I took this shot at Corona Del Mar near Newport Beach in Southern California. This is my favorite local beach to go to for several reasons. For one, this beach has awesome rock formations in the water that make for all kinds of possibilities of interesting pictures as well as being fun to climb on! (yes I still like climbing on rocks) Also, barely any people go over to the rocky portion. Almost everyone stays on the main beach so I have never had any problems with having to wait until someone moved out of a shot I wanted. This place is also in a nice neighborhood with parking spaces everywhere close by. This shot is from one of my earlier on expeditions out here when I fell in love with the place. I had set up the tripod in this spot in preparation for the coming sunset and was crossing my fingers that the clouds wouldn’t go away by the time the sun had begun to set. Fortunately it hadn’t and this really helped some nice colors show up in the sky that I hadn’t originally seen when I took the shot. I had taken three exposures for this shot considering I was looking directly into the sun. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get the tonal range I intended with one exposure so I combined all three exposures in order to make a somewhat HDR. I used the original RAW files for a base and only used the HDR version for exposing some of the shadows that were missed. I have tried to stay away from that fake HDR look because it gives pictures a weird funky look and I like the more natural look anyway. I used Photomatix in order to combine the RAW images and I edited the whole project in Photoshop CS6.