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.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 17-70mm
Focal Length: 17mm
Bracketing: 5 shots (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2 )
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used all 5 images to tone map image (-2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, contrast
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water)
- Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements ( cliffs)