There is a very popular fresh water beach at Olney Pond in Lincoln Woods State Park. Between the parking lot and the beach there is this small catch-pond for runoff and overflow. The fact that there is a "No Swimming" sign here pretty much tells you that there are some folks that couldn't walk the additional 50 feet to get to the actual beach. As inviting as it looks in this photo, the reality is that the water here is really not suited for swimming. That, naturally, doesn't stop everyone.
I tried a few different techniques today before settling on the traditional black and white shot. The color version, while vibrant, was just too cheerful for what I wanted to project. The scene (in color) overpowered the sign, whereas I really wanted the sign to overpower the scene. The reflections in the background are nice, and I did want the eye to wander towards them, but I wanted the sign to be a block, an obstacle to overcome in order to reach the tranquility in the background. It just didn't work in color.
I used a simple pop filter in Topaz Adjust to bring out the contrast. On top of that, I layered a desaturated crisp filter in Topaz Adjust using a soft light blend mode and a high pass filter at 3 pixels. (By desaturated, I mean I removed the color from that layer before applying the blend mode and high pass filter. I wanted to sharpen the edges, but not impact the color at this point.) The black and white conversion was done with a gradient map in color blend mode. I adjusted the levels and then applied a sepia photo filter. On top of that I applied a final levels adjustment to generate the desired contrast.