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The Big Sur coastline is one of the most dramatic stretches of jagged, beautiful scenery in California. It draws in visitors from all over the state. While just driving this stretch of highway 1 can be a fascinating experience, photographing it allows folks the opportunity to really see some of the amazing sites up close and personal.
Mike and I met a group of eager photographers in Carmel for a day of fun, and photography along the Big Sur coastline. We started our day off at the iconic Bixby Bridge. I love this spot, the architecture is amazing, and in any kind of weather we can show people how to make it shine. I love shooting this bridge in black and white. The dark of the surrounding mountains mixed with the light tones of the bridge make a dramatic image. Mike and I also like to use this spot for helping folks get dialed in with their settings, and learning how to make the most of whatever camera they have with them.
The next spot we like to photograph is McWay Falls. We pull up a little ways from the waterfall, and that allows us a pretty uninhibited view of the falls and the wonderful little cove that it sits in. Here we also have a great opportunity to work with any kind of ND filters the group has with them to slow down the exposures, and get some silky water effects.
Our final stop for the day is Pfieffer Beach. The rocks here have been battered by wind and wave for eons, and that process has left behind some pretty unique rock formations. One such formation is the key hole, or arch rock. This rock allows a great shot of the final rays of light as they shine through, giving a rich aesthetic to the scene. Mike and I help the group with their various compositions, and work to show them different ways to extend the exposure with filters so that they can smooth out the water and really make the colors saturated in the light ray.
It was a beautifully clear evening, which meant we got the best of the light ray through the arch…everyone was really happy with their images.
Once the sun was gone there was only one thing left…pack up and make the long winding drive back to Carmel!
Until Next Time,
Brian, Mike, and the rest of the Aperture Academy Team
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.