Green Road to the Mountains (California)

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At the end of January 2015, after visiting Hawaii, I flew to California to complete my first photo trip of the year. Once again, I started my journey in Los Angeles and drove along the scenic California State Route 1 all the way to San Francisco.

In the middle of the drive, I realized that coastal Northern California looks very different this year. In contrast, 2014 was the year of the record-setting drought in California history and, that winter, I witnessed completely different landscapes. California looked more like a desert with predominant brownish colors of dry vegetation.

When I reached Piedras Blancas, and was about to drive along the last stretch of the flat road just before hitting the mountains, I remembered that in 2014 I photographed this area and one of the photos was very popular on my blog. I decided to take another photo from the same spot to compare them later. 

Here is the photo from 2015

USA, California, Cabrillo Hwy
Loc: 35.7300, -121.3144

Below is the photo from 2014

USA, California, Cabrillo Hwy
Loc: 35.7300, -121.3144

Also, I was very surprised when I returned home and checked the metadata of the photo from 2014 (above) I discovered that it was taken on the same date, January 28, exactly one year earlier.


I shot 3 bracketed shots (see image below) with Sony a6000 on FEISOL Tournament tripod.


I used the HDR Pro module of Photoshop (check my free guide “Natural Looking HDR Workflow“) to merge 3 bracketed shots to HDR.

Total processing time: 15min.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Processing: HDR Processed in Photoshop HDR Pro

Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photoshop HDR Pro
Photoshop: 3 exposures ( -2, 0, +2) were used to tone map image, 32-bit tiff image was saved to Lightroom (check my free guide “Natural Looking HDR Workflow“)
Lightroom: straightening, perspective correction, contrast, color correction.
Photoshop: Cleaning, contrast, color correction

Photoshop Plugins: