Big Sur can be dark and dangerous when dank weather settles in. You get the thick fog hovering, giving a desolate feel to the high cliffs. On a sunny day, it’s all smiling beaches and seascapes. The beach at Point Sur Lighthouse is a bit of both.
This spot is about 15 miles south of Bixby Bridge. An impossibly desolate beach, some of the most desirable real estate on the California coast. One technical note: Set up the composition but time the shutter to sync with the lighthouse light’s rotation.
Just down the road, I noticed this view. No real stop. This one, just past the lighthouse to the south, was a good reminder to me of the possibilities of black and white.
This is about a mile before the lighthouse where the Little Sur River flows in. But we’re not through with the big-shouldered cliffs as we head south.
Just past Nepenthe restaurant the cliffs are high enough so you can view almost forever. Can you see Morro Rock and Santa Barbara down there? No. But the Henry Miller library and bookstore is just down the road. Even this remote section of the state has literary history. Henry Miller wrote a book about Big Sur as did Kerouac and you can feel that boundary breaking mojo at the library (and spiritual home) of Miller.
This shot was made at 2:45. Not always a great time to shoot. But having the sun lighting up the fierce blue ocean never tires.
Normally we’d stop at Julia Pfeiffer State Park, about an hour south of this. But on a Friday in late June, that park is like the 405 on a Friday. So we keep going. South towards our next stop, San Simeon. Or at least the motels just south of there.
But there’s still a bit of cliff we can use to get a classic Sur photograph. This spot isn’t on the maps either, just a pull-off towards the end of the mystery coast.
A more wide angle pic of the same section of road:
Next stop: San Simeon, Cambria, points south