i did some work on this and was wondering if you guys think it is too dark ?
It's not as much about the exposure (aside from the inherent tonal range difficulties of such a contrasty circumstance) but if it were me, and it's not, I would have gone for a much lower point of view, down lower, closer to the sand. Also, everything is completely centered. Give the surfer more negative space, i.e. room to move into the frame. All of this has more to do with the taking of the photo than post production work. Just apply the general rule-of-thirds and you'll see what I mean.
What are you exactly using or doing to alter the exposure? If you're in Photoshop, a good starting point is to go to ''Image''; ''Adjustments''; ''Levels''. What you'll see is a Histogram (like a black and white mountain range device) that has slider controls at the bottom of the histogram. On the left is your ''Black'' point of reference, and on the right is your ''White'' point of reference. In the middle is a fine adjustment control. The idea is to move each of the two end adjustments to the first slope of the histogram on their respective sides. This will ensure that you have your full range of tones, from pure black, to pure white. Then you can fine-tune with the middle slider which will let you determine your 17% Gray middle tone. This is manipulated with either black and white or color images to ensure a full range of tones.
The idea is to maintain detail in a wide range of areas from pure black to pure white. As it is, your light source is completely washing out. Of course the sun will do that to you, but you generally want as much detail as you can get. When shooting such images, it's also a good idea to bracket your shots (shoot several frames of the same image slightly altering your exposure each time so you can get different reference source photos.
Did you drop this to a Sepia tone, or was it the lighting you had? Even with silhouette's it's important to control as much as you can about the image.
Oh yeah, if you can get ahold of a monitor that will effectively match what you print from your printer, hold on to it. It's worth its weight in gold, if you know what I mean.
Re: 5 14 08 003 301535 I like it darker... I tend to do this with alot of my silhouette sunset shots. One way to keep the lightness is to just drop the darkness a little and increase the contrast. This method will not only bring out the black in these types of shots, but also get the color looking more to its actual color. The more you increase the contrast the more it will pop, it's a fun aspect of a photo to fool with.
Re: 5 14 08 003 301535 thanks for both of the inputs. i just dropped the brightness and pushed the contrast then pushed some reds into it. i also blew it on the thirds, i know. i may crop it out that way. i am just begining on the photo shop (experimenting). i am going to try and airbrush this on something and wanted to keep the color scheme minimal. thanks again it really helps with the input and sugeestions
Re: 5 14 08 003 301535 Think of composition as a sort of dynamic imbalance of the elements. It's almost always more interesting to look at than totally centered content. As the photographer, you get to lead the viewer's eye through the image, and at times even into the image.
Unless of course you prefer the Georgian style of architecture and its total symmetry. If you've ever been to Independence Hall in Philly you may recall that in the signing room they have doors on both sides of the dias wall, but one of the doors is a false door, it's just decoration to maintain the symmetrical balance. What price art? Makes about as much sense as ''Aquateen Hunger Force,'' or whatever is currently the culturally accepted norm.