Point Bonita Lighthouse (California)

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The day I took this photo was one of the most memorable days of my life related to photography. That was the day when I drove around San Francisco like a maniac,  trying to hit and photograph as many locations as possible before flying back to Canada. I described that day in details in this post What to See and Photograph in San Francisco If You Only Have 2 Hours which happens to be one of the most popular articles on this blog.

In recent years, I have visited San Francisco on many occasions but I never had a chance to visit Point Bonita Lighthouse. The day I took this photo the bridge to the lighthouse was under construction, the other time the access through the tunnel, which leads to the lighthouse, was completely closed and on my last trip, I simply did not have time. But I am still hoping to take few shots of San Francisco from Point Bonita.

Processing for HDR

Once again I employed hybrid processing where I used Photomatix to process 3 brackets for HDR and it did an amazing job with the foreground elements and the water but it completely ruined the sky. I had to process one of the original RAW brackets in Lightroom, concentrating on sky only and letter blend everything together in Photoshop using the masking technique.

California.San Francisco. Point Bonita Lighthouse
Loc: 37.81566, -122.52937

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1; 0; +1, )
  • Camera: Canon 60D
  • Lens:  Sigma 17-70mm
  • Focal Length: 30mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: F8
  • Bracketing: 3 shots ( -1, 0, +1 )
  • Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
  • Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix 

Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 3 bracketed shots to tone map image ( -1, 0, +1 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop:  cleaning, contrast, vibrance.

Photoshop Plugins:

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water)
  • Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (cliff, lighthouse, bridge)
  • Theodore Miele says:

    While its a nice photo your beginner photo shows no level of fundamental understanding of photography you should have been able to get a better picture than that. . Most photographer s who originally shot on film or slide would have to use knowledge of zone system and exposure and filters and even correct time of day .I would like to challenging you to shoot on a piece of film or slide and show us a unprocessed one.. Like I said it’s nice but surreal and has no place in traditional photography. I consider it mixed media art at this point and is not privy to the history of photography

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