Santa Monica Pier – HDR

Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel Amusement Park HDR

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HDR Photo Of The Santa Monica Pier

This was my first time shooting the Santa Monica Pier on my Canon 5Dmkii. It’s a very popular spot for photographers but it’s rare to get the timing of the lights right.

If you plan on going here to shoot the amusement park on the pier, the best time I’ve found is to shoot after the sun goes down. Unless of course there is an amazing sunset happening which only occurs a few times a year in Los Angeles. Most of the time it looks like this. 


The HDR Process

To get a photo like this to turn out the way it does it requires a technique known as HDR photography. It’s when a photographer takes a series of photos at different exposures (one to capture the highlights, one the shadows and one for the midtones). In this case I used a program called Photomatix to combine them all together then Photoshop to touch everything up. Nothing too difficult but time consuming to get everything just right. 

More Santa Monica Pier Photos

More recently I’ve shot this same location with my Sony A7r. I went for a newer looks but you can see what goes into a shot like this on my post here:


Fine Art Photography For Your Home

You can see more of my photography like this HDR of the Santa Monica Pier, you can visit my portfolio. Prints are available in various sizes on various materials. You can contact me at with any questions.


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