Black and White Half Moon Bay iPhone 11 Pro Max Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Back to Fitzgerald

One of my favorite places to visit for a peaceful quiet time is the forest area at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve in Moss Beach, California – just north from Half Moon Bay along Highway 1. I especially enjoy visiting Fitzgerald’s forest on overcast mornings – there’s something special about the soft light that adds to the moodiness of the place. Most days there aren’t others around – making the stillness and solitude of this location a real joy. With all of the current hubbub around the coronavirus outbreak, this was a wonderful place to just get away and enjoy some time outside and alone!

Here’s an image I made on a recent overcast morning visit using my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Edited in the Photos app and Snapped on my iPhone.

Below is another image made at Fitzgerald – this time looking 180 degrees behind where I was standing for the image above. This image was made with my Fujifilm X100V.

Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

Last Year at Moss Beach – On the Edge of the Pacific

On the Edge - Moss Beach - 2012

This time last year, Doug Kaye and I headed to Moss Beach and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve – before heading further south to Pigeon Point Lighthouse. The light was spectacular that January day – and this image captures the edge of Moss Beach – with Moss Beach Distillery in the upper left and the beach down below. It’s a beautiful venue! Shot with my Canon 5D Mark II.

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

Black and White Half Moon Bay iPhone 4S Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

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.

Black and White Half Moon Bay Nik Software Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photoshop

From Capture to Final Image – An Example

IMG 8129

In January, Doug Kaye and I headed out for some photography along the Half Moon Bay coastline. We headed first for the beautiful trees of the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve – and, as we were heading back, I shot this image looking down on the beach at Moss Beach. The image above is straight out of the camera – a Canon 5D Mark II with a 70-200mm f/2.8L lens. This particular image was shot at 1/800 sec at f/7.1 at a focal length of 135mm.

The final image – after post-processing – is below – titled: : Windswept – Moss Beach – 2012.

Windswept - Moss Beach - 2012

The steps from the original image out of the camera to the final result involved some tweaking first in Lightroom 4 – mostly about alignment – and then exporting the image to PhotoShop CS6 for some tweaking using Nik’s Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pro 2. In Color Efex, I used the Detail Extractor, Tonal Contrast and Glamour Glow filters to enhance the color image. I then opened it in Silver Efex to convert it to monochrome – and tweaked the brightness, contrast and structure settings to enhanced the layered image effect. A bit of selenium color was added along with a subtle vignette – before saving it and bringing it back into Lightroom.

A few final tweaks in Lightroom included final alignment and cropping, and an additional subtle vignette. I also updated the keyword meta data and added a title/caption.

Hope you enjoy it!