A few weeks back, Doug Kaye and I did some exploring around Mare Island – the old naval shipyard in Vallejo, California. This was my first time there – and I was struck by the sheer size of the place, the immensity of the buildings, and the urban texture that remains. While we were only there about two hours, we had a lot of fun getting acquainted with the site – which is famous for early evening twilight shots in much better light.
This image is a classic three shot HDR image shot taken hand-held over a fence with my Canon 5D Mark II. Because I was holding the camera over my head, I used Live View to try to align it for the shots. It was post-processed first in Photomatix Pro – also responsible for aligning the hand-held images, and then adjusted in Photoshop using Nik’s Viveza 2 and Color Efex Pro 3. I love the symmetry of the shot, the dramatic lines in the dry dock and the texture – enhanced via the HDR processing.
We all know about the famous tunnel view shot of Yosemite. As I was editing this image last night, I realized this was a different kind of tunnel view – peeking inside the door windows of Building 680 at Mare Island. Taken on a Sunday afternoon photo walk with Doug Kaye, I shot this as a 3 image HDR sequence using my tiny Canon PowerShot S95 with the lens flush against the window to minimize glare from the glass.
I post-processed the image using Nik’s Color Efex Pro 3 and Silver Efex Pro 2 – adding a bit of blue toning and a selective color treatment to pick up the beautiful light coming through those windows up high.
Here’s the exterior view of Building 680 at Mare Island. In this treatment, I’ve added a texture effect along with a bit of Pixel Bender’s OilPaint filter to stylize the image – definitely into the “grunge” category! Makes the place look ancient (it is!) and the photo too!
Doug Kaye and I spent a bit of time exploring Mare Island this afternoon.
I was amazed at the scale of the place. Huge buildings. Imagining this place with thousands of workers doing their thing. Brings back yet another sense of the greatest generation – how they were able to build and deliver on something of this scale. Yes, it is a great country!
This is one of the images we got peeking into the windows of Building 680, perhaps the largest building on the island. What did they make here, we wondered? This image is a hand-held HDR shot using my tiny Canon PowerShot S95 – with its lens flat up against the glass.
Below is another version – somewhat aggressively post-processed into a black and white. It’s the same building – but a different wing – and this version was shot using my Canon 5D Mark II with a 28mm f/1.8 lens.