Here are the stories behind this Salon’s highest rated images:

Assignment – Venice Pier – Don Bock

My wife and I winter in Florida and enjoy beautiful sunsets on the many Gulf beaches near Englewood. This particular photograph was taken at Venice Beach on December 29, 2020. It is a popular spot for snowbirds who come down to the beach for sunset and then leave shortly after the sun sets. With this in mind I waited a bit for the beach and pier to clear of people so as not to get any motion blur of people moving through where I had set up. I was fortunate to have a couple set down on the beach near the water so I moved my tripod/camera to include them in the composition. I took this image about 22 minutes after the sun had set. I used spot metering and exposed for the highlights in the sky. With the diminishing light, I added 1 stop exposure compensation using the in Camera histogram to push the exposure to the right. The final exposure was f2.8, 1/13 sec, ISO 400 at 64mm. The image was taken on my Sony A7RM3. I did the post processing in Photoshop’s Camera Raw. I brought up the shadows and warmed the image up a bit using the ISO, orange and yellow sliders. Brightened up the foreground and railings a bit using the dodge tool. Also used the clone tool to remove some debris on the beach.

Creative – Ride Like the Wind – Betty Bryan

I photographed the horse and rider at a barrel racing event. The background was very busy with a fence, a barrel, and signs. I had purchased a background image several years ago and decided to do a composite with the 2 images.. I put the background over the horse and rider image, then applied a mask. With a feathered soft brush I gently removed the top layer from the horse and rider.  I was using a hand held Canon 1Dx Mk II with a Canon 100-400 mm lens, ISO 400, 1/640 sec @ f/6.3.

Pictorial – Wabasha bridge – Jay Olson-Goude

It was a gray winter day, and I wanted to try making some images of the bright blue Wabasha bridge. The images I had planned to make turned out well, but the surprise for me was the state of the river. I made some images looking straight down, and I really liked the contrast between the organic ice forms of the river and the structure of the bridge. My favorite was this image, where I turned the camera to make the bridge a more dynamic diagonal element.
DJI Magic 2 Pro
ISO 100
1/320 @ f 4.5
Altitude 325′
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