December 3, 2020
  • 10:48 PM Advocating for RAW vs JPEG
  • 8:38 PM Patriots at the White House.
  • 8:30 AM Understanding Photography Composition, Part I
  • 9:04 PM The Exposure Triangle
  • 10:59 PM Photographic Exposure: Learn the Fundamentals, part I
  • 2:22 AM Miami Beach South Pointe.
Miami Beach South Pointe at Sunset, photo shoot on December 31, 2018 at 5:40 PM © 2019 Isabel Sierra photography.

Google gave me back 44,700,000 results when I wrote Miami Beach in the search bar. Subsequently, all mayor tourism guides include specifics about this South Florida Island. To that end, they tell you where to stay, dine, and swim. The tourist resort-city is connected by bridges to mainland Miami where I live. Hence I reside fifteen minutes apart from other people vacations. Surely I visit The Beach but not so often and when I do the sense of déjà vu takes over the experience. However, I always jump over the occasion to photograph the famous South Pointe view from a new angle if it appears before me such as in today travel photo postcard.

Miami Beach South Pointe at Sunset, photo shoot on December 31, 2018 at 5:40 PM © 2019 Isabel Sierra photography.

“Miami Beach is a completely interesting hybrid because it is, on the one hand, a resort and, on the other hand, a real city. This condition of city and water on two sides I think is really amazing.” – Rem Koolhaas

How I worked.

The easier way to take aerial views of Miami Beach is to book a Miami Beach Helicopter Tour and there are several deals in the web. Not my case. This photograph was taken from a terrace, on the eleventh floor of a tourist cruise boat. The terrace was crowded with tourists, each one with a cellphone in the hand taking video and pictures. 

Same as if I were in a helicopter, I had to accommodate the exposure because the big boat was moving fast getting out of the Miami Bay. It takes just minutes for those big fellows to navigate across South Pointe, it’s all gone before your eyes in a second. In this case, I prioritized aperture and shutter speed, while my ISO went up to a dangerous 2800. The use of a monopod certainly brought stability to my camera shyly showing among all those other people photo equipment.

After Capturing Post-Processing summary.

As I said before the photograph was taken at sunset, meaning the original file carry the yellowish tint of the golden light. The capturing part was just the beginning. Then I opened the image in Lightroom, made a custom color correction, and exported it to Photoshop.

Once in Photoshop I cropped the imported photograph using the thirds rule, with the bottom horizontal line as a guide. Finally, I applied the standard HDR filter and played with Curves to keep the original mood of the scene at the time I took it as I remember.

A word about Post-Processing.

As in my Notre-Dame photograph, these are pretty dramatic effects by my standard. I like to remain as close to the original file as possible when I do documentary photography. However, in this digital time we live in, what comes out of Photoshop is an unrepeatable photograph and this is good for everybody. The same way we can differentiate a Degas from a Van Gogh standing twenty feed apart from the wall where they hang, now every photographer can use all the effects and tricks of the digital at his advantage to find a voice, a personal photographic style, to set himself apart from the majority, to create images than first meets the eye. Personal style in the XXI century exceeds the shooting work, it goes from the camera to post-processing. Best of all, any combination of the above is permissible, just be creative and enjoy the process.

Image technical data:

Camera NIKON D750 | Focal lens NIKKOR 24.0-120.0 mm f/4.0, set at 55 mm | Exposure 1/1600 at f/16 | ISO 2800

Miami Beach location in the world: 

Miami Beach is a coastal resort city in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States

Coordinates 25.7907° N, 80.1300° W

The official website: