Land or Sea

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This is my latest image from Sydney Double Bay. I wanted to give some insight into the lifestyle in the eastern Suburbs where people live right on the waters of Sydney Harbour and have their yachts/boats moored just out the front of their houses. A part from the fact that its the definition of the good life it’s really beautiful, especially at night when the lights start dancing on the waters surface like in this image. I love just watching the masts sway left and right with the ocean tide and wind, it’s mesmerising. Each of the mast has a little flashing light on its top and when the winds are high the lights are not unlike a swarm of fire flies.

Software Used:

Adobe Creative Cloud for Photographers - Get access to Photoshop, Lightroom, Behance membership and 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99/month

Photomatix Pro HDRsoft offers my readers 15% off with discount code LukeZemePhotography

OnOne Perfect Effects 4  An amazing Filter program to stylise the image. a standalone Filter program which can also be launched from Lightroom, Photoshop or Aperture

- NIK Color Efex Pro 4

Image processing:

I used a lot of different software in this one to bring out the lighting and get the glow that I was after as well as detail and contrast in selective areas.

If you wanted to recreate this kind of effect its important to shoot your image before the sky goes that dark black, essentially 45-60 minutes after sunset. This way you will still be able to get some colour in the sky and I think thats important to giving an overall fullness to a night photograph.

This is a HDR image so I shot 3 frames on my D800 but you could shoot 3 or whatever your camera can do and then combine them in the HDR software Photomatix like I did (use discount code ‘LukeZemePhotography’ for 15% off). 

Then for some of the colour and tone editing I used a couple of things: One being the glow filters in Perfect Effects 4 and the other being a photoshop technique called a Luminosity mask. I wrote a tutorial on how to create a true luminosity mask over here … 

It’s important to sharpen the image and apply selective contrast and you can do this using the filters in Perfect Effects 4 I do it by creating the filter in perfect effects and then masking in certain areas of it using the Layers panel in Adobe Photoshop.

Image Location:


View -33.870594, 151.243752 in a larger map

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

Thanks, Luke

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