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Still Weep The Spectres Through The Sky
Still Weep The Spectres Through The Sky

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Best of 2010 (Advanced Editing VII)
Camera: Olympus PEN E-PL1
Lens: Olympus 14-150mm f/4.0-5.6 M.Zuiko Digital ED
Location: Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico
Date: Oct 24, 2010
Aperture: 5.6
ISO: 100
Shutter: .8 - 3 seconds
Galleries: Landscape, Seascapes
Date Uploaded: Jan 20, 2011

Back story

We were on vacation over the Thanksgiving holiday in Puerto Rico. We stayed near San Juan in the northeast corner of the island. The lighthouse at Cabo Rojo is in the most southwest corner of the island. So we took a day trip and visited the old city of Ponce on the south side of the island. Lovely city. We stopped in the main square in the center of town. While walking past City Hall the mayor and her entourage were coming out. We got to visit with the mayor for a while. Very charming and interesting lady.

She recommended we go to the newly remodeled museum of fine art in Ponce, the pride of the city. So we did. I wanted to head out to Cabo Rojo to arrive about an hour before sunset, around 5:30. The online maps said that it was about an hour drive from Ponce. So we left the museum and headed out of town by 3:30 PM.

Then we hit the most gnarly traffic jam I've ever seen. We were stuck. We moved 1/4 mile over the next hour, me getting more anxious by the minute. We were still an hour away from the light house and then it is a 2 hour+ drive back to San Juan. BTW - I am with my wife, my 10 year old son, and my mother-in-law (!)

We finally clear the traffic jam (oh yeah, drivers in Puerto Rico are CRAZY!) and head west. If we don't hit anymore more traffic we'll arrive at the lighthouse right at sunset. Of course I am thinking I'll have no time to survey the area, pick a spot, wait for the right moment, etc. I am wondering if it is even worth trying to get there, but I also know I'll never get the family to agree to return over the next couple of days. So we trudge on. As we're getting closer I see in the sky the most amazing clouds with the sun light streaming through lamenting that we are not there yet. As we drive some more the sun continues to fall in the sky. Soon it is out of sight and it's getting darker . . . darker . . . darker . . .

Finally we get to about a mile or so from the lighthouse. Of course I have no feel for the lay of the land.

Then the road just stops.

1 mile from the lighthouse we go from a nicely paved road to the absolutely most ridiculous pot hole ridden half dirt, half 50 year old asphalt "road" I've ever been on. It is near dark, the car is bouncing through the potholes like a Whack-a-Mole. My family is holding on for dear life. I am still bound and determined to get to this lighthouse while there is still light in the sky, which is rapidly running out.

We finally get as far as we can down this God forsaken sorry excuse of a road. My mother-in-law has difficulty walking. We now know we have to walk up a pretty steep hill from behind the lighthouse. So, of course, we leave her in the car, grab the camera and tripod, and head up the hill. We can't really see the lighthouse at this point and we have to backtrack a few times to find the actual path up the hill.

We finally get to the back of the lighthouse and walk around to the front and see the unbelievably beautiful cliff and deep blue Caribbean water. We are using a flashlight to see the ground at this point.

I find a spot out front, set up the tripod and take a few bracketed exposures. The exposures are .8 seconds on the short side and almost 3 seconds on the long side. I manage to get off 7 or 8 sets of exposures before the light just falls off too much. I didn't even know I had caught the rain shower in the background until later.

2.5 hours later, back at the hotel, I off load the images. I am amazed at the saturation and amount of light I was able to capture. You cannot imagine from looking at the shot how dark it really was. The amount of glow in the lighthouse should give an indication of the ambient light level in the sky. And since the sun had set, there were no shadows to hide any of the details. I donít think a shot taken earlier would have looked anywhere as cool as this. I thought I had something special and couldn't wait to enter it in the November Free Study.

Back home, I re-edit the image and enter it in the free study. As I'm double checking the exif data I notice it has the date as October 24th, not November 24th.

ARRRRGGGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!!! I had set the date incorrectly on my new camera!


OK, so I'll save for the Best of 2010, so here it is.
I have no idea how this will do. I can see it scoring fairly well or getting lost in the sea of awesome landscapes/seascapes we see in this type of challenge.

Good luck to everyone in the challenge!!!

Place: 113 out of 429
Avg (all users): 6.0321
Avg (commenters): 6.7778
Avg (participants): 5.9935
Avg (non-participants): 6.2121
Views since voting: 1090
Views during voting: 322
Votes: 187
Comments: 13
Favorites: 1 (view)

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02/21/2011 05:38:53 PM
IMO, this picture would've been better suited with a "moodier" and "darker" processing. The bright colors of the cliff and the sea are in stark contrast with the brooding storm clouds. I wonder if a B&W would've served better?
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2011 10:27:23 AM
I gave this an 8. If it didn't have the lighthouse, it would have been a 7. (I always give a bonus point for lighthouses)

It contains all of the elements of a successful DPC photo, clouds, moody lighting and nicely saturated color. I was surprised to see it this low in the results.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/21/2011 10:11:04 AM
I gave this an "8". This is a very fine landscape with many elements of interest. Well seen and well captured. I would have expected this to score much higher.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/20/2011 03:33:42 PM
This is beautiful.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 12:56:57 PM
Great stuff going on in this shot. The blue of the ocean below looks surreal. I like the texture of the cliff and the fact that the DOF is so big that everything is in focus.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2011 12:56:52 AM
Nice sweeping image to wander through. Lovely color and detail in the rocks, nice counterpoint with the light on the lighthouse against the rain to the right.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/19/2011 05:49:26 PM
The photo is really quite grand. The colors and sharpness are great. But I think the title is bigger than the photo!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/18/2011 09:39:02 PM
Nice title & beautiful stormy blue tones.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/18/2011 12:20:36 AM
This is gorgeous. Has an almost painterly quality. 8
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/16/2011 08:04:03 PM
I would like to see the lighthouse with super sharp focus
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2011 07:51:22 AM
nice drama...7
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/15/2011 04:18:10 AM
wow...this is cool. congrats man!!!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/14/2011 02:00:49 AM
Great textures and colours, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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