Forgotten Fortress

Forgotten Fortress

Brian Auer | 08/04/2007 | Santa Monica, CA | 157mm * f/2.8 * 1/30s * ISO400
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This one was taken on the beach at Santa Monica in the summer of 2007 during a group Photowalk. The light of day was fading, and the beach was fairly empty. I saw this little sand fortress (complete with swimming pool) and the bucket that was used to make it. The scene kind of struck me as interesting because of the bucket laying there abandoned and the handle detached off in the background. It had a solemn mood about it, so I snapped a few shots as I made my way down the beach.

Forgotten Fortress Post-Processing

  1. In-Camera JPEG
    As you can see, the bright green bucket is probably what first caught my eye.
  2. Processed RAW
    This is unusual for me, but I did a ton of processing in Adobe Camera Raw. I converted to black and white, adjusted my exposure options, adjusted my curves, added a warming tone, and finally added vignette. I'm not sure if I like this method of processing because it leaves me back at ground zero if I want to make some tweaks. Maybe I should start saving the XMP settings for each file… Or is there an easier way to do this?
  3. Curves Adjustment
    Once in Photoshop, I just applied a curves adjustment layer with an “S” curve to bump the contrast and give it a bit more saturation.
  4. Sharpening
    I sharpened the lightness channel in LAB mode using the unsharp mask at 75%, 1.5 pixels, and a threshold of 0.