Morro Creek Dunes (California)

I took this photo while looking for a nice and cozy place to have a late-morning picnic around Morro Bay. It was our first day and we were enjoying a Pacific coastal drive along  California State Route 1. It was unusually warm for the end of January and what was even more surprising was the complete lack of wind. Pacific beach in the winter with no wind, go figure.

We were coming from Montaña Oro State Park and I had already taken plenty of photos of Morro Rock from different perspectives, but I could not resist taking some more. I used the beautiful Morro Creek dunes as a foreground element of the composition with the rock as the main attraction. I also loved how morning light gave soft glow to Morro Rock.

When shooting against the sun, I knew that the only way I could pull it off was to use  HDR photography processing. processing. I took a sequence of 5 bracketed shots and later processed them for HDR in Photomatix.

Travel Photography Blog - USA. California. Morro Bay
USA. California. Morro Bay
Loc: 35.378528, -120.862712

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots ( -2; 0; +1; +2)

Camera: Canon 60D
Lens:  Sigma 17-70mm
Focal Length: 19mm
ISO: 100
Aperture: F13
Bracketing: 5 shots ( -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 )
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D

Processing: HDR Processed in Photomatix

Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 5  photos to tone map image ( -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ). 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom. (Check my tutorial Before & After – HDR With Photomatix)
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop:  cleaning, contrast.
Photoshop Plugins:

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water)
  • Topaz Detail was used to enhance details in foreground elements (dunes).
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.
  • Stunning image….. Just a bit over processed and the foliage in the foreground is a bit over sharpened but that’s just my opinion.

  • >