A Walk at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

Yesterday, we took a walk through the “tunnel” of trees at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve north of Half Moon Bay. This image was shot using my iPhone 4S and adjusted in Snapseed on the iPhone itself – pretty amazing how you can hold such great photography tools in your hand these days!

Fitzgerald black and white

These trees were planted in the late 1800’s by Juergen Wienke, a German immigrant who named the area “Moss Beach” and opened a hotel in the area.

The Golden Gate from Fort Barry

Night from Day - San Francisco - 2011

Last December, Doug Kaye and I met up out at Rodeo Beach and then traveled up to Battery Mendell and Fort Barry. This image of the Golden Gate Bridge and the skyline of San Francisco was shot from Fort Barry Road just above the Point Bonita Lighthouse. From here, you’re down closer to the water than elsewhere on the Marin Headlands.

This image was shot with a Canon 5D Mark II with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L lens at 200mm. The exposure was 1/800 at f/6.3, ISO 100. This version was post-processed in Adobe Photoshop CS6 using HDR toning, Nik Color Efex Pro 4 (detail extractor and tonal contrast) and, finally, in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2 where final contrast and toning adjustments were made. My goal was to make a moodier version of this image through the post-processing.

The Barn at Pierce Point Ranch – Point Reyes

The Barn - Pierce Point Ranch - 2012

Wrapping up this week’s tour of black and white images from Point Reyes and Inverness is this shot of a favorite of mine – the barn at Pierce Point Ranch on Point Reyes. This particular version incorporates great detail in the barn siding – from initial processing as a single-shot HDR (High Dynamic Range) image using Photomatix Pro. I then used Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 Detail Extractor filter to further enhance the detail before doing the final processing in Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. A red filter helped darken the sky to keep your attention on the planks of the barn.

When I shot the image, I wished that picnic table wasn’t there – but after seeing it for a while I’ve grown to like it being there! Not much layering in this image – just the shadows from the overhang up top and the bit of fencing on the left side. Still, this is one of my favorites from last Saturday’s Point Reyes adventure!

Here are a couple of earlier versions of images of this same barn shot on an earlier trip about 18 months ago.

Launch for Hire at Inverness

Launch for Hire - Inverness - 2012

While heading out to Point Reyes last Saturday, I took a couple of shots along the highway through Inverness. The first stop was the FV Point Reyes – run aground behind the Inverness Store. See my post “Photography Explorations: Filling the Frame” for more about that shot.

The next step, just a bit further west, was to take this shot of the Launch for Hire building and pier on Tomales Bay. I have a large version of an image of this building that I bought from Chris Honeysett years ago – it hangs in my home office. It’s a beautiful image taken from the other side of the building.

For this image, I used by Canon 5D Mark II and my 70-200mm f/2.8L lens – at 70mm. The image was post-processed using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro with the final toning added in Lightroom 4.

I love the circle of rocks in the lower left hand corner, the pier at low tide and the contrasty clouds in the sky. There are elements of layers in this image that cause my eye to wander back and forth within the frame – trying to take it all in.

Coasting in 2012 – Pigeon Point Lighthouse

All Aglow - 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!

Time Together

Time Together - Rodeo Beach - 2011

Here’s one of my favorite images from last Saturday’s Rodeo Beach photo walk with Doug Kaye. Sort of like street shooting – except on the beach.

We were heading down toward the dramatic rocks at the south end of Rodeo Beach when I happened to notice this couple – hand in hand – walking toward the water.

They later explored together – looking for shells and other objects that had washed up on the beach.

But I’ll always remember them this way – hand in hand…

A Beautiful Day at Rodeo Beach

I Got You Babe - Battery Mendell - 2011

My good friend Doug Kaye and I headed out today to the Marin Headlands – in particular, Battery Mendell up high on the cliffs and, down low, Rodeo Beach itself. I’ve yet to process most of the photos from this walk with Doug – but I did especially like the image above – a couple walking along the cliffs near Battery Mendell. Click on the image to see a larger version.

Doug is helping plan a photo walk at Rodeo Beach after Christmas – details here.

[Update: here are some great shots taken from the photowalk posted over on Google+.]

Water Jugs Revisited

Water Jugs 2 - San Francisco - 2011

Back in September, I posted a black and white image of three water jugs that I took earlier at one of the restaurants at the Ferry Building in San Francisco using my tiny Canon PowerShot S95. I loved the black and white treatment I was able to create with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2.

This afternoon I played around a bit more with this image – basing my new treatment on that earlier post-processed black and white. I wanted to try some selective color enhancements to add some glow and depth to the image. Above is the result. Not sure why this image came to mind – but there’s something about it that I particularly enjoy and it drew me back to post-processing it again using some new techniques and new tools that I’ve been learning this fall.

This afternoon’s image certainly isn’t perfect – for example, I don’t like the subtle glow around the jugs or the bright lines on the bottle edges – but you get the idea of what’s possible from this version. In particular, the filters I used to enhance the image included Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 – especially detail enhancer to pull up the details of the condensation on the jugs – along with two Solid Color adjustment layers to add the tonality to the image and a final Selective Color adjustment layer to tweak the final colors.

For easy reference, below is the earlier black and white version. Click on either image to see the large version. Which do you prefer?

Water Jugs - San Francisco - 2011

The Images of Edward Sheriff Curtis

This afternoon I began exploring the images of American photographer Edward S. Curtis archived at the Library of Congress. You can learn more about him here.

There’s a treasure trove of public domain images in his collection at the Library of Congress – and I was looking for new subjects to experiment with some Photoshop post-processing techniques. So I picked a couple of his images and went to work.

The first is this image he titled “Kutenai Duck Hunter” – below is my processed version:

Kutenai Duck Hunter - Adaptation of Edward Curtis - 2011

I ended up with fourteen or so layers in Photoshop making adjustments to this image. It was a fascinating experience as I tried to apply some of my recent learnings to this image! Continue reading “The Images of Edward Sheriff Curtis”

Young and Old – Half Dome in Yosemite

Young and Old

I’ve posted an all black and white version of this image before – “The Real Yosemite” – taken in Cook’s Meadow looking at Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. It’s one of my favorites – with big Half Dome in the distance and the young family playing in the snow in the meadow below.

Lately, I’ve been re-learning some tools and techniques for post-processing images and decided to take another try at a slightly different approach to this particular image – you see the result above. This has a very minimalist use of selective color – on the child’s jacket – along with some subtle toning that, for me, adds a bit more depth to the image versus my earlier black and white treatment – included below.

Which version do you prefer?

Half Dome with Family from Cook's Meadow - Yosemite