Amateur Radio Bolinas Point Reyes Radio

Back on Radio Road to KPH at Point Reyes

A year ago this month, my friend Doug Kaye and I spent a Saturday touring the old KPH radio sites at Bolinas and Point Reyes, California courtesy of the Maritime Historical Radio Society.

During our visit last year, we had a great tour of both the old transmitting site in Bolinas and the receive site at Point Reyes. The station continued to operate until June 30, 1997.

One of the treats for me during our visit was seeing a Vibroplex Blue Racer “bug” used for sending Morse code. These “bugs” were mechanical – with a long vibrating piece of metal that vibrated back and forth to generate the dots while you used your thumb to generate the dashes. There’s a small adjustable weight on the metal rod that you could adjust back and forth to adjust the speed of the dots you were sending.

Back in my younger days when I was just starting out in amateur radio, one of my big purchases was a Blue Racer – and it was my pride and joy until I eventually moved on to a keyer and, ultimately, built my own keyboard keyed. Ah, those were the days. Sadly, after many moves and many packed boxes of old gear, I have no idea where my old original Blue Racer has ended up! But seeing that Blue Racer still in action at KPH was a special treat for me!

See my post from years before about looking down Radio Road at Point Reyes.

Inverness Lightroom Photography Photography - Canon 5D Mark II

A Cinematic Treatment of the F/V Point Reyes at Inverness

Stricken Lady - Inverness - 2012

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:

Black and White iPhone 5 Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White

Radio Road #2 at Point Reyes

Radio Road #2 - Point Reyes - 2013

I’ve been enjoying the work of Jean-Michel Berts who enhances his monochrome images with the selective use of light. He sells two video tutorials that walk through his approach.

I went back to this earlier image of mine – shot originally with my iPhone 5 – and added just a bit of Berts’ technique in Photoshop CC. The original version is below.

Radio Road - Point Reyes - 2013

Black and White Monochrome Photography Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600

Standing Tall at Drake’s Beach

Shooter #2 - Drake's Beach - 2013

This is the second version of this image of a photographer standing on a rock above Drake’s Beach that I’ve processed. The first was in color – and this version was processed as a monochrome. In addition, a cloudy texture was added to add some drama to the skies – and a final tweak to change the blacks to warm black.

Black and White Monochrome Photography Nik Software Nikon Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Nikon D600

The Kiterunner on the Beach at Point Reyes

Kiterunner - Drake's Beach - 2013

Here’s a shot from early January 2013 – at Drake’s Beach at Point Reyes. Shot with my Nikon D600, I post-processed it in Photoshop with Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2. I love the contrast in this shot – and how the kiterunner is heading into the light off to the right.

Hope you enjoy it! Let me know what you think by adding a comment below!

Nikon Photography Photography - Nikon D600

The Shooter on the Beach

Shooter - Drake's Beach - 2013

A week ago, Doug Kaye and I headed out to Drake’s Beach at Point Reyes for a photo walk with the long exposure group. I held back from the group – liking the light down at this end of the beach instead.

This is an image of one of those photographers – Jason – standing up on the rocks above the beach where I was standing. I loved the light, his silouette, and the other folks in the image! Hope you like it!

iPhone 5 Nik Software Photography

Looking Down the Beach at Point Reyes Drake’s Beach

Drake's Beach at Point Reyes  iPhone 5, Snapseed

Here’s a photo from Drake’s Beach taken on Sunday with my iPhone 5. I loved the combination of the little girl, her mother, and the kite in the sky up against one of those puffy clouds! A beautiful landscape indeed!

Cropped (16:9) and edited lightly using Nik’s Snapseed on my iPhone 5.

Black and White iPhone 5 Monochrome Photography Nik Software Photography Photography - Black & White

Looking Down Radio Road at Point Reyes

Radio Road - Point Reyes - 2013

On Sunday, Doug Kaye and I headed out to Point Reyes and a group photo walk at Drake’s Beach. Along the way, Doug stopped briefly at this road – which I call “Radio Road” – heading down to the old RCA / Marconi Radio site. I took this shot with my iPhone 5 looking out the car window – and processed it using Nik’s Silver Efex Pro 2, Topaz Simplify 4 and Photoshop CS6. It’s a moody, dark lane with this treatment!

For more about radio at Point Reyes, see: Communications at Point Reyes – the home of KPH. The article notes: “The Monterey cypress “tree tunnel” at the Point Reyes station is a signature landscape feature that evokes some of the prestige that RCA placed in this profitable, historic operation.”

Indeed! By the way, here’s what that Monterey cypress tree tunnel looks like from above.

Photography Photography - Nikon D600

A Photographer at Work – Drake’s Beach at Point Reyes

At Work - Drake's Beach - 2013

Wow, what a beautiful sunset we had on Sunday out at Drake’s Beach at Point Reyes. This is a great venue – you can drive right down to the beach, there’s a great Visitor Center right there as well as a Cafe where I was able to catch a late lunch before focusing on my photography.

I was there with my photo buddy Doug Kaye as part of a larger photo walk organized on Google+ – this was the last session of a three day, multi-venue series of photo walks organized by Nathan Wirth.

I loved the light looking west from this side of Drake’s Beach – and opted to stay over on this side. The rest of the gang was over on the other side – doing long exposure shots with that smooth water look. I wasn’t into that – and decided to stay with the light down this side of the beach. As the sun was setting, I noticed another of the photographers out shooting the sunset from perhaps the perfect spot. We’d spoken earlier when we were both in that spot – he was a week into a Nikon D800 – and having a great time.

This shot is my favorite memory of this special Sunday afternoon in January. A great time, a special time.

Black and White Nik Software Photography Photography - Black & White Photography - Canon 5D Mark II Photomatix Pro

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.