This photo is from arguably the most interesting and photogenic travel photography destination in the world – Big Sur.
But it was really challenging to achieve this result. When you drive along California State Route 1 from the South to the North, the sun is always behind you and you try to photograph towards the north where the colors are rich and the air is clear. And when you look back, (South) you see the washed out and flat landscapes with atmospheric haze.
In this case, I had no choice but to shoot against the sun since one of the most scenic parts of the shore was obstructed by cliffs and trees from the south.
I took the maximum number of bracketed shots (7) with an exposure range from -3 to +3. I later tone mapped the 7 bracketed raw files for HDR in HDR Expose 3, but I did not apply any color correction or effects. My goal was to create a 32-bit image with the highest possible quality so later I could have more control and push the HDR image further in Lightroom and Photoshop.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60
Lens: Sigma 17-70mm
Focal Length: 33mm
Bracketing: 7 shots (-3; -2; -1; 0, +1; +2; +3)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442
Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40
Processing: HDR Processed in HRD Expose 3
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to HDR Expose 3
HDR Expose 3: I used 7 photos to tone map image (-3; -2; -1; 0, +1; +2; +3). 32-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (check my review HDR Expose 3 – King of Natural Looking HDR)
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, mountains)