Abandoned Boat | Eastern Shore | Willis Wharf, VA
Along the side of the road I spy…
A tattered old fishing boat, abandoned and left to the elements.
My dad & husband both looked at me like I was crazy when I pointed out the abandoned boat, but my mom got it. She is a photographer, too. We made a u-turn and went back so mom & I could take a few photos.
After moving on, a conversation ensued about what makes something old, interesting. Not every old piece of junk captures my attention…but this abandoned boat did. It was obviously done with its days in the water. It was perched on a ledge near the tidal shoals of Willis Wharf, left to the decay. Its flecks of blue and red, colors that probably made this boat someone’s pride and joy at one point, were peeling away. I photographed this dilapidated boat because it told a story.
Capture & Processing Notes
All of these photographs were captured with my Canon 6D and 24-105 lens. Processing was a bit of a journey. I made a “quick & dirty” edit of one of them to put up on Instagram the day after I made the photo. However, my processing wasn’t great. It was fine for a quick web share, but it wouldn’t have stood up as a print. The HDR processing was dirty with noise, ghosting, and halos.
When I decided to blog these images I started over. I initially used Aurora HDR and came up with some pretty good results…but I still wasn’t satisfied. One of the issues with HDR is ghosting – and these were taken on a very breezy day, meaning that the grass and trees were in constant motion. The de-ghosting in Aurora did an okay job, but I knew I could do better.
For a while I’ve been experimenting with Luminosity Masks in Photoshop. Its one of those techniques that seems really hard…until it clicks. And it started to click last week for me, FINALLY. I watched this tutorial, and decided I might be able to adapt it for these fishing boat photos and get a better result with fewer artifacts without having to go through HDR tone mapping. Ultimately, each of these images was created with two exposures – the normal (0) and over-exposed (+1). I did the Luminosity Mask in Photoshop and then did my finer edits for texture and color in On1 Photo 10 in the Effects module.
The key to processing these images and getting a clean result was to work selectively, and that ALWAYS takes more time. What I love about On1 Photo 10 is how easy it is to make masks and selective edits. Their “Perfect Brush” saves me a TON of time.
So, all of that to say I’m extremely happy with how these images finally turned out. It was worth the work.
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Great job. I took some photos of the same boat the other day.
I found the boat quite beautiful in a run-down, tarnished sort of way.
I’m surprised that it is still there! If you posted your photos online, please send me a link so I can see what it looks like today. I agree, there was a beauty in the decay.