Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside


On Biscayne Bay, facing Key Biscayne

I have to admit, I can be a bit contrary. Just as the weather is turning and making us think about being “inside” more, I start thinking more about being outside. But being outside, inside a sailboat, that is. One of the places that makes me feel most at home in the world.

These scenes are from Biscayne Bay near Miami in Florida a few years ago. As we start talking about getting ready to go south, I decided to scan through these old images and the great memories came flooding back.

Lately, I’ve been spending time getting familiar with my new Topaz bundle, which contains more presets than I will ever know what to do with. I’m thinking about the simplicity of life on a sailboat and what it feels like to be inside a small vessel on big open water under big open sky.  The feeling of all the dramatic contrasts really lends itself to black and white.

I haven’t been all that pleased with my black and white conversions in the past, but I am pleased with Topaz. It provides so many great options and allows you you to tweak to your heart’s content, to get exactly the look you want.

Topaz also came to the rescue in dealing with the noise in the images, which were made with my previous camera, which was a lot more noisy than my new one. So I also ran Topaz Denoise, which is absolutely wonderful for getting rid of that pesky noise.

I’m really just scratching the surface with Topaz so if you have any favorites or tips for using it, I’d love to hear about them.

big cloud b and w

Taken from our sailboat facing Coconut Grove.

9 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

  1. I love Denoise but don’t use the others anymore. They are just too slow on my computer and it’s difficult to get a look that doesn’t look overprocessed. But definitely use the opacity slider (under finishing touches I think) to lessen the effect before saving. I use Nik Silver Effex for B&W.

  2. Lovely b/w conversions Sherry. I’m using LR5 and attempt my own adjustments, although LR5 comes with quite a bunch of presets. I used the trial of Topaz and didn’t buy it though it may be worth the money. Love your images. Enjoy your stay in Florida – guess you are an official “snow bird”. 🙂

  3. Sherry and Bob, With new adventures before you, you leave the structured land world and its restrictions and gain the freedom of the seas. New rules await but they are so much better.

  4. How much longer until you head south? I love all your adventures but I am carried away by your southern journeys. Lovely photos and I know they must set your heart aflutter as you begin to think about being on your boat again.

  5. Sherry I am entirely smitten with that first image in particular, and it really provides a visual to demonstrate the mood you so eloquently write about for us to dream along with you.
    I use Nik Software for some of my post processing. It comes as a bundle with the types of functions you describe about Topaz. I use the Sliver Efex Pro which is the black & white portion of the bundle and, like you, was utterly amazed when I first began using it a few years ago. So glad you are enjoying using the Topaz software — sorry, I too have not heard of it :~).
    Love this post!

  6. That last black and white is really quite stunning…I envy you the simplicity of being on the boat in the winter…scaling down sailing…wonderful.
    I wish I could help you with Topaz…but I’ve never heard of it…no surprise there…LOL

  7. That top image is so beautiful Sherry, water is just like glass. I have that Topaz and not quite sold on it, yes there are a lot of presets but not sure I find it my cup of tea. You really have to have the right images I have found for the presets for the most part. When you do it is great but just not sure of this one from Topaz. Maybe it will grow on me.

  8. I don’t know what Topaz is, but your photos are beautiful. I love the peace in the first one and the drama, thanks to those clouds, in the second one.

    So you will soon be going south and getting a second summer as we all go towards winter! Clever you!

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