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If I had to choose only one location to visit and photograph between Los Angeles and San Francisco along the scenic coastal Highway 1 I would not hesitate with my choice: it would be definitely Point Lobos State Park.
During my visit to California last January my plan was to visit Point Lobos for an hour just before the sunset and then drive to Monterey, but I was out of luck. Later that afternoon a cold and heavy fog descended from the mountains and canceled the sunset for good. It was dark around 4pm.
I had to change my trip’s itinerary. I drove back to the park the first thing in the morning the following day. I had never visited Point Lobos in the morning, and when I entered the park around 9am with the sun shining from the east and I could not recognize the place. It looked very different compared to the afternoon hours. It was probably the best visual proof that quality and direction of the light defines and distinguishes the photographs.
Anyway, long story short, instead of spending an hour or so in the park I stayed there for the entire day. Since sun was shining for the most of the day, which is perfect for HDR photography, I managed to fill my 32Gb memory card full of bracketed shots.
Deconstructing Featured Photo
Camera: Canon 60D
Lens: Sigma 10-20mm
Focal Length: 10mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
Bracketing: 5 shots (-3, -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: 5 exposures (-3, -2, -1, 0, +1) were 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