Storm Drain IV


This belongs in my sorely neglected storm drain series and can add another kind of day to the many faces of this location. A storm drain  is so named because it channels extra storm related rainfall out to the ocean. Normally I don’t photograph this drain during a storm, but it does seem appropriate to present a storm drain during a storm.

This was shot yesterday in the morning when it was quite windy out (gusting to 50km/hr), and the waves were of a size only seen a few times a year at this spot.  I had the camera and the tripod and even an ND filter, so I stopped to take some photos. However it was so bright that the 6 stops or so of light that I can cut out with my adjustable ND filter was not enough to get a really long exposure.

In the past I have had some success with an HDR processing of several longer exposures to get the water more creamy looking so I tried that approach. This series of brackets was overexposed by 2 f-stops, but it was the only way I could get up to 8 seconds on one of the brackets. I pulled the exposures down in Lightroom, removed the large amount of sensor dust revealed by an f-22 setting, straightened the horizon and then ran the HDR processing. It came out a lot better than I was hoping for.

The biggest issue taking these shots, other than needing another ND filter, was the spray. I could take a few shots and then the filter was coated with very fine briny droplets. Long exposures were worse. Consequently many of the shots are very soft focus. I will have to work with them and see what I can do that celebrates the softness, if I can face taking out so much dust on the other images. In this image, the spray is highlighted by the sun, which was only shining intermittently. I don’t have a problem with the resulting lens flare, but some of you probably will.

Has anyone else noticed that if you “sync” the spot removal data in Lightroom to multiple images, that LR chooses a new and what it thinks is better place to clone from for some of the cloning locations? This does not always work well and means that after syncing I have to fix these mistakes. However, it seems that if I use the “previous” button to paste settings that the clones are more stable. Much slower for the copying of settings but faster in the long run than fixing a lot of clones in each picture.


Canon EOS 5Dmkii, Canon 50/1.4 lens, ISO100: f-22, 4 seconds +/- 1.0 E.V. Cameron Fader ND filter at about 6 f-stops of density.




12 thoughts on “Storm Drain IV

    • Hi Alexandra – nice to have someone browsing old posts! In the upper left corner are the signs of the spray that had rested on the filter in front of my lens, a form of lens flare I suppose.


  1. Pingback: Stormy Drain II | burnt embers

  2. Pingback: Long Drain | burnt embers

  3. artikel yang cukup menarik dan semoga sinar kebahagiaan sejati mulai menghangatkan hati kita semua, ketika kita dapat berbagi dengan tulus. Salam dari Gede Prama 🙂


  4. Its nice to see the storm drain again. What hits me in the eye here is the total greyness of the sea set off by the blueish sky, its as if you had stuck two pics together,one in colour and one not.


    • Hi Val – I seem to have lost my reply to this that I posted from my phone. So here it goes again… I like that monotone effect in the foreground and sea, though in fact there is quite a lot of green in it when viewed on a computer (I could not really see that on my phone though). It has a rather cold feel, and that water is most certainly cold.


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