Tag Archives: pacific coast

A Special Light – Pigeon Point Lighthouse

A Special Light - Pigeon Point - 2012

My photo adventure yesterday over to the coast was one of those rare ones – I captured so many great images very quickly in the beautiful light and cloudy skies. It truly was a photographer’s winter delight!

I enjoy exploring a wide range of post-processing techniques with my images. Realism is fine – and many (most?) of my images are exactly that – realistic as shot in the field.

But, sometimes, you find a special image that you just want to “push” – off into a different, more artistic direction. Yesterday’s lighthouse shots at Pigeon Point are just the latest example.

I processed this image as a single image HDR from the original RAW file shot handheld with my Canon D600. I used Photomatix Pro for that initial HDR conversion and then imported the image into Photoshop CS6. After a few tweaks in Adobe Camera Raw, I used Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4’s Brilliance/Warmth filter in two passes to shift the color of the sun. There’s something about the warmth of this kind of processing that adds to our appreciation of an image – and it seemed to work in this case.

Finally, I used a few Content Aware fills in Photoshop on various chunks of the sky to smooth things out a bit and remove some potentially distracting artifacts. And I was done.

A “special light” indeed – hope you like it!

Alone on Ocean Beach

Alone - Ocean Beach - 2012

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to San Francisco on a rainy day – with my new Nikon D600 in hand. After a great time at Crissy Field, I started to head home – along San Francisco’s Ocean Beach. The waves were up – and I pulled over as I headed south on the Great Highway.

This image captures a solitary walker out on the beach, alone. The salt air in your hair!

Coasting in 2012 – Pigeon Point Lighthouse

The Lighthouse - Pigeon Point - 2012

This morning I met up with Doug Kaye over on the coast – for a morning of shooting – of the photography kind. We started at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve and then headed south to Pigeon Point Lighthouse before heading to Pescadero and Duarte’s Tavern (DOO-arts they say!) for a great cracked Dungeness crab lunch.

I’ve really come to appreciate these photo shoots with a friend – especially one who, like Doug, is pushing new frontiers and trying new techniques. As we explore a venue, we see through each other’s eyes – and see things we otherwise wouldn’t see. Try it sometime. It’s great fun!

This image is of the Pigeon Point Lighthouse on the San Mateo County coastline south of Pescadero. The light this morning was beautiful – and this black and white treatment features it!

This image was shot as a 3 image handheld HDR with my Canon 5D Mark II. I post-processed it first with Photomatix Pro (using undeveloped JPEGs exported from Lightroom 3 and Photomatix alignment by features), and then opened in Photoshop CS5. In Photoshop, I first adjusted with Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 – specifically, tonal contrast and detail extractor. Then I brought the image into Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 before finally bringing back into Lightroom for final tweaking, noise reduction, and uploading.

I’ll always remember this day and our time coasting the San Mateo coast! Beautiful!