Treasure - Varina Patel
I took this shot at Pebble Beach in California. This small beach is made up of tiny, multicolored pebbles instead of sand – and most of them are smaller than a pea. Large rocks along the shoreline have been scoured smooth by the waves, and they are carved with strange patterns and holes. I took this shot with a macro lens at f/8 for maximum sharpness.
Because I was so close, I was working with an extremely narrow depth of field. I took three separate shots with slightly adjusted focus points – and stacked them in Photoshop. That let me get all the little pebbles nice and sharp, and still show good detail around the edge of the round hole. I also filled a water bottle with sea water and poured it on the stones before shooting in order to bring out the colors in those pretty pebbles.
3 replies
  1. Rajesh. K
    Rajesh. K says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve been a great fan of your work, your pics are inspiring and your writings are motivating.

    However, I always had questions about HDR, in the above picture, why did you use HDR technique? If you are taking a picture in RAW, then that should give you enough detail to add some brightness in those dark spots.

    please correct me if I’m wrong.

    • Varina Patel
      Varina Patel says:

      Good question, Rajesh. In this case, I didn’t use our iHDR technique to make the most of a broad range of light. Instead, I used “focus stacking” to expand the area of the image that was in sharp focus. I took three shots, adjusting my focus each time – then stacked the images in Photoshop. Doing this allowed me to get more depth of field from a close-up shot. Without focus stacking, I would have been forced to choose which areas of the image would in focus, and which would be soft.


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