Sailing in the Fog Under the Golden Gate Bridge (California)

Last Updated on

This photo is the perfect reminder why I only shoot RAW format. I embraced RAW from the moment I bought my first camera which supported raw (Canon Rebel). When I opened the first raw photo in Photoshop and I saw its potential compared to JPEG I was convinced immediately and I never looked back.

The only time I switch a camera to JPEG mode is when I shoot sports.

The day I took the featured photo I spent the entire afternoon shooting water polo in Berkley and when after the games I decided to go to Marin Headlands for the sunset, I completely forgot to switch my camera from JPEG back to RAW.

I only noticed the problem when I started to process photos back home. I could not edit this image the way I intended because every time I wanted to apply stronger contrast or more aggressive color correction image would start to break up by revealing ugly banding. I had to settle for less aggressive processing

Sailing in the Fog Under the Golden Gate Bridge (California)
California. San Francosco
Location: 37.827737, -122.482495

Shooting

Even though it was middle of May it was very chilly at Marin Headlands with strong wind bringing the cold fog from the ocean to the bay. I had to put on every piece of clothing I had in my car, but it did not help. Then I had to fight the wind while setting up the tripod and trying to keep it steady while shooting.

I took 3 bracketed shots with 1EV intervals (-1, 0, +1) on a tripod.

Processing

I started with Rapid Lightroom Preset-Based Editing (read my tutorial here), applying Natural preset from Landscape Collection and adjusting the exposure (image was underexposed) with the ToolKit. But I was not happy with the result, I wanted to convey the cold feeling of the scene by adding blue color.

In the Basic Panel, I set the White Balance Temperature to -19, shifting the entire white balance of the image towards the blue color.

In Photoshop, besides regular editing (contrast, color correction, noise reduction) I moved sail boat a few inched up using transparency masks. Also, I did a lot of cleaning with the Stamp Tool by removing distracting elements (white waves) and completely removing a motor boat.

 

The Original Image

 

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 17-70mm
Focal Length: 30mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Shutter Speed: 1/320
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: Lightroom Preset Based Workflow

Lightroom: import, tagging, cropping, preset based processing (Naturaal preset from Landscape Collection). White Balance adjustments.
Photoshop: contrast, color correction, cleaning with the help of the Stamp Tool. I moved the sailboat up and erased motor boat completely.

Photoshop Plugins: 

>