View Full Version : Big Sur Favorites?

Frank Petronio
11-Jul-2010, 20:31
Going next month. Any favorite spots?

Brian Vuillemenot
11-Jul-2010, 20:49
Start off in Point Lobos, just past Carmel on Highway 1. Make sure you photograph Weston Beach so you can say you've done it. There's also some nice cypress trees and quite a bit of birds and other sea life. Just down the road is Garrapata State Park, a series of pull-outs for about 10 miles along Highway 1. Here's where all the classic "Big Sur Coast, Rocks and Surf" type pictures are shot. There's quite a few coves and coastal nooks and crannies to explore; lots of room for macro and abstract work. If you like bridges, Bixby Bridge is about 15 miles or so south of Carmel- another classic coastal landscape shot. Continuing south, there's Julia Pfieffer Burns, with the classic waterfall on the beach shot. There's also a number of less well known state parks. I've really only explored the northern half in depth, which is where most of the iconic photo locations are. There are many scenic vistas as well as great material for closeups, so you really can't go wrong along Highway 1. Just watch out for the crazy drivers doing 70 over the blind hairpin turns!

Merg Ross
11-Jul-2010, 20:57
What Brian says, however, take a break from photography and visit the Henry Miller Library after a leisurely lunch at Nepenthe. Have fun, I know you will!

John Kasaian
11-Jul-2010, 22:21
Phil's Fish Market in Moss Landing is good place for fresh fish :)
The Falls at Lime Kiln will likely have corked out by now :( Unless you hear reports to the contrary I wouldn't bother, but if they are running there's a very cool view.
Ragged Point at the South end is a place where you can stand out on the lawn on top of the cliffs and let the wind pummel you and feel happy (just don't set up your tripod or your LF camera will likely go airborne!)
Not in Big Sur, but I find that photos of that 10' tall concrete artichoke in Castroville are always crowd pleasers! :D

...and don't forget to try the french toast at Em-lys in Carmel!

John Jarosz
12-Jul-2010, 08:12
Take your Johnny Rivers "Realization" album for the car. :-)

Richard M. Coda
12-Jul-2010, 08:38
All of the above. I also like some of the less touristy spots in Monterey... the Fisherman's wharf (not the tourist one). And for non-photographic relaxation, get a bottle of wine, something good to eat and take it down to Carmel Beach at sunset.

Frank Petronio
12-Jul-2010, 08:45
Thanks all, I'm talking a little further South, like Jade Beach, etc.

Thanks for all the invites too!

John Kasaian
12-Jul-2010, 10:57
Dunes at Montana de Oro, Elephant Seals on the beaches S. of San Simeon. If you've got a 4wd there are some cool fire break roads that will take you high above the coastline above the Port of San Luis.

12-Jul-2010, 12:56
the waterfall into the ocean at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. and Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur

Don Kellogg
14-Jul-2010, 07:52
Get Douglas Steakley's book, "The Photographer's Guide to the California Coast." Set your odometer to 0 at the Carmel River Bridge and proceed down Highway 1. I live here and have found it to be quite helpful. Don't miss the Calla Lilies at mile 9.6 although they may be finished for the season by now. Take in the "hole" at Pfieffer Beach at sunset.

15-Jul-2010, 05:00
Don, do you now what time(s) of year the sun sets "in the hole"?

Don Kellogg
17-Jul-2010, 14:44
Actually, I don't attempt to photograph it with the sun "in" the hole---it's way too many EVs (too bright) different from the face of the rock and water in the foreground. Having the sunlight strike the water and adjacent rocks works for me. I have found that the best shots are when there is a fair amount of wave activity and a clear sky--usually in the winter as we often have a lot of fog (although the fog can be good unless it's "socked in") in the summer especially that late in the day. You can move around on the beach for the best tangential angle depending on the time of year. You may have a fair amount of company of other photographers on a good day. The last time I did the shot was at the winter solstice and there must have been 50-75 people there. It's worth it though.

Ivan J. Eberle
22-Jul-2010, 14:13

It's all been a bit overdone, but here are a few of my favorite landscape places:

Sycamore Canyon Road to the USFS concessionaire parking-managed Pfieffer beach. Used to be topless, but no more. The rocks are worth the hike anyway.

Andrew Molera State Park Cooper-Molera Trail to the beach and the Big Sur River Mouth.

Garrapata Beach, just North of the Sobranes Canyon, across the road and along the cliff edge to the sea-stack arch. Nice rocks, best with big swells and an offshore breeze.

If you get socked in with fog for 3 weeks solid, dig up a tide table and hit Weston Beach in Pt Lobos or the Great Tide Pool area in Pacific Grove at a minus low tide if you can. Bring a black brolly and a polarizer for tide pool close-ups of anenomes and baby octopus.