Cayucos State Beach Clouds (California)

Cayucos is the run-down town along California State Route 1 between Morro Bay and San Cambria. There is nothing special about it except 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 featured photo from Cayucos Pier which provides incredible view of Morro Bay Rock. Unfortunately, the pier is in process of being rebuilt at this point and it will take couple of years until I can take another photograph from it.

Shooting and Processing

Since light was not extreme, I took only 3 bracketed shots on 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”).

Travel Photography Blog - California. Cayucos State Beach
California. California. Cayucos State Beach
Loc: 35.448682, -120.906360

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 5 Bracketed Shots ( -1; 0; +1 )
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Canon 10-20
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Bracketing: 5 shots (-1, 0, +1)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

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 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).
Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.
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