The California State Route 1 coastal drive from Los Angeles to San Francisco has 2 distinctive parts: one is flat with beautiful dune beaches and wide coastal plains; the other is mountainous with twisted roads and a picturesque shoreline.
Halfway through the drive, a few miles after Cambria and San Simeon, just after passing the sea lions’ beaches at Piedras Blancas, the road takes a turn inland and goes uphill. At this point you do not see or expect anything, but when you reach the top of the hill suddenly a very different view unfolds in front of you: a completely open landscape with the straight road and the mountains as a backdrop. This view serves as a reminder what awaits you over the next few hours.
This spot is definitely one of my top 10 favorite travel photography locations along California State Route #1.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 18-200
Focal Length: 45mm
Bracketing: 4 shots (-2, -1, 0, +1)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D
Processing: HDR Processed
Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: 4 exposures (-2, -1, 0, +1) used to tone map image, 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom (Tutorial: Complete HDR Workflow)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, color correction, export as PSD image
Photoshop: cleaning, sharpening
– Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (grass, ice)
– Topaz DeNoise helped to eliminate noise in the sky and water