Sunset at Carmel Beach City Park (California)

Another photo from my very first trip to West Coast where I drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco in five days, not rushing and taking my time, trying to discover and capture beauty of California coast.

The first few days of my travel photography trip were not comfortable at all. It was chilly with extremely strong wind and at the times it was challenging to setup a tripod and keep it steady so I could take series of bracketed shots for HDR processing.

I arrived in town of Carmel early evening after completing the most interesting part of the drive: the Big Sur. And this when the weather suddenly changed. The wind was completely gone and it became very pleasant and warm , almost t-shirt warm.

I found myself at the north end of the Carmel City Park Beach. I was facing beautiful beach rocks illuminated by evening light with the sunset sky in the background and the legendary Pebble Beach golf course just behind me. It was perfect.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Carmel. Carmel Beach City Park

California. Carmel. Carmel Beach City Park
Loc: 36.557954, -121.932091


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots ( -1;  0; +1 ) [Read more...]

El Matador Beach Rocks at Sunset (California)

This is not well known or very popular travel photography destination when you drive along California’s Pacific Coast Highway in the vicinity of Malibu not too far from Los Angeles. And if you are not looking for it you definitely are going to miss it.

It was recommended to me by one of the local LA travel photographers Mark Esguerra prior to my first trip to West Coast. I had El Matador State Beach address loaded to my GPS with the hundred or so locations I was planning to visit and photograph.

I landed in Los Angeles just few hours earlier and after quick visit to Santa Monica pier, this is was my first planned stop of the trip. I arrived to the beach later than I was planning and sunset was not spectacular with low and dark rainy clouds covering pretty much entire horizon. But I was not complaining because I had entire beach for myself with with all people scared away by the rain.

I have few interesting photos from El Matador Beach but this is my favorite one which I shot from the top of the hill. Somebody pointed out to me that the rock in the middle of the composition looks like mythical creature trying to crawl its way back to the ocean. I really like that metaphor.

Travel Photography Blog - California. El Matador State Beach

California. El Matador State Beach
Loc: 34.038077, -118.8757487


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots ( -1;  0; +1 ) [Read more...]

Brooklyn Bridge Wires and the Flag (New York)

Brooklyn Bridge is an iconic element of New York landscape. It is easily recognizable with the historical roots and you can not go wrong by including it in your composition.  I have plenty of photos of New York skyline with presence of the famous arch and every time I visit NY I make sure I have at least few shots of the bridge. On my last trip I found new bridge perspective for myself by shooting it from Staten Island Ferry.

But what I realized years back was that it is not easy to come up with meaningful composition while you actually walking across the bridge. The first obstacle is bridge wires, they are everywhere and when you want to composite the shot with part of the bridge as foreground element and Manhattan serving as the backdrop, it is not easy to avoid them (wires). The second challenge is obviously people, they are everywhere and it can be ridiculous if you try to walk across the bridge in the middle of the summer during the high tourist season.

Compositing this shot I was trying to deal with both problems differently. By shooting up I managed to avoid tourists. The second issue was solved by making steel cables the main element of the shot which formed abstract symmetry of the composition.

And of course  without the flag this photo would look too monochromatic and symmetrically boring

Travel Photography Blog - New York. Manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge

New York. Manhattan. Brooklyn Bridge
Loc: 40.706769, -73.997702


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: Original RAW Photo

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Spooner’s Cove Rock (California)

I found this beautiful rock (cliff?) at the small and secluded  Spooner’s Beach in Montana De Oro State Park. The beach is located approximately midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco when you drive along California State Route 1.

I have already featured Spooner’s Cove layered arch in my older post. It is amazing that such a small and not very known spot has two distinctive attractions, any travel photographer’s dream.

Montana De Oro State Park is the great place to spend a day. My favorite places in the park are hiking trails along the elevated pacific shore. But it can be extremely windy close to the shore at some point during the day you start looking for quite place to relax. Spooner’s Cove serves as an amazing refuge from gusty winds where you can lie down under the sun  or have quite picnic with breathtaking view.

Travel Photography Blog - California. Montana De Oro State Park. Spooner's Cove

California. Montana De Oro State Park. Spooner’s Cove
Loc: 35.275309, -120.888437


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 4 Bracketed Shots (-2; -1;  0; +1 ) [Read more...]

Morro Bay Boats (California)

I love the Pacific coastal drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco along California State Route 1. It is beautiful at its entirety, but at the same time, I have a few personal favorite spots along the way, and Morro Bay is one of them. Morro Bay serves as an indication or reminder that the most beautiful and most rewarding part of the drive, from a travel photography standpoint, is about to begin.

Normally, I plan my trips to California in the middle of winter, when life in Eastern Canada is almost unbearable and I need a break from winter clothes, and when I really miss my photography.

