Since we started travelling in the RV 6 years ago, Ray and I have become “bushed”. It’s a term my mother used for people who spent too much time in the bush and can’t handle being around other people anymore. We spend a lot of our time out in the desert, not in the bush, but often completely on our own, so I think the term still applies.
We love the wilderness and quiet places. We avoid crowded places and cities as much as possible.
But sometimes we have to make exceptions, bite the bullet, take a deep breath and go forth into the crowd for extraordinary places. One of those places was Big Sur, California.
An opportunity came our way while visiting friends in Hollister, California, when they offered to take care of our beagle Angie for the day if we wanted to drive in and see Big Sur. Absolutely!! We’ve learned that dogs are rarely, if ever, allowed on beaches in California, and it’s often too hot to leave her in the truck, so this was a great opportunity to see the sights while Angie got spoiled by our friends for the day.
Located on California’s central coast between Carmel and San Simeon, the Pacific Coast Highway follows the rugged coastline through 75 miles of stunning scenery. It’s one of the prettiest scenic drives we’ve done with tons of photographic opportunities along the way.
One place I absolutely had to see was Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and specifically Weston Beach. Named for photographer Edward Weston whose portfolio was full of stunning photos from this area, Weston Beach has the most interesting formations of sedimentary rock with colourful pebbles that are wonderful subjects for abstract images.
I could have spent days on that beach totally engrossed in the patterns!
One of my favourite stops on the drive was at Julia Burns Pfieffer State Park where we looked down at McWay Falls. If we had more time I would definitely explore this area further and try to get down on the beach for a different perspective.
Of course we had to stop at the famous Bixby Bridge. Even though it’s been photographed to death, I had to have one of my own.
Since it was just a day trip and we didn’t want to drive back in the dark, we didn’t have any opportunities for sunrise or sunset shots. But that’s okay, we just made the best of what we had, tolerated the traffic and crowds, and enjoyed a beautiful day along the California coast.
I made all of these images with my Sony mirrorless cameras, the NEX6 and the A6000. Since they are so small and light, I carry them both in my bag with different lenses attached, so I don’t have to change lenses as often. It’s very quick and light! They are all handheld images with the exception of McWay Falls. I wanted to do a longer exposure there, so I set up the tripod and used my 4 stop neutral density filter to block some of the light to allow for a long shutter speed.