I did a post last week (or so) saying when you're shooting Pemaquid Lighthouse in New Harbor Maine to make sure you turn around and shoot the crashing waves. It seems like a good idea, but, at the same time it might be a bad idea, but one that can be easily corrected. Not in Adobe Photoshop CS6 or Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 4 or "in the camera". This "fix" is in the camera bag. To find out what the "fix" is, hit the "Read More".
Just before I took the series of shots that produced today's image I was down further on the rocks shooting those "crashing waves". I probably took sixty plus shots down the rocks trying to get the "peak of action" as the waves crashed. Got up close. Got back a little. Went vertical. Went low. Went high. I really "worked" the scene.
The puddle in today's image is always there. It's a staple of shooting Pemaquid Light. There actually a slight up rise in the rocks just on the camera side of the puddle. Sit down, make yourself comfortable, shorten up the legs on your tripod and click away. That's what I did and there's the rub.
In general, today's image looks fairly reasonable. The light you can see in the lighthouse in the reflection is actually there in the lighthouse itself. Everything is a little darker in the puddle and that's way you see it better there. The rocks are nice and sharp, the colors are good, the sky is reasonably dramatic, but there is a problem.
Take a look at the trees in the upper left of the shot. It almost looks like lens flare or maybe sensor dust (big sensor dust). It's actually spots of water on the UV filter on the front of the lens. When I was turned around, down nearer the "crashing waves" I, apparently got a wee bit too close to the spray. I should have been able to figure it out. I was feeling the spray as a slight mist on my face. Duh! If it was getting on my face it must have been getting on the filter also.
I had moved up a little closer to the structures by the time I noticed the spots. I took a look at the filter and it's amazing that you can see any of the shot. The entire filter was full of spots. I always keep a UV filter on each lens. (I'd much rather get salt water spots on a $60.00 filter rather than on the front glass of a thousand dollar lens.) Another thing I "always" (almost always/sometimes/occasionally) do is carry a lens cleaning cloth. (It should be called a "filter cleaning cloth".)
One thing did freak me out slightly. I don't like to expose the lens to air if there's any possibility of contamination of any sort. I don't take it off if dust might be blowing around. I don't take it off if a breeze is blowing. I don't take it off in any kind of wet. No rain. No snow. No mist and certainly not around "crashing waves". As luck would have it, we had decided to take the car the 150 yards from the Pemaquid Hotel to the light. The justification was that we had all sorts of gear with us and the choices were either walking back to the hotel if we'd forgotten (or needed) anything, or have the car in the parking lot where things would be close at hand.
I jumped in the car. Didn't start it. I didn't want to blower blowing any dust around. Now that I was in a known enclosed space I unscrewed the filter and polished the front glass with the lens cloth. Salt spots are not the easiest things to remove from a filter. It was several minutes of lightly cleaning the filter using a soft swirling motion before it was "spotless". (Bad pun.)
Things "to do" at Pemaquid? Go all around the building and grounds taking shots from all angles. Go down on the rocks, shoot the waves and the light from the puddle. Just don't forget to bring a lens cleaning cloth with you. (If you have a little lens cleaning solution ... even better.