One of the wonders of living on the coast is ocean tidal pools. There is something so refreshing about swimming in ocean water versus the water in a backyard pool. I grew up about an hour from the ocean so with how busy life can be my family only made it to the beach a handful of times each year. Two of my Aunt’s lived on the ocean with their kids and I used to love visiting them because I could spend endless hours exploring the rock pools and cliffs beside the ocean. My Aunt Anne was such an amazing swimmer too! She would set off swimming out to the Pacific Ocean on one beach, swim around the headland and come back on shore on the other beach. I always thought it was so amazing and scary!!! As a kid I had three fears- horses, spiders and being out in deep water in the ocean. So the fact that my aunt would bravely do this almost once a day truly amazed me.


In this image I wanted to give the viewer that feeling of going for an ocean tidal pool swim. So I have composed with them looking directly down the stairs to the platforms edge on the side of the pool. A couple of steps and you’ll be swimming in Pacific in no time! Plus morning swims are the most refreshing.


Software Used:


For this image I used a workflow which I have been developing from various techniques.


I create a set of luminosity masks to work with using techniques I learned from Jimmy McIntyre. I then use these to adjust the brightness, create contrast masks, Sharpen the image, and a few other adjustments. If you wish to learn some of these amazing HDR techniques he has created a series of video tutorials here

Jimmy Mcintyre’s HDR Luminosity mask Video Tutorials: These tutorials are amazing and will improve your image creating in leaps and bounds. He guides you through every step of the way in a slow and controlled method. There are steps for beginners to advanced so check them out.

Next up I take the image into a Adobe Photoshop CC filter program called

OnOne Perfect Effects  – An amazing Filter program to stylise your images. Comes as a standalone filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture.

In OnOne Perfect Effects  I add glow as well as some Tone enhancements selective throughout the image.

The final stylization I do in NIK collection- Color Efex PRO. I combine 3 filters and it gives a much brighter and warmer feel to the image.

To prepare the image for my online print shop I use fractal software to resize it so that the data is retained and to do this I use OnOne’s Perfect ResizeThis was I can have large prints like 45 x 30 inches done and have an incredible amount of detail in them.


Image Location:

View Infinity Pools, Bronte Beach in a larger map

If you’d like to leave a comment Id love if you could do that below. 

Thanks Luke

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


Sony A7r

Focal Length




Shutter Speed

4.0, 8.0 and 22.0 second exposures



HDR info

HDR Luminosity masks


18th May, 2014


6:45 am


Bronte Beach, Sydney Australia

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Please use this contact form for any enquiries and we will get back to you asap. Thanks :-) Thanks, Luke