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Big Sur has attained a worldwide reputation for its spectacular beauty. It's dramatic "meeting of land and sea" is the essential stuff of endless beautiful photographic possibilities. This 90 mile stretch of highway along the coast is still close as can be to being a wilderness area, and we at the Aperture Academy have a great love for the "Big Country of the South" as it once was called.
Today's group of eager participants met in Carmel, at the crossroads parking lot. The instructors Jean Day, and Matt Granz began this workshop with their traditional round circle introductions and explanation of the itinerary for the days class. The group had a lot of experience under their belts and were raring to go! We loaded everyone into the ApCab 1, a beautiful 15 seater Mercedes Benz, and headed to our first stop at the Carmel Mission. The Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo is a wonderful place for our students to get used to shooting their DSLR cameras in a wide variety of settings, from outdoor macro to indoor low light, and of course some rich architecture photography. The Carmel Mission is a place of beauty, and on this fine November day the flowers were blooming and the whole place had something to shoot at nearly every turn, with lots of vibrant colors, and beautiful scenes of light and shadows to point cameras at.
Next, we packed back up into the ApCab and proceeded down the highway to the iconic Bixby Bridge. Here Jean and Matt were able to teach the participants creative framing and how to rely on the histogram in a harsh midday high contrast sunny day. The light aqua blue waters of the cost were looking tropical and gave way to many beautiful vistas in three distinct directions.
The next stop was a stunning gem called McWay Falls. This almost tropical location is an almost one of a kind rare place in California where you can see a beautiful waterfall stunningly close to the ocean surf in a perfectly picturesque little cove. Time was quickly running out, and our little band of now seasoned photographers were able to grab some incredible images along the fence lined cliffs. Those with ND filters were able to elongate their exposures a bit to come away with surreal looking water blurs. We also worked on different depth of field equations to get different effects in the various images everyone was attaining here.
The last destination of the day before returning back to our cars, was a glorious sunset waiting for us just a short trip back north at Pfeiffer Beach.
This hard to find location is home to a geological formation just off the shore called the Hole in the Rock. During the Fall season this place puts on a spectacular light show as the sun drops down to the horizon The waves splashing through the opening in this arch seem to be on fire as they catch the golden last rays of sunlight during this time of year. Jean and Matt were kept plenty busy running across the beach to ascertain and help our students with what kinds of shots they were after, whether it was wide angle shots that took in all of the rock formation and sunset colors, or more intimate close ups of the waves splashing through the opening, or long exposures... there was a wide variety of images to be had here and everyone was excited and up to the task while getting truly remarkable results in the process! We shot until the sun went down and then had a nice silent happily worn out ride back to Carmel, exhausted and pleased with the results of a day well spent along the beautiful California coastline.
Until Next Time,
Jean, Matt and the rest of the Aperture Academy.
P.S. If you'd like to join us at one of our workshops, you can find the schedule/sign up here.