Driving Highway 1

Driving Highway 1

I recently drove up a large part of Highway 1 in California, making stops in some of the iconic, wonderful, and always photogenic spots along the way.  I started in San Simeon and made it through Big Sur and Carmel, ending in the Fort Bragg and Mendocino area.  Here are 25 photos that illustrate the beauty I witnessed!

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An unbelievable sunset in Bandon, Oregon

An unbelievable sunset in Bandon, Oregon

As photographers, we are ever hopeful and optimistic about the light.  We hope and pray for good things to happen in the atmosphere, so we can capture it and share it.  Usually it ends up being ok, but now and then you get a really amazing display of Earth's beauty.  I was lucky enough to have that happen to me recently while in Bandon, Oregon.  Here are 14 pics that show you just how awesome this sunset really was!

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Staring at the Pacific

We were on the island of Maui a while back, and one day embarked on a drive along the road to Hana.  It's the famous drive on Maui, but honestly it's a bit over-rated in my opinion.  However, there is definitely some natural beauty to experience along the way.

We made a stop at a place called The Garden of Eden, and it really lives up to its name.  What an incredible garden, such beauty at every turn!  And the view over the Pacific Ocean ain't bad either! 



I shot this one off the back of our ferry boat, heading north from Seattle up to the San Juan Islands.  I just liked the water spraying out from the engines.  The scenery is so gorgeous, and I just could not stay inside with everyone else!  Great scenery + great weather + Nikon= pure bliss.

Of wind and waves

This is Laguna Beach, a place I love.  It totally rocks, and I have barely seen only a small part of it.  That part is what you are looking at - the beach itself.  It is my kind of beach.  Yes, there is sand on it, but there are nice big rocks that you can climb over and around and have a great time out there doing so.  On this day, it was stormy and windy and there were lots of waves.  It was awesome, despite slipping on rocks and nearly getting doused by the salt water several times.  It is a perfect place to take a camera, if anybody out there is into that sort of thing.  I have been there a couple of times while in Orange County on business, and hope to return someday.  Until then, I just have my photos.

Just another La Jolla sunset

Do you think folks that live along the coast in California ever get tired of looking at these fabulous sunsets?  I wonder if they are so used to them that they forget about them.  It seems like every time I have been out there and caught a sunset, it has been spectacular.  I wonder if they are spectacular every day.  As a photographer, it is hard to imagine living there and ever passing one of these things up!

Sunset at La Jolla Cove

While on my recent trip to San Diego, I was able to squeeze in a little camera time after work one day, and headed up to La Jolla for sunset.  It did not disappoint.  It is such a beautiful area, and luckily there were some nice clouds around.  I sat out on the rocks for a long while, though it seemed like mere seconds to me since it was so enjoyable.  It’s one of those places any photographer would love even without a camera in hand.  Anyways, I came home with a lot of images, most of which I have not had time to inspect but which will undoubtedly populate my photostream in the future.  Thanks for stopping by!

Curved rock on Laguna Beach

This HDR was taken on Laguna Beach, out in Orange County, CA.  It’s a beautiful place and if you are nearby I highly recommend that you go check it out.  Bring the camera too!  I happened to be there around sunset, just after some storms had passed so I really enjoyed walking around and snapping a few.  In this shot, I really liked the curved rock and it appeared to me to resemble a gloved hand or something along those lines.

This is a 6 exposure HDR taken at f/13, with exposures ranging from -3 to +2.  I merged them into an HDR in Photomatix, and then made my typical adjustments in PSE and Aperture, and also added a light touch in Topaz Adjust.

Laguna rocks!

Ok, that title is a little tongue-in-cheek but I thought it fit.  This was taken at Laguna Beach, down in Orange County, CA.  It was around sunset, which is my favorite time of day to shoot, and the skies had some nice clouds after the rains had passed.  I am not a beach person per se, but I do love the look of rocky beaches and find them very interesting and beautiful.  If you are ever in the area, I recommend that you stop and take a look around this place, it is gorgeous!

This is a 7 exposure HDR taken at f/13, with exposures ranging from -4 to +2.  They were merged into an HDR in Photomatix, and then I made my typical adjustments in PSE around Curves and Contrast.  The final step was to run it through Topaz Adjust to give it a little pop.  Hope you like it!

Moon over Laguna

There is something about Laguna Beach that makes for great pictures - oh yeah, it's incredibly beautiful!  I had been out there, way in the distance, shooting all over the place, and finally started to pack it in since I was running out of light.  I made it back to the walking path and happened to turn around and see the moon was shining up there.  I quickly lined up this shot.  I like the idea of the lifeguard stand, there all alone, sort of like it is watching over a deserted beach.  There was still enough light and color in the sky from the sunset that I think it came out pretty well! 

This is a 5 exposure HDR taken at f/9 with the exposures ranging from -2 to +2.  I merged them into an HDR in Photomatix and then made some adjustments in PSE (Curves, Contrast, Unsharp Mask).