Walk My Way at China Camp

Walk My Way - China Camp - 2013

Last Sunday I headed up to China Camp State Park in Marin County. I had never been to China Camp before this visit.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, China Camp is a beautiful spot on th western shores of San Francisco Bay. China Camp Village has some very interesting old buildings – and this wonderful, quirky, old pier that juts out into the bay.

I shot a number of different images of this pier – from the left, from the right, and down the middle. I used two big DSLRs – my new Nikon D600, my old faithful Canon 5D Mark II, my iPhone 5, and the camera I used for this particular shot – my tiny Canon PowerShot S100. I continue to be delighted how many great “spur of the moment” shots I capture with this camera (and its earlier versions, the PowerShot S90 and PowerShot S95 – both of which I bought new and subsequently sold as I upgraded along the way).

This was a RAW image shot with the S100, minimally adjusted in Lightroom 4.3 and then brought into Photoshop CS6. I went through my full sequence of steps to enhance the image in the Lab colorspace – before deciding that I thought I’d prefer the final result in monochrome. I used Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 to do the black and white conversion before bringing it back into Lightroom for a couple of final tweaks.

This was a very satisfying image for me. Watching it evolve through the Lab color enhancement process was fun – and then the move into monochrome with Silver Efex was especially exciting. Hope you like it too!

Looking Down the Dock at China Camp Village

The Dock at China Camp - Marin County - 2013

Just east of San Rafael in California’s Marin County lies China Camp State Park. It’s a beautiful setting on the west side of San Francisco Bay and delights with a number of stunning Bay views. Among the more interesting spots is the China Camp Village – site of this dock, a beach area, picnic tables and the Quan Bros. snack shop (open on weekends). It’s a delight – and a wonderful place for photography.

I had some used lenses to try out that I’d gotten from my late friend Chris Gulker and decided to head to China Camp for the first time to try them out. This particular image, however, was taken with my trusty Canon 5D Mark II looking down the dock at China Camp Village. I post-processed it using Lightroom 4.3, Photoshop CS6, and Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 filters. I purposely subdued the tone of the image a bit to an almost film like quality – preferring this version to the brighter one I originally shot as it came straight out of the camera.

Note: Lots of photographers use neutral density filters to smooth the water via a long exposure setting. Here’s a great example of one of those kinds of images – shot by Swee Oh on a recent long exposure photo walk. I don’t yet own a neutral density filter – so this shot is just a normal one with the subtle waves showing in the Bay water.