For many years, I’ve enjoyed seeing this old boathouse sitting out in Tomales Bay just off Inverness, California. In November 2020, we were staying nearby and I couldn’t resist pulling over along the road and snapping this photo with my iPhone 12 Pro Max. Note the white heron in the water near the right side of the boathouse!
This black and white version was first processed in Lightroom using some filters and then into Snapseed with the Drama filter applied to the lower 3/4 but not to the sky area.
Here’s the original photo from which the black and white version was cropped:
Here’s another look a the stricken fishing boat Point Reyes run aground at Inverness. I’ve posted several versions of various shots of this boat over the years – it’s a favorite subject and brings back so many memories of great times shooting there. (See Related Posts below for more examples!)
This image is from May 2012 and was shot with my Canon 5D Mark II using the 70-200 mm f/2.8 IS lens at 200 mm (f/8 at 1/160). I’ve used this image to experiment a bit with cinematic effects – beginning with a 16:9 crop, a bit of Topaz Simplify to remove some of the grassy details, and then – in Lightroom 5 – an orange/teal split toning effect to adjust the colors to be more in the style of movies of today. A final fairly aggressive vignette completes the effect.
It’s a different effect, for sure – more artistic than realistic – but I like the way it turned out!
For more on this cinematic “Hollywood” look, see some of these resources:
My current technique starts out in Photoshop by creating a new layer from the original background layer – and then using Topaz Simplify 4 to create a black and white simplified version of the image. Simplify 4 includes two black and white presets – one of them usually does the trick for me.
Next, I’ll duplicate the background layer and move the new layer to the top. I’ll change the blend mode to overlay and adjust the opacity until I like it. Once in a while, I may also add a layer mask to tweak the overlay blend just a bit.
Next, I’ll make another duplicate of the background layer and move the new layer again to the top. I’ll change the blend mode on this layer to color – and typically leave the opacity at 100%.
Then I’ll make a final duplicate of the background layer and move it to the top, the same process as before. I’ll leave the blend mode on this layer as normal – but will immediately add a layer mask and invert it so that it’s solid black. I will then paint with white at varying levels of opacity to reveal just those areas of the image where I want the original details to come through. I’ll leave the rest as simplified details.
Finally, I typically add a sharpening layer using a high pass filter with the blend mode set to vivid light and a mask where I paint with white just where I want the most intense details to be visible.
This is still very much a learning exercise for me – but I’m having fun experimenting with it. I’ve started a new set called Simplify on Flickr with the images I’ve played with so far.
Below is perhaps my favorite – another treatment of the F/V Point Reyes – aground at Inverness. You’ll find a high level of detail in the wood and paint of the boat itself – while the rest of the surroundings have been simplified – and their details don’t tend to pull your eyes away. That’s my one of goals with this technique. Click on the image for a larger view.
Last Saturday, I took a drive up to Point Reyes – mostly to visit some photographers’ open studios but also to do a bit of exploring out at Pierce Point Ranch.
As I was heading back into Inverness for my first open studio visit (Richard Blair), I had been watching the beautiful clouds off in the distance. At one point, the road made a 60 degree turn to the left and I puled over – taking two shots with my little Canon PowerShot S100. This image is a two shot panorama stitched together in Photoshop CS6 and then converted to monochrome using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.
I enjoy the tree on the right and almost how the clouds are flowing out from it to the left. The fence provides a bit of layering to the image which I also enjoy. A fun – and beautiful – image shot with a bit of whimsy along the road to Inverness. Be sure to click on the image to see a much larger version!
Last year, I took a photo workshop at Tomales Bay led by Dave Wyman and Ken Rockwell. One of the spots along our adventure was this fishing boat aground at Inverness – a boat that’s been photographed many, many times! We had some beautiful light this particular morning.
Earlier this week I selected this image to attempt to enhance it a bit in Photoshop CS5. Click to continue reading the approach I took.Here’s the original image: