Piedras Blancas Light Station (California)

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The main attraction of the Piedras Blancas beaches is the Elephant Seals Rookery where you can observe the sea animals at such a proximity that you can actually touch them. If you are lucky enough to drive along the California State Route 1 in January and February, you can see hundreds and hundreds of elephant seal pups.

While most of the tourists spend hours watching the elephant seals, I followed the coastal hikes and tried to find interesting spots for my travel photography. This is one of my favorite views in the vicinity of Piedras Blancas. In this composition, the beautiful rocks illuminated by morning light serve as the main focal element, and a light station in the background adds another point of interest.

California. Piedras Blancas Light Station
Loc: 35.6594, -121.2533

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Travel Photography Blog: 3 Bracketed Shots (-1; 0; +1)
  • Camera: Canon 60
  • Lens:  Sigma 17-70mm
  • Focal Length: 19mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Aperture: F8
  • Bracketing: 3 shots (-1; 0; +1)
  • Tripod: hand-held


Lightroom: import, tagging, export to Photomatix
Photomatix: I used 3  images to tone map image ( -1, 0, +1 ), 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,  removing HDR artifacts in water, contrast.

Photoshop Plugins: