Each photographer brings their own style to an image. Below are the basic steps I use to create a warm, inviting feel to a sunset image. And a location like Windansea Beach in La Jolla, California is definitely an inviting place.
In the In Post video, I process the photo as a warm, inviting scene. I also show how different stylzing of the same scene will deliver a very different feel to your viewer.
Step 1: Original Image
Other than a basic lens correction to eliminate the bowing and warping of a wide angle lens, this is the original photo straight from the camera.
Step 2: White Balance
Set your white balance using a reference point in the image. The foam of the waves should be pure white, and that's what I used as my reference point.
Step 3: Exposure and Tone
Adjust the exposure and tone of the photo. You want to get a good range of blacks and whites while avoiding clipping in the shadows and highlights.
Step 4: Presence and Contrast
Bump up the contrast and/or clarify of the photo, which will have the visual effect of sharpening. Here, the fingers of water become crisper.
Step 5: Add Color, Warming and Blur
Time to adjust color, saturation and vibrance. I added a soft warming effect to amplify the hints of orange in the sky and rocks and boosted the vibrance a little. As an extra special something, a slight radial blur effect is added to the sky to make it more dynamic.
Step 6: Sharpening and Vignette
Add some localized sharpening to punch up your subject. I did this only to the foreground, leaving the sky soft. Finish things off with a vignette to draw your viewer's eye in.