Greyhound Rock Trail (California)

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This is another beautiful spot along California State Route 1. Just a few miles after Santa Cruz, while driving towards San Francisco, you pass beautiful  Greyhound Rock Beach.

California, Santa Cruz, Greyhound Rock Beach
Loc: 37.078437, -122.267168

As you can guess, the main attraction of this location is Greyhound Rock. When you look at the beach from the distance, the rock looks like enormous sea creature laying close to the shore.

I took this photo while walking along the steep trail down to the ocean.

This was a very challenging photo to process. I was shooting directly into the sun with the strong wind bending pampas grass violently from left to right. I was not sure if it would be possible to avoid ghosting effects when processing it for HDR.

It took me more than an hour to get everything right except for the sky. It looked muddy with the strong bending effects. I created a new layer, filled it with a blue gradient, from darker blue at the top to the lighter at the bottom and I used Blue Channel as the base for my transparency mask which allowed me to hide everything except sky region. This way I could get my sky exactly the way I wanted.

Deconstructing Featured Photo

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


Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 5 bracketed shots to tone map image ( -2, -1, 0, +1, +2 ), 16-bit tiff image was exported to Lightroom (Tutorial: Complete HDR Workflow).
Lightroom: straightening, cropping, export as PSD image
Photoshop:  cleaning, contrast, vibrance, sky replacement.

  • Jack Ferlise says:

    Victor, this is beautiful! and old territory for me when I went to school in San Fran and San Jose. Good times along that coast. The nature on the west coast says something different than the east coast – both have value. California has a larger scale, I think.

    • I agree, Jack, it is all about scale.I love California and southwest. I am planning my next trip to California right now.

      • Jack Ferlise says:

        Yeah, California is amazing. Friends of mine took me to Patrick’s Point in Oregon. Gi-huge-ic driftwood – talk about scale. A dreamy place maybe an hour and a half from Bend. I wanna go back. I’m thinking Venice first though. Be well. Great photo. Great great content posted-production stuff. Be well. Have fun. Jack

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