Canon 5D Mark II, 85mm F/1.2, f/5.6, 1/800, iso 100
Photography is all about the light, that's the first thing you learn. I have learned that I have a favorite type of light. It's when the sun is low, and there are big dark clouds overhead. The sun is peeking through, and the rays must bounce between the land and the clouds, and for me, this light is magical.
On this morning I had left our hotel (in Astoria, Oregon) to get some boat shots at the marina. At sunrise. I wasn't real successful with the boat shots. As I walked back to the hotel, the morning sun lit up the hotel and I just stopped in my tracks. This is the magical light. I quickly switched lenses and fired several frames before the light was lost.
(If you ever find yourself in Astoria, this is the place to stay!)
I thought Topaz Adjust would bring out some interesting character in the pilings and buildings. I noted the sky though, and often Adjust will render a sky like this in an unnatural way. So in Photoshop, the first thing I did was make a duplicate layer. Then in Adjust, I started with the Spicify preset. Probably because of the intense sunlight, the building was over saturated. No problem, just grab the saturation slider and back it off some.
And yes, I didn't like the sky one bit. Back in Photoshop, I clicked the layer mask button, selected a paintbrush, and just painted away the Adjust sky. The original sky was revealed and I'm a happy post processor. As always, the original image is on the continue link below.