12 Feb 15. Last summer's low tides were quite depressing in that the sea star decimation was in full swing, and perhaps because of such, there wasn't the normal amount of intertidal inhabitants to be found. The combination of the wasting sea stars and scarcity of other invertebrates made for a less than successful day of shooting. But there were a lot of birds looking for whatever they could scrounge and they offer some opportunity for play with the camera. At one point there were more than a dozen Great Blue Herons and dozens of gulls of various types, so I tried getting something interesting with them. My efforts weren't well rewarded, probably says more about the photographer than the situation, but I did get a few that I thought I might play with, this being one of them. Being Theatrical Thursday this is naturally a totally creative effort, so it will not look anything like what was there, but still provides for an idea of the setting. I manage to get two birds, a heron and a gull, and two ships, a ferry and a freighter in the same frame, so in that sense it is not one of my typical captures. One of the more interesting things that was occurring were three different aspects of the flowing water. While not really all that evident in the original capture, this manipulation has them clearly delineated. Part of the difference is caused by the shallow kelp beds, part caused by the flowing incoming tide, and a third for which I can't account.
The original image is a composite of two versions, one for everything but the heron and the other for the heron. I combined them to get both subjects looking as I wanted. I then cropped the frame, adjusted for max tonality, and added a curves adjustment to control overall contrast. Then I did some small amount of straightening of the horizon, probably could have gotten away with how it was, and added a contrast manipulation to get the grainier and darker look. Then I ran another filter to get the streaky look, and applied it using a multiply blending mode set to 70%, and called it quits. Nikon D300s; 18 - 200; Aperture priority; ISO 200; 1/50 sec @ f / 7.1.