The Lone Cypress – a drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego

I had a great long weekend recently. It started in the San Francisco area where I attended the ReadWriteWeb conference on the “Real Time Web”. It was very cool to be sitting in rooms with engineers from Google and other major companies that are in the middle of evolving the web itself. There was lots of good food for thought. I was looking at it from the perspective of how to use the future web to increase attention to good content. I think we are moving into an area where attention can be created, just like wealth in capitalism.

Insofar as I believe attention can be created, I think we are certainly on to something with It’s purpose is to drive more attention and traffic to other HDR photographers. I understand from some people that they are getting 5x the number of views there than on Flickr! Great! It was started with the intention that attention can be created, spread, and shared in a more intelligent way. I also get a lot of emails of people asking me for invite codes. I don’t handle that! Sorry! ๐Ÿ™‚ But, I do understand that new codes are going out all the time… new features are being added every few days.

This shot below is from 17-mile drive off the famous Pacific Coast Highway in California, a little trip that produced a lot of good shots I will sprinkle in over the coming weeks and months! Hwy 1 runs down a winding coastline, and there are great sites all over the place. This spot is just north of Carmel and a stone’s throw from Pebble Beach. When I was there, I also took this shot with my iPhone. The iPhone is good… but… comon! This one is a bit better… hehe. Am I wrong?

The Lone Cypress - a drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego

  • Amazing shot, Trey. I can’t get over how much detail you’re able to consistently pull out of these photos. Nice work.

  • Daniel

    The water is freakin insane, I love it.

  • Tromat

    Nice shot,

    but I see you have the same problem that I encounter with water. There’s some kinds of artifacts (white circles filled of black) in the water highlights… It’s a bit annoying !

  • Wow, this is really SUPER!

  • Beautiful photo!!!!!!!!! One of my favorites. I love the ocean, and the Cypress tree on the huge rock formation is lovely. Looks like someone has taken the time to reinforce the area around and below the tree, that’s great!!! The rock and the lichens add so much color to the photo. Plus the sun on the horizon and the beautiful colors of the water. Awwsome picture, Trey!!!!

  • Nice one Trey.

    Tromat: That looks like the common problem with blown out details. Too bright for Photomatix?

    P.S. Is horizon a bit off?

  • Tromat

    Rod -> Yes I guess that’s trully a limit of Photomatix, I should try with another TM soft, but actually this one is the best I ever tried… That would be less disgracious if those artifacts was filled with white.
    And yes, the horizon’s leaned a bit.

  • Patrick

    Love the colors of the rocks!
    And I can’t see any artifacts in the water – but I haven’t viewed it in full resolution, yet.

    Trey, you said you plan a trip to Germany. Can you give any details on that already?
    What part of Germany do you plan to visit?
    I may be a bit biased but I recommend Hamburg. I would absolutely love to see you and
    your photographical skills going wild in places like the harbour, the speicherstadt,
    the town hall, the main train station or even the burchardkai.
    Or will you return to Dresden? Loved your pics from the Frauenkirche!

  • This is a masterpiece !!! One picture I can say I wish I had taken. Really amazing. Regarding the ‘white circles’, is you are talking about centre right those things actually appear in the ocean when you see it life. Because of low dynamic range in normal pictures it TENDS to be unseen, but even so sometimes it shows up. Could be difference of depth, of currents, of temperature caused by a cold stream facing hot water (or vice-versa). Those little ‘heads’ (pin like figures) you can see all the way from the rock untill exactly where the ‘white circle’ finished seem to be some rock points, which would make sense as the white circle could be shallow or less deep waters. As someone who grew up in front of the sea (literally seeing it every day as I woke up), and is used to going out in boats to Scuba diving, I can say that this image looks pretty much real to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Love the golden sunlight on the horizon, and the way the highlights on the rock snake up towards the tree is awesome!
    I have the same problem with water as well, despite having the reduce ghosting artefacts setting on high.
    Is there a way to combat this or do you have to paint them out by hand?

  • Alright. I can see now what you mean by ‘white circle’. Sorry about that. Hadn’t seen it before, it was only when I saw it in large that could the the tiny white circles. Could it be that this the those little star reflex you see in the water coming from the sun? Like in this picture of mine: (upper left). Perhaps the HDR treats it differently. I did not use HDR in that one.

  • Tromat

    Leo -> I don’t know if we talk about the same “effect”, but I’m almost sure that what I’m talking about isn’t really natural. Here’s a small crop of one of my pics :
    You can see the same artifacts on Trey’s picture.
    Maybe it’s due to the few miliseconds between the different stacked images, and even with the Photomatix ghost artifacts reducing I can’t remove them…

    Anyway, yes, this picture looks really natural, I’m just maybe too perfectionist ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Hey Tromat. Yeah, my fault. I’m sorry. I hadn’t seen that bit. It was only when I made it large that I saw these tiny details. I thought you meand something else, and haven’t got a clue what those things are, honestly. Perhaps the very nature of the instability of the reflex? As because of the moving water, it tends to go into different directions, and turns very unstable. Just a guess, no real idea :-/

  • Details in the rocks are great but you lose all detail in the trees.The cypress should be the the centerpoint but it is basically a dark spot in the middle.

  • casusan

    Oh wow! Love this Trey – all my favorite things in one photo!

  • Anne

    If that’s the LONE cypress, what’s that green leafy thing off at the left? (Great shot anyway!)

  • I disagree Barbara. In making the rocks more eye-catching, you then follow the highlights up towards the tree, then up the highlights on the trunk (which look beautiful), and then to the leaves, and thus take in more of the picture, rather than focusing straight onto the tree.

    As for the strange black dots/white circles, they’re definitely not natural, its something photomatix does with moving water, be it a stream, river or the sea, where it decides it can’t blend the exposures so leaves a strange white circle thingy instead. You’d think it would just smudge it out or patch it up with a part of one of the single exposures, but no. It really annoys me when I try and make a HDR involving water, and the only solution I can come up with is painting it out with the clone brush in photoshop.

  • Thanks all!

    Patrick – I don’t have any details on a Germany trip yet… I have a wonderful friend there and was thinking about driving from Paris through Germany to Bavaria. Maybe in the Spring? I don’t know for sure yet!

    Others – yes good feedback. The Photomatix did ghost as usual. I masked through in most areas, I think.

    Barbara – I agree with your assessment. The Cypress is a bit dark. But, I did do that on purpose… when seeing it against such a bright sky, it is almost a silhouette. I do this thing where I travel around the photo with my eye, keeping the contrast how I remember it… but I can see how looking at the whole thing at once can throw off that paradigm.

    Anne – uhhh… hehe – well I don’t THINK it’s a cypress. !

  • mathias

    good photo other than horizon. easiest thing to fix …

  • awww – I’ve been there! Not since 1988 – but I remember The Lone Cypress very well!!

  • Nice HDR, maybe I wouldn’t have done it so “hard” but anyway it’s great!

  • Jon

    Hey Trey – when I was out there many many moons ago a Japanese corporation had purchased all the land around and it was restricted to such a degree that to get a shot of the Lone Cypress you had to be trespassing. Also – I think they have it copyrighted. Things have changed I guess – great! I always hated I couldn’t see one of the California coast iconic shots.

  • Cat

    Hey, what a great pic! That’s where I live! You should have said hello to me. ๐Ÿ™‚

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