I was in California for two weeks in May of 2014. I rented a car and drove 4000 km beginning in San Francisco heading northward through the Sonoma wine region. Then I kept close to the coast and passed through Eureka, Mendocino, and ventured into the redwood forests. Turning eastward I stopped to hike in Lassen Volcanic park for a day and then skipped over the sate line into Nevada to spend a night in the casino's of Reno. I drove in the east entrance to Yosemite Park and viewed the spectacular scenery of the park for two days and then continued on through Big Sequoia park and down into L.A. where I caught up with an old friend of mine who put us up for the night. Leaving L.A. I headed northward up coastal highway 1 passing through Monterey and Carmel by the sea and then headed back to San Francisco. It was a great trip. I love California and one day hope to live there. On this trip I also discovered that respectable HDR imagery is quite possible shooting hand held if you're steady enough. I brought my Canon 5D Mark III and a my 24-15 f/4.0 L, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 L, and 70-200 f/2.8 II L lenses and post processed the HDR images with Photomatix. You can click on any image to enlarge it to full screen.
Looking out the window of a winery in Sonoma.  Hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.From our dinner table at Coppola's winery in Sonoma.  Hand held HDR.  Photomatix post processing.The dining room at Coppola's winery.  Hand held HDR.  Photomatix post processing.A nice stop in the Redwood forest near Myers Flat.  Hand held HDR.  Photomatix post processing.A banana slug in the forest.Kim enjoying herself inside a giant Redwood tree, near Meyers FlatsHiking in Lassen Volcanic National Park.Mono Lake, hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.Yosemite with half dome in the background.  Hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.Yosemite park.  Tripod HDR and Photomatix for post processing.Yosemite falls.  Tripod HDR and Photomatix for post processing.In Yosemeti National Park.The lower cascades of Yosemite falls.  Hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.Yosemite park.  Hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.Carmel california alley way.  Hand held HDR and Photomatix for post processing.