Wild West Coast

I have the fortune of living in the Pacific Northwest which has an abundance of wilderness whether it be mountainous, coastal or forested.   This photo was taken near Ucluelet BC which is on the West side of Vancouver Island.  My partner and I took advantage of this past May long weekend to load our motorcycles up with camping gear and of course camera gear and headed out to the windswept coast.  This beachy area is not exactly like the blue skied sandy and tropical spot that most people think about when they vacation, but it is our home and we love it. 

I feel like this image encompasses all that is the west coast.   It is rocky, dreary and wild.  We went for a coastal hike so I could “hunt” landscape photos.  The day was overcast and a little misty so details in the rock surfaces were a little subdued.  The cloudy sky was quite bright in contrast to the trees and crags on land.  I knew it would take a few different layered exposures and some Photoshop magic to bring out all of the details in the sky as well as rocks. 

This image was comprised of 3 exposures; 1/3 of a stop apart.  I pulled them all together in, “Merge to HDR Pro” in Photoshop.  In the HDR adjustments I brought down the highlights to reveal the cloud patterns in the sky.  I added more detail in the HDR settings to bring out the lichen clinging to the granite. It is easy to go crazy with the “detail” setting but I try not to over do it so the image does not look artificial.  I kept the colour saturation true to how it was photographed.  


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