The sun is pretty low in the sky at this time of the year and there is not a lot of light on one of our favourite local walks along the old Bude Canal. Out beyond the area of the old wharfs the canal runs between the marshes (a nature reserve) and fields coming down from the ridge that separates the canal from the sea.
Bude Marshes (a nature reserve) and Canal are a great location for overwintering birds, especially the huge flocks of lapwings that congregate here, and we have also seen an otter twice along this stretch.
I had been trying to photograph these lapwings hence the high ISO settings (800) and forgot to reset them when I shot this picture (hence the noise mentioned in the image details section below).
Here the sun is about to drop behind that ridge in the mid afternoon and as is so common along our west facing coastline godbeams (crepuscular rays) have appeared. I can never resist getting the camera out when godbeams appear; “they’re such an inspiring sight” said a gentleman who was walking past as I took the shot.
Bude Canal, Bude, Cornwall, UK
Camera: Olympus E-M1
Lens: Olympus M 12-40 mm f/2.8
Focal Length: 15mm
Shutter Speed: 1/2000s
With no real colour variation in the clouds, and fairly drab colours in the scene overall, this image asked for a black and white conversion. One of the problems I quickly encountered however was noise in the sky when pushing the contrast on the crepuscular rays to increase their definition. With the high contrast in the scene and so little detail in the shadows I was forced to do something I rarely do which was to apply more aggressive noise reduction to the sky than to the land and canal, achieved with Topaz Remask and Denoise. In Silver Efex Pro I was then able to complete the conversion and apply some strong selenium toning followed by some very light cross processing in Color Efex Pro to further enhance it.