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This shot was taken during the La Jolla photowalk in early February. At the time, I found the scene to be very interesting — the hut, the birds, the people, and the ocean in the background really seemed to work together in this candid shot. I kept things fairly well centered because of the strong symmetry already present in the hut. The Birds and the people served to break up that symmetry in isolated areas, so I didn’t feel I needed to break it up even more. Lucky for me, I also left some extra room at the top of the frame, which served as a nice backdrop for some heavy vignette.
All of the following post-processing steps were done with Adobe Camera Raw — no Photoshop was used on this photo.
- Untouched RAW Image
This is what the image looked like straight out of the camera. It could probably work as a color image too, but I wanted to go colorless.
- Black & White Conversion
Before doing anything, I switched to grayscale. I pushed the red, orange, yellow, green, and aqua to negative compensation while the blues, purples and magentas were pushed in the positive direction.
- Basic Adjustments
I left the white balance set at a temperature of 5800 and a tint of +3. I left the exposure, recovery, and clarity set to zero, while I boosted the fill light to 46, bumped the blacks up to 36, dropped the brightness to 16, and pushed up the contrast to 52.
- Tone Curve Adjustment
Using the parametric tone curve, I set the highlights to +41, lights to +39, darks to -44, and shadows to -76. This gave me the strong contrast I was after, and I actually pushed a bunch of the highlights and shadows off the histogram.
- Vignette and Sharpen
In the lens correction menu, I set the vignette to an amount of -76 with a midpoint of 19 — and this gave me the strong frame around the hut while filling in some of that sky. As a last step, I set the sharpening under the detail menu to an amount of 50 with a radius of 1.5 pixels.
I went out to the Westfield University Towne Center in La Jolla to pick up a few things this morning, and I ran into this interesting character. She was a friendly little dog — came right up to the camera (so close that one of my shots was all nose!). This was her first time out at the mall, but I understand she was doing very well with it. Apparently, she and her owner were taking a little breather after Maggie started shaking nervously in one of the stores. She was fine after getting back outside though.
Candice and I spent the day at the San Diego Zoo with the kids. We ended up buying season’s passes since the price difference wasn’t that much. Plus I knew we couldn’t cover the entire zoo in one day with the kids, so now we can go back any time. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive for us.
This photo is of my son Rex hanging out by the Elephants. He likes to wander around and climb on the rails, so we had to keep a close eye on him. He really wanted to see the Panda, but the line was outrageous so we told him we’d see them next time. We ended up settling on the Elephants as our last stop for the day, and the kids were fine with that.