Wild Ocean

Hi everybody,

this time I want to write a little bit about my pic "Wild Ocean" that I took a few years ago on a boat trip from Madeira to the island Porto Santo/Portugal. When I booked the passage I wasn't aware that Madeira was expecting a storm and that my trip would be a very bumpy one. As I am not afraid of a little rough sea I had a very diverting time on board of the ferry. I had a lot of fun trying to walk a straight line, but felt a little uncomfortable inside. So I went on deck and began taking pictures.
Besides trying not to stumble and fall I was preoccupied with keeping my camera & the lens more or less salt water free, but  as I said it was fun.

However, these kind of conditions rewarded me with some very cool and dramatic pictures of the sea and the islands.

In this post I want to give you a brief glimpse into my workflow, which isn't always that straight forward as the following description might suggest ;-).

Sometimes its stunning, that it takes years to discover the true potential of a picture. This was just the case with "Wild Ocean".

So, the situation was quite dramatic and I wanted to bring this back into my picture.

These days I usually start processing my pictures in Adobe Lightroom before I go on in Photoshop.
After straightening the horizon I started processing in Lightroom with this picture:

I made my first decision regarding the composition of the pic: I chose a crop that focused more on the rough elements of the sea on the left side and I used Lightroom's gradient tool to darken the upper part of the sky. That resulted in a more balanced and dramatic overall impression:

I could have stopped here, but I wasn't totally satisfied and wanted to add some more roughness to it.  I also wanted to make some slight alterations to the colours of the water and the foam on the ocean.

I loaded this version into Photoshop and added a new layer that I painted white on the foamy parts of the sea. This way I highlighted them. To get rid of the more or less visible brush strokes I added a Gaussian blur set at about 60 % and played with the blending modes. Usually I start with Soft Light but this time it was Overlay at 100%.

Still I wanted to achieve a slightly more rough and grungy overall look so I picked one of my textures from the texture pack one:
Because of its tones and the softy grunge qualities "Pidgeon" was perfect to add the desired roughness to the picture:

I tried some blending modes and finally was satisfied with 30% opacity /70 % fill - Vivid Light.

Still I wanted to alter the water's colour tone: I added a version of the pidgeon texture that I had tinted green. (I will add this to a coming texture pack)

Set at 38% opacity / 30 fill - Overlay I was finally satisfied.

So here is the final result:

I hope you found this small tutorial useful and if you have any questions you are welcome to ask them.

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