Spent a little time on the Santa Monica Pier while visiting some friends in Culver City in Los Angeles this summer. I love this pier because not only is a classic boardwalk with a great history, but it’s got the fantastic family amusement park, Pacific Park, right on the pier.
Since we hit the place in broad summertime 12-noon sunlight I decided to make 3-7 captures 1-stop apart for each photo I wanted to make as we wandered the pier. There’s so much character in the buildings, structures, art, and people on the pier, it’s hard not to want to photograph all kinds of things going on in front of you. We only had an hour out there, but it was an hour well spent.
I came to really enjoy learning how to use Nik Software‘s HDR Efex Pro a few months ago, and this was the perfect place to make the scenes come alive in ways I otherwise couldn’t have done with traditional digital photography. HDR Efex Pro is my favorite HDR software due to it’s slick interface and ease of intuitive adjustments. I started out using one of the pretty awesome presets the software comes equipped with and then tweaking to my liking, but the more I got familiar with the interface (and HDR photography in general), the more I’d start from scratch and develop the scenes to my liking. My goal is usually realistic, but sometimes it’s really fun to go for vintage, black and white or surreal.