Sunset Under the Pier

Synthetic Happiness and Photoshop

I have a strange array of answers I give when people ask me questions at book signings and stuff. I recently met a cool guy named Casey Berner, and he asked me if I ever “go back” to a photo after I am done to work on it again. I told him no, and then referred to a TED video from Dan Gilbert. Most of the time, I say this stuff and people just nod… but I don’t really know if it sinks in. But it did with Casey – in fact, he wrote a whole blog post on it and included the video I mentioned!

Coming to California

I’ll be coming out to California soon… to both LA and Northern California.  I’ll be sneaking into a few bookstores here and there to secretly sign books.  I hope things are warmer there than here!

Daily Photo – Sunset Under the Pier

We had a great time at the workshop today!  After a sunset dinner at the Oasis, we came back to the Driskill and I offered to let people watch me stay up late and process photos.  Everyone came but Cliff Baise who was probably drunk.  (Actually, during the workshop, Cliff uploaded this cool pic to Flickr).

I processed three images, and I had a bear of a time with this one from Manhattan Beach.  It was a class “HDR Problem” shot that had ghosting in the waves, a dirty gray sky, and unfortunate artifacting.  I showed everyone how to fix these problems, and I hope some of it sunk in!

Sunset Under the Pier

  • paulholley

    yet again, another awesome pic trey!

    curious if you’ve ever done any work with stop motion videos using your SLRs? i’ve done a few but i’m looking for a better program to use than iMovie to compile the images into the stop motion. If you, or anybody you know has used some cool software, i’d love it if you’d pass it along.

    keep up the great work

  • casusan

    Oh wow! Beautiful! Would like to sit there for a day – or week or so! Glad to hear the workshop is going good!

  • Great photo. Maybe you can somehow include processing that particular photo and dealing with those complex issues in the DVD? Thanks for turning me on to Cliff Baise in this post! He has some sweet work on his flickr site!

    For paulholley: Not sure if this is what u are looking for, but there is a free program called sofortbild for time lapse photography that I have heard is good.

  • I just spent Christmas here! I’m ready to go back…. stayed at the Sea Sprite in Hermosa and would ride my bike up to Venice Beach every day. Too much fun!

  • Interesting photo, Trey. Love the waves crashing into the shore, beautiful sunset in the background, and the skeleton pier. If it wasn’t for the number of “legs”, it would look like a monster, lol. You did a great job fixing this one!!!! Bet it was beautiful out there while you were shooting this one!!! Good luck at your book signings in CA. You could always come to Montana, you know, lol 😉 .

  • PfJ

    I’m curious about this pier, it looks almost organic. In fact it’s a little like standing beneath a large elephant. Where is it and what is it made from?
    The longer I look at this image the more I expect it to start waking out into the sea!

  • Ali

    GREAT perspective on this photo. I would have never thought of trying a shot like that. I think before you even begin the HDR process, your foundations, being your base photo composition, needs to be aesthetically appealing. And that photo has it all! Thanks for sharing.

  • Yes, I was drunk… on a Cowboys playoff victory!

  • Ed

    Posted on Casey’s blog also re: synthetic happiness and photoshop.

    I remember someone asked this q & a at the workshop in B&H too and I agree with Trey. It was illuminating hearing why. For me it comes down to a more basic human trait. In life we cannot go back and correct wrongs to rights be they how we treat people, how we would have approached a certain situation etc. Therefore you have to live with those mistakes, move on and learn from them to become a better person. To me, approaching most things in this way gives me more peace of mind. With my photography it does mean that once I have processed an image it is done, and I would also admit earlier work sucks. However, it also leaves a trail for me to see my learning process and improvement, which gives me a certain amount of satisfaction and pleasure.

    However, it isn’t quite the same in my day job, in science. I may go through many iterations of experiments to find the one that works correctly for a particular hypothesis I am testing. I then publish the results and move on. But as time goes by and more sophisticated techniques and equipment become available it may be important to re-visit the experiment to see if it can be improved upon, more data can be gleaned, or to see if the experimental results were correct in the first place.

    This perhaps shows a vital difference in the artistic and scientific process. Although, who is to say you couldn’t go back to the same place and take the same picture but with your new camera and better processing tools and technique?

    Thanks, enjoyed the workshop by Trey, and your question and subsequent blog post Casey.

  • 1. Really nice job.
    2. The workshop sounds great.
    3. I agree.
    4. Its even colder this weekend! 🙁

  • Trey, another great shot. I posted the url on my Amplog – Awesome stuff!

  • Would love to buy you a meal when you are in Southern California or go on a photowalk with you. Let me know if I can help organize anything.

  • Nice POV!

  • A really fantastic image! Just amazing.

  • I’m also interested in making HDR images while dealing with movement and ghosting. Any links? DVD? A workshop in Belgium? Something else?

  • With as cold and drab as it is in Utah at this time of year the ocean sure looks inviting.

  • Facebook User

    You are right about not going back, I do the same with my 3D pictures. I did what I thought was best at the time. When I look back years later I find flaws and know that I could do better now but then when would it end? So when a 3D picture is done mounting in photoshop I don’t go back.

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  • i actually took a photo very similar to this (minus the amazing quality) in san diego once… i love the smooth shapes of the columns where the water has weathered them down…

  • Thanks all 🙂

    Paul – No – never done any stop motion

    Jacques – Yes, I will be showing that

    Ed – Yes – I WOULD go back to the same place to get a better shot – plus – you know, the light would likely be different the 2nd time.

    Lightning Paul – The ghosting is a problem – there are several solutions – I do have them on the DVD and book and stuff – and even in the free online tutorial

  • Trey:

    While in Los Angeles, any time for any photographer’s groups? Any chance of a Q&A type discussion? We have a workshop studio and would to host. Thanks for the great images, and look forward to seeing the workshop on DVD. Also, any chance of doing that type of event in Los Angeles?

  • peicong liu

    this place is beautiful!!!
    can u tell me where is it?

  • This is the Manhattan Beach pier. Pretty much ever photographer on earth has taken this shot. (search on compfight). Little disappointed with the lack of creativity on this one.

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