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Friday Slide Show: Half Moon Bay Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

19 August 2016

We can't remember the first time we took the 25-mile trip south to visit Half Moon Bay. We must have been fighting with our three brothers in the back seat of the Plymouth Sport Suburban. Maybe there were only two of them then. Or even just one.

The Old Church. Discretely placed a block away from Main Street.

We seem to have been taking that marvelous ride down the Cabrillo (Ka-bree'-yo) Highway for a long, long time. It descends from Daly City rapidly to sea level and climbs again through a wood in Pacifica.

In the old days, that brought you to Devil's Slide. It was a treacherous run hugging the cliffs high above the Pacific that storms would close for weeks, choking off Half Moon Bay from the rest of the world. The only exit was through the valley east, which couldn't bear the traffic.

Now there's a new tunnel so long it has to circulate air through it with huge fans. But it too delivers you to the run of coast that takes you past Montara Beach and Princeton and on into Half Moon Bay at last.

We never stop along the way but we always want to. There are overlooks and places to explore that always beckon to us. But we love rolling down that road too much to stop.

Which is not a good thing for someone with a camera in the back seat.

Forgive us if the place makes us a little sentimental.

Fortunately, it isn't hard to find a parking place along Main Street once you get into town. Then you can get out of the car and stroll through the main business district, admiring the old buildings and the inviting shops before stopping to enjoy the local cuisine.

Forgive us if the place makes us a little sentimental. We can't help seeing something that reminds us of someone, often someone long gone.

Our most recent trip just a few days ago was a brief one and our slide show is, consequently, just a peek at this wonderful place.

As we always do these days, we shot Raw with our Nikon D300 and the 18-200mm Nikkor zoom with a circular polarizer. Those Raw files are converted into DNGs when we copy them to our hard drive and back them up.

Then we import them into Lightroom as a Collection and pick our favorites. When we pick too many favorites, we just pretend this is photojournalism and not art. When have too few, we just pretend it's only art. We're happy if you have the had the feeling of having been along on the trip with us.

We're getting into the habit of using the Upright tool on anything architectural. And we did that here. We also enabled profile corrections in Lens Corrections to moderate the distortion of our wide angle shots. Those two things help a lot to make the image less a photographic construct and more, well, real.

Then we apply a preset that knocks all the Basic sliders into our preferred positions. Even if we like that, we tweak it a bit to see if we can make it just a little better.

In our shot of the jail, we did more than tweak it. We faded the hillside back to what it had been in the original image because it did have some mist. And we erased an ugly power line cutting right across the hills. Some people would put us in that jail for that but power lines are not permanent features of the landscape.

It was a very pleasant stroll through Half Moon Bay that day but it was too short. Which, perhaps, is the reason we keep coming back.

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