This is another beautiful spot along California State Route 1. Just a few miles after Santa Cruz, while driving towards San Francisco, you pass beautiful Greyhound Rock Beach.
As you can guess, the main attraction of this location is Greyhound Rock. When you look at the beach from the distance, the rock looks like enormous sea creature laying close to the shore.
I took this photo while walking along the steep trail down to the ocean.
This was a very challenging photo to process. I was shooting directly into the sun with the strong wind bending pampas grass violently from left to right. I was not sure if it would be possible to avoid ghosting effects when processing it for HDR.
It took me more than an hour to get everything right except for the sky. It looked muddy with the strong bending effects. I created a new layer, filled it with a blue gradient, from darker blue at the top to the lighter at the bottom and I used Blue Channel as the base for my transparency mask which allowed me to hide everything except sky region. This way I could get my sky exactly the way I wanted.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 10-20
Focal Length: 10mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
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 5 bracketed shots to tone map image ( -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom (Tutorial: Complete HDR Workflow).
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, contrast, vibrance, sky replacement.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky mostly).