Prior to heading out to the Outer Banks I wrote down a quick “shoot” list so I would be ready to grab an image I wanted if it presented itself. Shoot lists can be very specific, or broad in nature. I encourage you to make one before heading out to a location because the act of writing it down helps you pre-visualize a shot, especially when you are venturing to a place you’ve never been before…
For the OBX shoot I had jotted down things like:
1. Interior of lighthouse (didn’t get this one) ~ was thinking of those winding stair type shots with the windows allowing in a bit of light…
2. Sunset (got a few of those) – specifically an interesting foreground object, and great color
3. Beach scenes: waves, dunes… (lots of those)
4. Clouds over the beach…
So… when I was standing at the entrance to a public beach and saw this great sunset starting, I also noticed this long wooden staircase winding its way down to the beach. Something about those wood staircases and beaches- they go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly I think. They give you a feeling of wanting to run down, leap of the last step into the sand and run into the surf (seems to have happened here by the number of footsteps in the lower sand). Those wooden staircases also seem to me to be an “icon” of summer, when you see one, you think warm temps, sun and sand.
Couldn’t help but “snap” this shot… crossed off the beach scene and the clouds from the shoot list, this one nicely captured both
In post I wanted a warmer feel to the image, used Topaz Adjust to pop the detail, and Color Efex Pro’s tonal Contrast at about 10%bon the sky- draws out the vibrance and detail in the clouds.