Waning Light Laureles Grade
There is a winding road known as the Laureles Grade that connects Highway 68 with Carmel Valley, CA. This shot was taken at the Carmel Valley end of the grade just before it descends down to the valley floor. I loved the way the various hills forned a series of intersecting lines and layers, giving the photo additional depth. The haze seen in the distance is a bit of coastal fog creeping up the valley from the Pacific Ocean, which lies about 8 miles from this location.
Thank you all for the wonderful support and positive comments. The feedback keeps me going, trying to make each photo better than the last!
I added some drama to the photograph in order to focus attention on the middle section by adding a layer with two gradients, one going from top to the middle and the other from the bottom to the middle, using the "Foreground to Transparency" setting and with 50% opacity. The effect more closely resembles what I saw in terms of the sunset colors.
To answer one of the questions below, I did use a Photomatix layer blended in with the original but its effect was to open up shadow detail rather than intensify the colors. I also used the "saturation sponge" which is a PhotoShop CS2 tool that you literally can use on any part of a photo to boost saturation on a spot basis. I am finding that most captures benefit from spot treatment of different parts of the image rather than "global" effects so many of my images have lots of adjustment layers and layer masks of various sorts, which I can then turn on and off or eliminate depending on the result of the effect.