Big Sur

Contrasts make for very interesting subjects; and we find contrasts throughout our everyday lives. I love the desert Southwest, and all of its beauty, and all of the contrasts one can find within it, yet, I also wanted to provide an even bigger contrast. What better way to do that than with the Pacific Ocean off the California coastline? The Big Sur area comes to mind, so let’s celebrate those contrasts. Big Sur is indeed a very real town along the coastline, yet it refers to the entire area as well, and generally encompasses the coast from just south of Monterey, California to somewhere around San Simeon and the Hearst Castle area. The exact delineation isn’t important; the beauty is. As a whole, the coastline, just like the deep desert, provides different looks and moods, depending on when you are there. Spring, for me, is one of my favorite times to be out there, as there is some green and some flowers, although, not quite as much green as you would expect for spring. Still, it is a very dynamic time of the year and sometimes conditions can change within an hour. Point Sur The view above, for me, represents the classic coastline; long beaches, outcroppings that reach into the sea, and the vast, empty ocean, tranquil yet powerful. This the Point Sur light station, still in operation, and still guarding this section of the coast. I stood at this point for the longest time, transfixed by the never ending waves that rolled in. Wave after wave, each following the other, just kept coming, broken up only by a slightly larger wave now and then. The sea was calm, and the overall scene was very tranquil for me. After a while I knew how I wanted to present this image, and Point Sur is the final result. McWay's Paradise This is, of course, not the only awesome location in the Big Sur area. Tucked away in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is McWay Falls, a waterfall that falls directly onto the shoreline of the Pacific, making it a highly unusual waterfall. Before 1983 it used to fall directly into the ocean, making it even more unusual, but a fire in the area, along with a massive rockslide, changed the topography this cove around; the end result is that the waterfall moved back a little bit. However, in that process the secluded beach was created, so there is a little give and take going on. I enjoy the mood that this photograph gives me; we are peeking through the trees into a tropical paradise that few know about. Are we supposed be there? What if someone catches us looking in on it? And who lives there? Today, there is certainly no problem being here, as this section is protected as a state park for everyone to enjoy. The beach is not only off limits, but it is completely inaccessible, save by boat. Although this was once private property, it has been set aside for everyone to enjoy today, and thanks to that generosity, generation upon generation will be able to enjoy this view, and marvel that such a place can exist anywhere, let alone, right here. Of course, the Big Sur coastline wouldn’t be complete without the fabled fog, so let’s not forget that. Foggy Fishing This scene is one of my favorites. The fishing boat, barely visible through the fog, is just getting started on a foggy morning. The gentle ripples are on the only visual clue that the boat is, in fact, on the water, and the fog blankets the rest. I love the aura of mystery that surrounds time image. Of course, as the morning wore on the sun eventually won out over the fog, yet this image lingers, also well representing the Big Sur. All in all, Big Sur is a gorgeous area, and contrasts well with the Southwest as a whole.