat that after the heat of the Arabian Gulf where I live (I'm back in Dubai today and it's ferociously hot and humid, as usual)

This is the beachfront and lighthouse in Umhlanga Rocks (pronounced Umshlanga), a few miles north of Durban city...

One RAW file, two extra exposure made to +1.2 EV and -1 EV and the three files merged HDR. No polariser as the sky is so blue and the colours so strong naturally.

Original file 1/125sec at f9, ISO100 and +1.3EV at 10mm.

mesquens1, fransx, Athila, perryhooter, Royaldevon, cunejo200, GreenBaron, riverfriends, mushtaqhussain, shelbeesmom, Teresat, pierrefonds has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To pierrefonds: CompositionWhiteKnight 1 09-29 22:50
To papajoehermit: Contact MeWhiteKnight 1 07-18 22:50
To perryhooter: World CupWhiteKnight 2 07-18 11:32
To mesquens1: OEWhiteKnight 1 07-18 08:39
To Royaldevon: CruiseWhiteKnight 1 07-18 08:37
To Athila: ContrastWhiteKnight 1 07-18 06:50
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Critiques [Translate]

Olá David,
Excellent Photographer Note and shot too (pitty a little OE over the lighthouse). HDR very well done. Nice postcard.

  • Great 
  • fransx Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2938 W: 134 N: 7397] (41704)
  • [2010-07-18 5:34]

Hi David,
A superb contre-jour presentation with excellent management in lighting and perfect exposure.
Nice play with shadows and an appropriate use of an ultra wide angle lens.
Good POV and a very neat presentation.
Colors are marvellous!
Well done.

Francis Xavier

Bonjour David,

Good image where we recognize your WA style. HDR works quite fine, maybe a little too much. With the presence of the sun in th image, I expect a little more contrast and slight deeper shade (without being blocked). I made a WS playing with the curve, but I beleive you can acheive better result using your three files by changing the +1.2 EV to a lower value so shades don't open too much. Still a very nice demonstration of HDR hability to manage contrast.


Note: The low contrast I observed could be from monitor differences. I have a 24" Samsunng adjusted with a Spyder2 calibrator. My monitor sreen is mate, glossy monitor usually exibit more contrast. So my WS may look contrasty on these monitors.

Hello David,

Smart composition with the sun partially hidden behind the lighthouse. I also like he perspective looking up instead of taking it from farther with camera leveled.


PS. Watching the World Cup lately, I noted temperatures seemed to be pretty cool for the eveing games looking at the people in the stadiums. Did you go yourself to a game during your stay in RSA?

PS II. I managed to record 62 games out of 64. I just passed the last games to the Dutch crew of the MV Stellanova. As you know they are missing a lot when they are at sea....

Hello David,

The weather does look enviable.
I have returned home, after a N.Y. heat wave, to cool temperatures and torrential rain. I'm told the garden is benefitting!
I like your upward pov which produces a natural progression from the sand to the hotel and terraces, taking in the features and detailed textures along the way. The half-hidden sun is a hypnotic attraction seeming, as it does, to take away part of the lighthouse's wall.
The lens has created a pleasing, most unusual, diagonal composition.

My kind regards,
Bev :-)

Hi David,

A bit conventional with how you typically use your Sigma UWA lens. No exaggerated tilt? There is extremely minor haloing that is not at all disruptive to my viewing pleasure. Good idea to process this in HDR as it brings out details on shadows. Good work. Cheers.


  • Great 
  • Beger Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3311 W: 1066 N: 5188] (23042)
  • [2010-07-18 10:02]

Audacious shot, David! Take care at your lens! :)
Great view with wide angle. I like the placement of the lighthouse and its shadows in foreground. Alain did a good work with his WS, too. Annie

  • Great 
  • RSK Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1089 W: 589 N: 1943] (14753)
  • [2010-07-18 10:11]

Hi David,
Hope you shot this one using your remote,that looks like one very bright sun,to be viewing through the camera's viewpoint.
I like your angle for capturing this lighthouse,it certainly catches ones interest. I'm surprised there is no OE from that huge white orb,well done.The lighthouse's colors or red & white ,blend so well with that gorgeous blue sky,which I prefer,than the blue of the WS.

Hi David,
To be honest I'm not sure about the back light of the sun partly covered by the light house. Did you try to have a POV where the whole sun disk is covered by the building? Anyway, this idea is great and the POV impressive. The wide angle creates a fine view of the scene.

David, another GREAT use of your wide angle lens portfolio. I love lighthouses! With all the possibilities and angles you could have chosen for this lighthouse I really like this one. Great color and saturation throughout. A testimony to your technical use of HDR.
On a different note, and the fact that you have deleted "Contact Me" from your intro page. It seems that several people have misinterpreted your comments on one of my recent photos; "Amy's Portrait". They seem to think that you have pointed out a definite use of "thirds" on this photo, when actually there was none; no use of thirds. Wow, it never ceases to amuse me how little supposed photographers here on TL know about that particular format. Thanks for all your comments and critiques. Have a cold one on me!

JoeGoff, Louisville, KY

Hi David ,
Another beautiful wide angle framing and beautiful perspective,the sun behind the light house creates a sensation,one more try of the same scene with sun behind the light house tower if it could cover ?would give another look but a difficult one to shoot against the sun light and showing good details in FG,the details and sharpness are spot on.

My Compliments

Love what you did here David! The sun just peeking around makes the whole lighthouse just GLOW! Even the shadows are just amazing! Saving my pennies for a new Sigma for Christmas. BUT..may have to replace my sensor first...B-(

Hi David...nice shot...beautiful capture of the sun with a nice job on the exposure....


Merhaba David,
Geniş açıyla gelen muhteşem bir perspektif.
HDR etkisi 3 boyut etkisini güçlendirmiş.


  • Teresat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3410 W: 96 N: 3821] (15934)
  • [2010-07-23 14:46]

Boa noite Davida
Imressive the way you catch the sun. Your specials pesrpective, the light and th sharpness always better than good. Very good job and beauty pleasure.
um abraço

Hi David
Good shot with nice composition and vivid colors
The details are great as well
I'm not sure about semi covered of the sun and I think its not a perfect visualization here, perhaps hiding the sun completly behind the tower gives better result

A fascinating photo. It has a wonderful balance and POV and yet there are interesting little details too. You enjoy the overall picture but can spend time enjoying looking at the waves and buildings and the rocks in the foreground. I like the sun peeking round the lighthouse!

Bonjour David,
Il y a une magnifique lumière dans votre photo grâce à votre post-traitement. Les couleurs sont très jolies et semblent irréelles.
Merci et bonne soirée.

Great shot, a very nice HDR blend as it looks like a natural photo except for the grassy area. The sun creeping around the side of the lighthouse makes for a very interesting effect and the colors are great. A very nice shot, thanks for sharing.

Hi David,

There seem to be some lens distortion on the lighthouse and the buildings on the left are leaning toward the right. Maybe the composition was planned the way it came out. A good management of the strong back light. Have a nice day.


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