Cayucos State Beach Clouds (California)

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Cayucos is the run-down town along California State Route 1 between Morro Bay and San Cambria. There is nothing special about it except the beautiful beach with the amazing coastal views in both directions (south and north).

During my California coastal drives, I always plan short stops at Cayucos, long enough for a quick launch at the town’s beach and for taking some seascape photographs.

I took the featured photo from Cayucos Pier which provides an incredible view of Morro Bay Rock. Unfortunately, the pier is in process of being rebuilt at this point and it will take a couple of years until I can take another photograph from it.

California. California. Cayucos State Beach
Loc: 35.448682, -120.906360

Shooting and Processing

Since the light was not extreme, I took only 3 bracketed shots on a tripod (FEISOL Tournament CT-3442). Originally I was planning to use Photomatix processing but at the very last moment, I changed my mind and used luminosity masks blending in Photoshop (for more details check my Review: “The Art of Digital Blending”).

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots ( -1; 0; +1 )

PROCESSING: Digital Blending with Lminosity Masks

Lightroom: import, tagging, contrast, color correction. I produced 3 separate images and exported them to Photoshop.
Photoshop: I opened 3 bracketed photos directly in Photoshop and placed each image on a separate layer. Then, I used luminosity masking techniques to blend everything together.

Photoshop Plugins: 

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
  • Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (beach, mountains).