Saturday, May 16, 2015

Travel: California's Central Coast - Conclusion & Notes

Red Chairs - Cambria, California
Click here to read more about this image.

The weekend tour of California's central coast was nothing short of wonderful. There is so much beauty and intrigue in this region that one should never find themselves bored. We had some new experiences. We saw some cool things. I can't think of hardly anything negative about the trip. It was good.

I wanted to close out this series of posts by taking a closer look at some of the photographs. I'll expound a little on these images (after all this is a photography blog). Some are my favorites, while others I simply wanted to comment on.

All of the photographs were captured using a Nikon D3300 DSLR. I had two lenses with me, a Nikkor 40mm AF-S DX f/2.8G Micro and a Nikkor 55-200mm AF-S DX f/4-5.6G ED, and the majority of exposures were captured with the 40mm lens. All of the images were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure 7 software.
Yellow Coast - Montana de Oro State Park, California
ISO 900, f13, 1/125, 40mm, 3/21/15 @ 6:32 PM.
The yellow flowers and the blue ocean provide some color contrast. I like the dreary-looking weather contrasted with the happy flowers.
Stone Arch - Montana de Oro State Park, California
ISO 400, f11, 1/125, 40mm, 3/21/15 @ 6:01 PM.
This image is about contrast. The eyes are immediately drawn to the areas where the light sky meets the dark shadows. 
Stone Creek - Montana de Oro State Park, California
ISO 1600, f10, 1/125, 40mm, 3/21/15 @ 6:04 PM.
This was captured on the other side of the arch that's seen in Stone Arch. I liked how the creek and stone floor almost appeared to merge together. Contrast is what makes this image work.
Stone Design - Montana de Oro State Park, California
ISO 2000, f8, 1/125, 40mm, 3/21/15 @ 6:19 PM.
I really liked the natural curves in the sandstone created by the tides. Again, contrast is an important element to this image.
Brilliant Bloom - Cambria, California
ISO 200, f13, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 9:54 AM.
This is a simple photograph, but because it's a macro image it looks unique. The colors and the bright center draw the viewer right in.
Ice Plant Blossom - Cambria, California
ISO 360, f11, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 9:09 AM.
I noticed the flower on a small ridge as I was walking up some steps. The vibrant colors and color contrast caught my eye. I quickly composed and exposed this image.
The Natural Design - Cambria, California
ISO 320, f9, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 9:17 AM.
This plant (I have no idea what it's called) was found right outside the hotel office door--it was part of the landscape. The macro capabilities of the lens allowed me to get close to show the design.
Boardwalk - Cambria, California
ISO 320, f13, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 8:46 AM.
I like how the path crosses the bridge while tunneling under the tree. The bridge also provides interest with repeated lines.
Lone Surfer - Cambria, California
ISO 100, f11, 1/250, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 9:08 AM.
I wanted to capture a surfer, but I had left the longer lens in the hotel room. So what I did is place the scene in context by showing the shore and the vast ocean. I added lots of grain in post-processing to give the image a more gritty film-like appearance.
Hearst Castle - San Simeon, California
ISO 100, f13, 1/200, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 12:35 PM.
I gave this photograph a vintage look in post-processing because I felt it matched the scene well. I used the foreground building to hide some of the scaffolding from the renovations, although some of it is still visible of you look carefully.
Telephone - San Simeon, California
ISO 3200, f4, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 11:53 AM.
This image of an old phone was made to look old. I placed a portion of the dark handset against the light curtain to create some additional contrast.
The Morning Window - San Simeon, California
ISO 1400, f6.3, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 11:43 AM.
I really liked the atmosphere and antique feeling of this scene.
The Library - San Simeon, California
ISO 2800, f3.2, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 11:49 AM.
I like the balance and contrast of this scene. Eyes seem to move in a signal pattern top-left to lower-right. It has a vintage feel, which matches the decor.
Mary - San Simeon, California
ISO 3200, f3, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 11:47 AM.
I don't know if this statue is of Mary or not, but it looked to me like it could be. The only thing that I don't like about it is the light spot in the upper-right. If I wanted to put in the effort to remove it I could, but when you are processing hundreds of exposures you don't want to spend too much time on any one image (unless you just happen to have lots of spare time on your hands, which I don't).
Castle Tower & Palms - San Simeon, California
ISO 100, f9, 1/1000, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 11:34 AM.
I wanted to give this image a vintage look, and to help with htat feeling I tilted the camera a bit.
Two Flowers - San Simeon, California
ISO 360, f16, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 12:30 PM.
This close-up of the flowers is made possible by the macro capabilities of the 40mm lens. The image works because of the color contrast.
Red & Yellow - San Simeon, California
ISO 1100, f11, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 12:48 PM.
Even though the title is Red & Yellow, it is really the red and green that make this photograph stand out.
Youth Statue - San Simeon, California
ISO 100, f10, 1/500, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 12:23 PM.
I used a low point-of-view for this image because otherwise the background was distracting. I used the statue's right arm as a leading line from the upper-left corner.
Roman Statue - San Simeon, California
ISO 900, f5.6, 1/125, 85mm, 3/22/15 @ 1:03 PM.
I really liked the natural lighting on this statue and the contrast with the dark background is great. 
Roman Pool #1 - San Simeon, California
ISO 2000, f5.6, 1/125, 40mm, 3/22/15 @ 1:11 PM.
About a month after I captured this I saw that well-known photographer Trey Ratcliff had captured a similar image. At first I thought, "Well, great minds think alike!" But then I realized that there are probably millions of pictures of this pool out there.

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