Lighthouse Reflection Jun29

Lighthouse Reflection...

I took this at Palmer Island Lighthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts. I had this image saved and hadn’t planned on working on it because I didn’t see too much potential in the original and it was hard for me to envision it otherwise. It wasn’t until I had to go on ship for about a month with the military that I decided to try processing it. This image forced me to use new techniques that I was still unsure about and really helped me learn new ways to match colors in the rest of the image in order to better fit in composite images. Sometimes when it comes to Photoshop, I have found that just messing around for a while and having fun with it will teach you a lot, especially by doing it on your own which help you retain the information a bit better. This is a RAW image file that was processed in Photoshop CS6. I used the Nik Color Effex Pro plugin as well as basic levels and curves adjustments. I masked out the background for a better suited one considering the day that I had actually taken this image was cloudy and boring. I hope you like the results and let me know what you think. Please follow and like...

Red Sky

I took this shot while at Corona Del Mar beach in Laguna, CA. This beach is super rocky and real nice for some landscape photos. I have shot here before and got some great pictures so I wanted to go back and try again and it worked out great. Funny thing is that the pictures didn’t turn out nearly as good as I had wanted so I tried my hand at some photo manipulation. The photo below is the original photo and right below that is the finished copy. To make the finished copy I actually had three exposures shot at -2, 0, +2. I processed these into jpeg files and combined them in Photomatix into an HDR image. With the newly made HDR image, I brought it into Photoshop CS6. where I masked through the better parts of the RAW images to make the photo more pleasing. From there I ended up replacing the sky with another file that I had on standby for just that purpose because I knew if the sky had more of a red hue it would better suit the vision I had intended. It didn’t look quiet right since the water still didn’t have the reflection and tones of the new sky so I added the new sky layer again and flipped it vertically and set the appropriate blending mode. The rest of the post-processing included masking through certain areas and using basic Photoshop tools like levels and curves as well as Nik Color Efex Pro. Hope you like the end result. If you have any questions on the specifics of the process don’t be afraid to ask! Please follow and like...

San Onofre

This location was actually on Camp Pendleton which is a first for me. Usually I never stay on base for photos but this night in particular I had decided to go out rather late and saw that the sky was going to prove to be a good sunset so I decided to venture out to the closest beach to me which happens to be San Onofre. This beach is said to have some of the best breaks for surfing in Southern California and I believe it does from experience. On some real good day it does tend to get packed in the water but I have never really seen it get packed on the shoreline, at least not on the military side. This photo is mostly natural meaning I didn’t do much as far as post-processing goes. Frankly I didn’t feel that I had to do anything. Once I took the picture and check it out when I was done I could tell I was going to be pleased with the end results. I usually try to make blacked out or shadow areas as visible as I can but in this photo I find that these areas actually add to the overall composition. It gives it a more dramatic type of lighting in my opinion. The natural colors from the sky were also surprisingly beautiful that day. And to think that I wasn’t expecting much from coming here on this day.  This is a single RAW image that has been masked through the better parts of two other exposures taken at -2 and +2. I kept the dark tones that were present in order to preserve the realism. I used Photoshop CS6 for levels and color adjustments and Nik Color Effex Pro for other various adjustments. If you...

California Sunset

I took this shot at Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach in Southern California. This is my favorite local beach to go to for several reasons. For one, this beach has awesome rock formations in the water that make for all kinds of possibilities of interesting pictures as well as being fun to climb on! (yes I still like climbing on rocks) Also, barely any people go over to the rocky portion. Almost everyone stays on the main beach so I have never had any problems with having to wait until someone moved out of a shot I wanted. This place is also in a nice neighborhood with parking spaces everywhere close by. This shot is from one of my earlier on expeditions out here when I fell in love with the place. I had set up the tripod in this spot in preparation for the coming sunset and was crossing my fingers that the clouds wouldn’t go away by the time the sun had begun to set. Fortunately it hadn’t and this really helped some nice colors show up in the sky that I hadn’t originally seen when I took the shot. I had taken three exposures for this shot considering I was looking directly into the sun. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the tonal range I intended with one exposure so I combined all three exposures in order to make a somewhat HDR. I used the original RAW files for a base and only used the HDR version for exposing some of the shadows that were missed. I have tried to stay away from that fake HDR look because it gives pictures a weird funky look and I like the more natural look anyway. I used Photomatix in order...

Misty Beach

When I first got to California back in 2011, I traveled to as many spots as I could as often as possible because there was so much to see out here. I really got into photography when I bought my Nikon D7000 and since then my interest for it has just been growing. This photo came from one of my earlier adventures around California. This was at Corona Del Mar at Newport Beach in Southern California. I had first ventured out here because I saw it on Google Maps when I had been looking for beaches with rocks on them. This beach seemed to be a prime candidate to check out, so at my first opportunity I did. When I got there it had been exactly as I had hoped and expected. There were large rocks littered everywhere in the water and there were barely any people in some choice spots. I roamed around the whole area when I got here so I could figure out some of the good spots and decide some of the best vantage points for photos. I found that there is a opening to the beach from two ways close by and one of the ways was the easiest to get to where I took this shot at. It was a short climb along some large rocks to get here. This view stood out to me and by the time sunset had begun the lighting just got better and better here. I set up my tripod and started shooting. Once I took these images back and put them on my computer I was real happy with the results. Whenever I barely have to touch the photos in Photoshop, like this one, they always turn out awesome. All I did...

