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Night Shot at East Coast Park


New Member
Jun 17, 2011
1. In which area is critique or feedback to be given?

Composition and technical aspect of the night shot.

2. What were you hoping to achieve with this image?

I wanted to capture the stillness of the night by the seaside where it is relatively quieter. Also, because the stillness of the night tends to lead me to reflection, I used long exposure to smooth-en out the waves so as to make the reflection of the light from the ships more visible. The breakwater and the tiny cove beside it were chosen to serve as a pause, or perhaps, a contrast to the sea.

3. Under what circumstance was the picture taken? (physical conditions/emotions)

I am slowly finding, or hoping to find, my sense of wonder and curiosity for taking photos once again. Having been out of touch with it for quite a while due to various reasons. This photo is part of the journey - of finding the inspiration and creativity. Along with it is the sense of adjustment - having been overseas for a period of time and coming back here... I really dislike how the horizon is littered with all the cargo ships (as compared to seas in other places where it's just a vast empty space), but I want to learn to appreciate and explore the 'beauty' that they bring; in this case the light. I have always liked the effect of the sand with all the 'craters' at night so have included them in as the foreground.

4. Thread-starter's personal thoughts about the image

I think there's still something lacking about the depth of the photo but not sure what it is.
On a more 'technical' issue, I am somewhat puzzled by the lack of details in the photo. I shot it at f8 but seems to me that there is an amount of smearing of the details. This was not an issue with my previous camera (Fuji S5 pro). Apart from this, I feel that the light sources from the vessels are kinda blown - but if I use a shorter exposure then I am stuck with a generally underexposed photo with lesser visible reflection. Perhaps the experts here can point out how this can be dealt with.

Thank you for reading this and for your criticisms and feedbacks.

This photo was taken in jpeg format; edited in picasa: cropping and adjustment of levels. Taken with a fuji xpro1, 18mm xf lens at f8, iso 250, 110secs exposure, manual focus at infinity.



Senior Member
Jan 26, 2010
Good that you have gone low for the nice textures in the sand, and also including the shoreline as a leading line. I'm ok with the lights in the horizon, contrasts with the dark foreground, beckoning you to go towards it (though you are right they may not convey your idea of serenity heh...)

For the overexposure of the lights in the horizon, unfortunately that's due to the wide dynamic range in the scene (dark foreground, bright background). You may consider taking 2 exposures and blending it in post-processing, using graduated neutral density filters to reduce the dynamic range, or taking the shot during blue hour where the difference in brightness is less.

Not too sure about the loss of details, not familiar with the Fuji system. It can be many reasons, from your information given I'm guessing if it is due to long exposure noise reduction, or lack of depth of field because the foreground is close and you focused at infinity.

Overall I think it's a good shot, thanks for sharing :)


Senior Member
Jun 12, 2009
I think it would be better if you have something in the foreground. There's just a huge pile of sand in the foreground (they have nice textures but that's about it), and that's why you feel something is missing. If you can find something interesting nearby, shift it so it gets in the frame.

Also the leading lines lead into nothing much really - try to find something interesting to lead them to.

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Staff member
Oct 27, 2003
i think this shot can be improved if the texture and colours of the sand in the foreground can be brought out more, and improving the contrast between the sea and the sand.
a decent attempt from TS that can also benefit from working the subject more and trying out other angles at this scene.


New Member
Jun 17, 2011
hi guys thanks for the comments and feedbacks. Will look into them and try to improve :)


Staff member
Jul 23, 2007
Technically, I think its fine.

The problem I feel is composition.
Its not strong enough mainly because of a lack of foreground interest as well as a lack of bkgnd interest.
For the former, you need that to lock initial interest of the viewer, then lead that out towards another rather strong element in the distance.

Foreground - maybe look for something (eg. rocks; unusual lump of sand; even junk or even your own sandals )
Interest in the distance - stronger shape or color.

my few cents

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