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.

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