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Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Max Libraries Monochrome Photography Photography

Start ‘em up!…at Pillar Point Harbor

Pillar Point Harbor, Half Moon Bay

This morning I was at one of my favorite spots along the Pacific coast in Half Moon Bay for today’s high tide. This was supposed to be an unusually high tide and I was hoping for some dramatic wave photographs – but, alas, there was no wind and the wave action was minimal.

So instead of making ocean wave photographs, I was walking back to my car and came across this fisherman launching his small boat out into the harbor. He had just finished mounting a small outboard motor on the stern and was plugging the start cord as I made this photograph. I liked the monochrome treatment of the image and is really shows off the dramatic contrast between the sun’s glow on the water in the harbor and the boatman and his board getting ready to go.

If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and want a lovely place to walk (or cycle) be sure to head for Pillar Point Harbor and take a walk on the paved pathway that heads south to Surfer Beach. It’s a bit over a mile walk down and back with some of the most beautiful beachfront along this section of the Pacific coast!

If you’re looking for more outdoor adventure, head a few miles north to Moss Beach along Highway 1 and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. The Reserve’s combination of high cliffs along the ocean and some dramatic forest makes for another great walk. Or, if you’re more in the mood for a coffee or a nice meal, head south along Highway 1 and then on to Main Street in Half Moon Bay where you’ll find that kind of thing along with more places to explore. And if you just want some quiet time, the Half Moon Bay Library is a delightful place to just “hang”, read and relax quietly. This combination of outdoor, exercise, or quiet time doesn’t get much better than in Half Moon Bay!

Here’s another tip: Sam’s Chowder House is just above the pathway along Pillar Point Harbor. Sam’s operates two webcams (SamCams) from the top of the restaurant which provide a quick way to see what’s happening along the beachfront that can help you make a decision about visiting.

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Black and White Compositing Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photoshop

Washed Up – an Experiment in Compositing

Washed Up - Fitzgerald Marine Reserve - 2012//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

This image is a composite of two of my images shot over in Half Moon Bay. For some reason, these two images popped into my mind as I was watching the CreativeLive session today with Brooke Shaden. I decided to try merging the two into something more creative.

The trees are one of the classic views of the cypress tree “tunnel” in the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

The fishing boat is from Princeton Harbor – where the boat has run aground a couple of years ago.

I combined the two images in Photoshop – adjusting the angle of the boat’s list to roughly line up with the trees. I converted it to monochrome using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 and added a bit of sepia toning to finish the image.

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Half Moon Bay Nikon Photography Photoshop

Back to Fitzgerald

This morning I headed over the hill to Half Moon Bay – hoping to catch a few shots of the James Johnston House with some puffy clouds in the sky. But my plans were thwarted – the clouds had moved south and the was a Holiday Boutique and Winter Tea underway at the house. So, instead, I headed north up Highway 1 to Moss Beach and Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.

Fitzgerald is one of my favorite spots along this part of the Pacific coast – and I was back with my new Nikon D600 and tripod to see what I could find. As it turned out, there’s a lot of repair work going on in the Reserve. At first I was disappointed but after I walked in further I saw an opportunity for a shot. Unfortunately, being a relative novice with the new camera, I wasn’t able to get a clean HDR image (tripod shake, no cable release, not knowing how to use the self-timer). So, instead, I opted to just post-process one of the single image shots I got as part of a 3 image HDR bracketing sequence.

Here’s that original image:

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Tonight I processed the image in Photoshop CS6 – applying some of the techniques I’ve learned recently in workshops with Mark Lindsay and Harold Davis – along with some additional explorations that Doug Kaye and I have doing around these workflows. Much of the goal in applying these techniques is to transform a “flat” image into one which has much more depth – helping to focus our eyes on the areas of high interest.

Here’s tonight’s result:

Fitzgerald Marine Reserve