Santa Monica Pier Clouds (California)

This is the very first photo I took during my first drive along California State Route 1. I had just landed in Los Angeles, and before driving toward Santa Barbara I stopped by Santa Monica Pier.

Just a few hours earlier, I was in Eastern Canada where the late January morning temperature was below -30° C, which is extreme even by Montreal standards. On my way to the airport, I looked and felt very uncomfortable and odd wearing light clothes, ready for my West Coast adventure.

Then I found myself at the ocean wearing a t-shirt and enjoying a warm rain. It felt like California.

Travel Photography Blog: Big Sur California Coastal Drive
California. Los Angeles. Santa Monica
Loc: 34.00993, -118.49865

Deconstructing Featured Photo

HDR Bracketed Shots

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 17-70mm
Focal Length: 17mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
ISO: 100
Aperture: F9
Shutter Speed: 1/250
Bracketing: 3 shots ( -1, 0, +1)
Tripod: hand-held

Processing: HDR Processed

Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photoshop HDR Pro
Photoshop: 3 exposures ( -1, 0, +1) used to tone map image, 32-bit tiff image was saved to Lightroom  (check my free guide “Natural Looking HDR Workflow“)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, split toning, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, sharpening
Photoshop Plugins:

  • Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (grass, fence)
  • Topaz DeNoise helped to eliminate noise in the sky.
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.

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