For this edition of #FixitFriday I’m going through my favorite photos from last summer and in the process reliving my Block Island dream trip.
Seems an appropriate way to end a summer, reliving last summer, laying on a beach and relaxing exploring the island of my youth. Most of the time the skies were overcast and cloudy, good when avoiding a sun burn, but I found it a difficult photography challenge. The result of the cloudy skies were flat and drab. Although I reworked them a bit in Photoshop CS2 I still didn’t get the result I was after.
Lightroom 4 has been wonderful, every time I open an image I wasn’t quite happy with I find I can correct or enhance. Even with a jpg file.
Lightroom 4 screen shot (click for larger image)
I always shot on aperture priority and as a result many of my images were underexposed. Not only did I open up the shadows and exposure in Lightroom 4 I also decreased the noise.
On the left side of the screen shot there are User Presets. Presets are saved adjustments you can use again for an image of the same type. For example overexposed images in bright sun is called “Dim the Summer Sun” or “Bright and Sharp” for an underexposed image. Once a preset is saved it can adjusted and resaved under the same name. Presets save time when you have a batch of images under the same lighting that require the same adjustment.
Below is the straight out of camera shot and the resulting end photo in Lightroom.
SOOC (straight out of camera)
Edited version, what do you think?
Edited Block Island photo in Lightroom 4
From the archives come a Photoshop before and after from last summers trip to Block Island, Rhode Island.
First I straightened the image about 2 degrees clockwise. I was a little off kilter taking the picture. Then adjusted the levels and curves. The swimmers in the water were bothering me, so I cloned them out.
I’ve learned some things since then, one I would decrease the saturation after resizing. Another change, instead of sharpening I use the unsharpen mask, seems to work cleaner. But overall, I like the bottom version better, what do you think?
One of the benefits of not doing a 365 Project this year is the flexibility to use one of the thousands (yes, thousands) of pictures that didn’t make last years cut. Or, I can pull up an image from years ago, a forgotten neglected image from years gone by.
This fence on Block Island just called me over with the buoys hanging all in a row above the sunflowers. It is so New England and the overcast weather is probably comparably to what it is now, minus the sunflowers.
Photoshop processing: Levels, shadows and highlights, an artist plastic wrap effect at a low opacity and then a final sharpen unmask.
Pearls and Starfish
I love shopping and I this necklace from Block Island just radiates summer. Perfect with my tan from summer vacation. I could have stayed on the beach a week and never been bored. Maybe next time I will. Until the next summer on the island, farewell until we meet again.
Sachem Pond, Block Island
My last Block Island post, sad and reflective at the same time. Was the trip what I expected? Yes. Do I wish I had more time to sit and relax? Yes. Will I be back? Yes. Block Island is a mixture of personalities, the wild untamed Mohegan Cliffs to the calm water on Sachem Pond. It’s invigorating and calming at the same time.
I ate amazing food, took a moped around the island and found out that yes, mopeds can go 50 mph, laid in the sun and did absolutely nothing. There is nothing like salt air and open skies to cleanse the mind and rejuvenate the spirit.
When I return, and I will return, I will head back to the Narragansett Inn. It was the perfect place to stay on a perfect island.
Sunshine On My Shoulder
This picture of my dear friend makes me smile. Why were we laughing? Who knows, who cares. This is the epitome of a carefree summer day on the beach at Block Island.
It was about lifeguards in high school
Ok, who is going to admit it first? I guess I’ll step up to the plate. As my friend said “It was all about the boys and the beach back then wasn’t it?” Yup, no doubt about that. Twenty something years later we plopped our towels down in the same spot on Block Island. In front of the life guard stand. Heck why not.
In high school our summer destination trip, which included girls and boys, consisted of riding the ferry over from Point Judith Rhode Island to Block Island. We got off the ferry in Old Harbor, walked five minutes to Crescent Beach and spent the rest of the day there. Didn’t leave. Why would we? We had everything we needed. Boys, beach, sand, and ocean.
Beach Babes 25 years later...
This time our trip budget was a little more than the $20 we stuck in our pocket. Some things have changed, but some things stay the same.
Crescent Beach, Block Island RI
Crescent Beach is the most popular beach on Block Island, it’s within easy walking distance from the Ferry Docks, has a full service beach house complete with showers, bathrooms, and a wonderful concessions to eat lunch. Block Island is an oasis in New England. The soft white sands are a contrast to the rocky pebbly beaches of Connecticut and the water is sparkling blue.
Much of this is due to Block Island being twelve miles off shore and away from the sheltered waterways of Long Island Sound which tend to “trap” pollution, debris and make the beaches a little foamy and dirtier. Block Island reminds me of the Caribbean, a little slice of heaven.
Relaxing at the beach
Harborside on Block Island
This combination of green umbrellas and the white picket fence just screamed out for a photo. Taken on Block Island (have you gotten enough yet?) at MacPhails in the Old Harbor over looking Old Harbor. Had a really good clam chowder here, Yum!
Sunset on the Porch of the Narragansett Inn
Another sunset deserving of applause. I just about starting clapping to honor the tradition in Key West. The sunset was a perfect back drop to our dinner at the Narragansett Inn. Our trip was nearing a close and just one more day lay ahead for shopping and exploring. I couldn’t of asked for a better ending to a day.
There is just something about a sunset over the water with the smell of ocean air wafting in the breeze. To someone born and raised in Connecticut now living in land locked Nebraska this is shear bliss.
Sunset over New Harbor, Block Island, RI