Point Lobos is one of the world’s beautiful places, and every visit has photo opportunities. There is one spot where low tide reveals rock strata with tide pools, ideal for closeups. I was tired from lugging around an SLR with a lens assortment, and acquainted with the old-guy-on-slippery-rocks-while-balancing-equipment problem, I walked around with just my pocket camera. That works great for closeups because the camera focuses very close and is easy to hold with one hand. A shot of the general scene proved irresistible, and that led to some Adobe Photoshop™ retouching of original images that could have been better.
Here is the original image:
It seems to me to have some potential if it’s fixed up a bit. (Unfortunately, most the pictures I take seem to me to be worth fixing …) Anyway, when I was at the location, the seaweed was a striking deep shade of green. A ran the image through the Topaz Labs Adjust > Photo Pop filter. That provides a convenient way to boost sharpness, color saturation, and adjust the lighting simultaneously, but the adjustments could have been made with the basic Photoshop Elements tools. That produces:
The popped image has color fringing, the sky is too bright, the horizon isn’t straight, and something should be done to increase the impression of depth.
Before messing with the sky, I used the eyedropper tool to sample the color of the sky at a point away from the fringing. Then I selected the sky with the magic wand, feather the selection, and reduce the color saturation to black and white. That solves the color fringing, but the sky is still too bright and the pure gray sky doesn’t match the rest of the scene. So fill the sky with the saved color, at about 50% transparency. that restores some tint, and lets the brightness be further adjusted.
I claim I should be forgiven for not getting the horizon straight, with all those slanted lines from the rock strata. Hey, nature couldn’t get the rocks straight. Use View > grid, Image >free rotate to align the horizon with the grid, and crop the image to a rectangle.
There is a trick to increase the sense of depth in the image. Select the foreground and apply a hefty band of feathering to the selection; perhaps feather 5% or 10% of the image height. Then increase the contrast about 20%. With the same selection, apply unsharp masking with settings of 2 pixels and 75%. that makes the foreground jump out at you.
The result is:
A larger version better shows the edits.
So maybe next time I’ll lug the larger camera. On the other hand, the results of falling on slippery rocks cannot be fixed in Photoshop.