Originally Posted by A.S.
The content and composition is right up my alley; I'm curious about the color choices. Would you expand on your post-processing decisions? They're unreal, but quite nice.
I'm doing this small group of Pescadero photos as a decorative set to make some cards with, not necessarily as a documentarian rendering, so*color accuracy isn't a priority. I like to work with monochrome and duotone images for this kind of thing, but here the color detail is so nice I didn't want to completely obliterate it. So I chose a 'reduced palette' flattening of the color to abstract the photos out of the 'real' and into a more 'archetypal fantasy' notion.
I have a number of interesting starting points for this kind of color rendering that I've used over the past decade. Once I come up with a palette that I think works for most of the photos in a group, I then apply it to all and tweak in small ways to allow each photo its own voice while staying consistent within the set.
The mechanics of what I am doing are quite simple: I have a starting point preset that smashes out all color saturation using the HSL panel in Lightroom and also applies a somewhat pathological set of Luminance values and a rather extreme tone curve. I then look at the image and adjust the color saturation upwards on a channel by channel basis depending on the overall tone I'm looking for and the original colors in the scene.
Because I have presets for all of this, it really goes quite fast. I rarely spend more than about thirty seconds doing the actual manipulations on a given image. A lot more time goes into looking at the exposures I made and determining whether I think they're worthy of posting... or not!