Pfeiffer Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach in Central California, the must-visit travel photography destination. At the same time, it is the most secluded one. Without planning and research it is almost impossible to find it; there is no signs or directions on the California State Route 1 and the only way to get to the beach is to take a narrow, rundown one-lane road through the mountains.
During my travel photography trips to California, Pfeiffer Beach is the strategic location for me. This is the place where I allocate extra time for my photography and time to rest and have a picnic in the beautiful surroundings.
It was end of January, and the weather was unusually warm but with the strong, gusty winds blowing from the ocean. There was no way to have a picnic on the beach without getting a healthy dose of sand with the meal.
This is when I started to climb the cliff at the south part of the beach, trying to find shelter behind the rocks. It was pretty challenging to set up my Feisol tripod on such an uneven terrain.
With HDR processing in mind, I setup my composition to have shapes and textures of the rocks as the main foreground interest.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
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 images 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, removing HDR artifacts in water, contrast.
- Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (water, sky)
- Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (rocks)