Colorful Lifeguard Hut at Cocoa Beach / Don't Give Up

In Color, Almost

The bright colors of the lifeguard hut at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida, and don’t give up, even if things get difficult.

The bright colors of the lifeguard hut at Lori Wilson Park in Cocoa Beach, Florida, stand out in this otherwise monochrome photo from our 2019 Florida Summer Vacation.

Frequent Burnsland readers know that this lifeguard hut at Cocoa Beach is a favorite photo subject of mine, going back to the early days when it was not even painted. The hut was interesting then, but it got to be even more interesting when it was painted red, white, and blue.

After the earlier photo featuring some selective color on our washing machine, I thought it might be fun to give that treatment to a few other photos as well. The bright colors of this lifeguard hut at Cocoa Beach immediately came to mind.

This photo is a little different, because instead of one color, this one includes three colors: red, blue, and yellow. That made it slightly more tricky. You can read more about how it was done in the “About the Photo” section down below.

So no, your eyes are not going bad, and there is nothing wrong with your monitor or phone screen. I meant for the photo to look like that. Really.

As I have often mentioned before, I greatly enjoy the colors of things, so monochrome photos are a little bit of a stretch for me. However, because this one includes a few colors, I did not have any trouble sharing it at all.

Keep On Going

Here is the part of the website post where I try to say something meaningful or encouraging. So here is what I have for today:

Don’t give up.

When it seems like you have done all that you can, or when it seems like you have shared all the photos that you have taken, or when it seems like you have told all of the stories that you can tell, don’t give up.

Even though it seems like we have been going through the same things over and over again with no end in sight, don’t give up.

If you feel like you are doing all you can to not spread a virus even though it seems like not everyone else is doing their part, don’t give up.

When you feel like you are doing all you can to treat everyone fairly and equally and others still feel hurt and excluded, don’t give up.

Even though it seems like no one laughs at your jokes, don’t give up. Maybe that is just me.

Whatever the difficulties you seem to be facing, if you are doing your best, then keep on going. Don’t give up, no matter how difficult things might seem or how ineffective you might feel. If something is worth doing, it is worth seeing through to the end, whatever that end might be.

So if you are feeling down, if you are feeling discouraged, if you are feeling useless, or even if you are just feeling tired, don’t give up. It will be worth it.

Bible Verse

But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:13-14

About the Photo

Processing this photo was a little more involved than most of what I usually do, but that was fine with me because I knew I had a certain look that I wanted.

Usually, I just do my processing in Aurora HDR to get the look that I want, and then I am done. However, this was more than what Aurora could do on its own. So instead, I started by opening the photo in Photoshop. From there, I used Aurora HDR as a plugin instead of as a standalone program. In Aurora, I desaturated all of the colors except for red, blue, and yellow, and I made a few other adjustments to get as close to the look that I wanted as I could.

However, there were still some other areas of red, blue, and yellow in the photo besides just the lifeguard hut, and I wanted those areas to have a monochrome look. For example, the sky still had a blue tint to it, although it was a much lighter blue than before. If I had left it that way, the photo would have had a bit of a hand-tinted look, but that was not what I wanted for this particular photo.

In Photoshop, I duplicated the layer, and then made the lower level completely monochrome. Using layer masks, I then brushed in the color parts and made sure to mask out everything else. That gave the result that you see above. It is possible that I could have done all of it in Photoshop without using the Aurora HDR plugin, but I knew I could quickly do most of the work with Aurora and just do a little finishing in Photoshop, so that is what I did. As always, there is more than one way to process a photo to get the look that you want. Do what works for you.

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Aurora HDR. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Sony Alpha A7 II
Lens: Sony FE 28-70mm f/3.5-5.6 OSS Lens
Date: June 11, 2019
Location: Lori Wilson Park, Cocoa Beach, Florida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.