Los Angeles

An iconic spot in downtown Los Angeles is the Griffith Observatory. Not only were a few awesome movies filmed at this location (one of which is my favorite: A Rebel Without A Cause) but there are also great views of the city and you can even see the Hollywood sign from here. This shot was no easy task to get on this occasion though. This was taken before I had my motorcycle in California, so I was still using public transportation. I had planned on going to this spot and tried to look up some bus routes that went here but couldn’t only find some that came close; there were none that went the whole way. I figured I could find my way once I got out here since I have done this before so I got my things and took off. When I got to the closest bus stop I got of and began looking for signs pointing me in the right direction. At this time it was mid-afternoon and the sun still had a little bit of time before it would set so I wasn’t worried. I found a road I thought to be the right one leading up and I ended up asking a few cops to confirm this. They gave me a funny look after I said I was walking up and confirmed my assumptions on it being the right road. They finished by saying I might want to take a taxi but I waved them off knowing that I had hiked pretty far in the past for shots. With that said, this was a long way up. I figured it would be a straight path but it curves all around the hillside all the way to the top. By the time I had actually reached...

Manhattan Pier Apr18

Manhattan Pier

Since living in California, I have really got into photographing beaches as well as piers since there is such an abundance of them all around me. The pier picture here is located at Manhattan Beach in Southern California. This beach is pretty far North from where I live around so I hadn’t had the chance to visit this spot until recently. I kept seeing other pictures of this spot on 500px.com and they looked interesting enough that I had wanted to check it out. I had taken a trip up North one weekend and decided to check it out because there were other spots I was going to as well so the somewhat long ride would be well spent. When I arriving here my attention was drawn to the pier and the interesting structure at the end of it. I already had formed the idea in my mind at this point that I wanted to include it into my picture. Unfortunately the clouds were not the greatest but they still supplied the sky with some color during the sunset. One of my favorite parts about the photo while I was setting up my tripod, were the reflection in the water of the lights that were along the pier. I always love reflections in water and find that a brings a new level of interestingness to photos. I shot this photo with 3 exposures in order to get the full range of light and I masked through the appropriate parts in order to bring out shadows and blown out areas. For post-processing in Photoshop CS6 I had simply did some color corrections for the sky and brought out the reflections of the lights that are reflecting off the water a bit more. It didn’t take...

Solitary

Along the main beach at Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach is this solitary rock that is pictured here. This rock is situated about 10 feet off shore during low tide which is when I took this shot. I wanted to try my hand at something simple and minimal and I had seen this rock every time I visited here but there were always too many people around it considering it was on the main stretch of beach. So how did I get this picture with no people around you ask?? Well I came real early around 4:30 am. The only drawback around initially getting there was I couldn’t see anything. It was real dark out and there were even a few people there surprisingly, but not enough to be a problem. I could still see the rock alright but I could focus on it so I had to wait a few minutes until I could actually see it enough to focus. Because it was so dark out I didn’t even had to use any neutral density filters to slow down the water which was a plus. I just set my camera on my tripod with the shutter release in hand and snapped away. What’s funny about looking at what I was seeing with my eyes and the actually picture taken is how different the two were. There was so much ambient light that flooded into the picture from the sun that was about to rise that I couldn’t see with my own eyes. It was a new experience for me because I knew it happened but this was the first time I had witnessed it so dramatically in one of my own photos. I kept the post-processing for this shot real simple surprisingly...

Torrey Pines Apr18

Torrey Pines

I took this shot while I was hiking around Torrey Pines State Reserve located near La Jolla, California. I had gone here a couple of times before and could never find this spot. This spot kept showing up in numerous pictures that I had seen on various photography websites that were taken in this area and I tried each time I went to find it on my own to no avail. The funny part is that I had found it on this particular occasion because I took a brochure from the start of one of the trails and viola, there was a picture of this spot plastered on the front cover. I quickly followed the designated path and finally found this spot, and it only took me about three visits. One unfortunate but easily overcome obstacle was that you had to stay in these little wire fences and couldn’t go exploring. But of course I went exploring, I couldn’t miss up on the opportunity to get this sweet shot. I had to find a weird way down because the actual lookout was sort of on a cliff. I wanted to show the lines that were all along the ground from what I imagine to be caused by erosion of some sort, so I got down real low with my camera. I was actually on this weird corner thing while I was taking this shot which was extremely uncomfortable and awkward but once I checked out these photos after it was worth it. This images is a combination of three exposures that were taken at -2, 0, and +2. I used Photomatix to combine the photos then brought them into Photoshop CS6 and masked away a lot of the HDR look in order to make...