In the past, every time I stopped at Morro Bay in January or February, it was extremely windy, sometimes it was impossible to setup the tripod and I had to shoot hand-held, looking for shelter behind the rocks.

But the day I took this featured photo, it was different. It was late morning and unusually warm (+25ºC; 77ºF) and quiet with almost no wind.  It was also first time in years I had found myself wearing a t-shirt in the middle of winter, running around with my photo gear like a child.

Travel Photography Blog - USA. California. Morro Bay

USA. California. Morro Bay
Loc: 35.371861, -120.859253


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots (-2; -1;  0; +1, +2 ) [Read more...]

Red Colors of the Fall (Montreal)

More “fall colors” from Montreal. Normally, the colors of the “fall foliage” are yellow and gold and on rare occasion, you can find the tree with bright red, “burning” colors. I spotted this tree a couple of days prior to the day I took this shot, and I waited for good weather with favorable light. When I saw the bright sky with white clouds that served as a natural light diffuser, I knew it was my day.

I composed the shot to make the red colors of the tree, and fallen leaves on the ground, the main elements of the composition, and then I waited for 15-20 minutes for the rowers to pass by.

When I was processing the image in Photoshop, I realized that the small tree in the foreground was the real destruction and I had to use the Stamp Tool to cover/erase it. At the very end of the processing I decided to flip the image horizontally. I thought that the rowers moving from left to right would improve the composition and make it more natural.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Lachine

Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Lachine
Loc: 45.428806, -73.678424


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-2;  0; +2) [Read more...]

Inspirations: NORWAY – 40 Best of Travel and Landscape Photographs

Today’s theme for inspiration is NORWAY. There are 2 countries in the world which fascinate me the most. The first one is Iceland and I featured it already on my blog in INSPIRATIONS category. The second country is NORWAY and it is up to you to decide which one is more beautiful.





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Long Exposure Afternoon (Montreal)

That was the day when we had some incredible cloud formations over the Montreal.  The air was crystal clear with a bright blue sky and with whiter than white clouds. It was a pure joy to walk around  Old Montreal with the camera. The weather  was similar to the day I took the “Sailing Back Home” photo, which I featured in my older blog post.

That afternoon, I was testing my new toy – Hitech 10-Stop Neutral Density Filter which, I received the day earlier from B&H. I could not wait to see the slowest exposure time that I could achieve in broad daylight. By the end of my test, I managed to slow down the shutter speed up to 15 sec.

For this particular shot, 4 sec was enough to smooth the water and soften the sky.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Montreal. Old Port. Long Exposure Afternoon

Canada. Montreal. Old Port
Loc: 45.491408, -73.549613


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-2;  0; +2)

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Bonsecours Basin Park in Fall Colors (Montreal)

Another “fall foliage” photo from Montreal. This time I was walking around in Old Port, enjoying warm afternoon. I did not have my usual dslr photo gear with me, all I had is my point-and-shoot Lumix LX-7 in my pocket. Normally, when I go for photo hunting without any planning,  I am a happy person if by the end of the day I have one or two “keepers”. The day I took this photo was different. I had at least 8-10 quality photos I was not embarrassed to display in my portfolio and all of them were shot with point-and-shoot. You never know.

I took this photo almost from the same spot I as the photo I featured in my older blog post Boardwalk to Clock Tower, different time of year and different processing made the final photos completely unlike.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Montreal. Old Port. Fall Colors

Canada. Montreal. Old Port
Loc: 45.507885, -73.546620


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-2;  0; +2) [Read more...]

Path to the Golden Forest (Montreal)

ELLO List keeps Growing

As I mentioned before, I was not planning to grow Top Travel and Landscape Photographers to Follow on ELLO list beyond hundred of names but some of you pointed out that I missed number of extremely talented travel and landscape photographers. I had no choice but to add more names to the list today. It is 105 names list now. You can find it here.

In the Magical Forest

I continue to post “fall colors” photographs on my blog. The fall is probably the best time of the year for any landscape or travel photographer. This is when colors just explode and you do not necessarily need “good” light to get interesting, vibrant photos.

Here in Montreal, the fun is almost over. Most of the leaves are gone and everything looks washed out and bleak.  But this is not the case in the parks and forests around the city. It took me only 25 km to drive away from the Island of Montreal and the picture was completely different. The trees in the forests were still on fire. The combination of fall foliage and sun blasting through the leaves created a soft and warm glow. It looked like a magical forest.

Travel Photography Blog - Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Mont Saint Bruno National Park

Canada. Quebec. Montreal. Mont Saint Bruno National Park
Loc: 45.542355, -73.327213


Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1;  0; +1) [Read more...]