You have spoken; the results are in. You have chosen your favorite Big Sur photograph from 2013. And the voting for first and second place was very close. But this is your your clear favorite – Pfeiffer Beach Tunnel.
Pfeiffer Beach is always exciting in winter when the sun’s rays penetrate the tunnel as the waves come roaring through. It’s exhilarating to say the least. I chose this one from the scores that I shot that afternoon because, in addition to the golden glow the rays cast on the inside walls of the tunnel, the water appears as a wall about to sweep through. It’s the moment right before the explosion. You can sense the power about to be unleashed.
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“So, what was the close second?” you ask. I don’t think you’ll be surprised when you see it – another display of awesome power.
The photograph that came in second is Garrapata Surf.
I wish you could have been there. It was without a doubt the most exciting display of the power of the Pacific Ocean I have ever witnessed. Huge waves came rolling in, annihilating the cliff. It was electrifying to behold. I think the workshop participants were chuckling in their sleeves because each time a large set came in I got as excited as a little kid at the circus. This wave was the biggest of them all and you can see that it rises the full Height of the 50 foot cliff. But I must tell you, it does not show the full extent of the immense splash which was at least half again as high. I chose this one, however, because of the why the wave is climbing the face of the cliff with enormous energy, power and majesty.
Third place went to McWay Cove Sunset.
I have never seen such beautiful light on this over-photographed waterfall and cove. Well, I say over-photographed but I always look forward to returning here, no matter how many times I’ve been here before. But of all the times I’ve been here, and I’ve captured this scene in some very beautiful light, this was the most magical moment of all. What makes it even more special is this fantastic light lasted for a maximum of two minutes. You snooze, you loose.
Number four is another tranquil image, a serene moment caught at the end of an energetic sunset (the same sunset that captured the Pfeiffer Beach Tunnel photograph). Walking back to the car I turned around and saw the crescent moon and evening star hanging in the blue of twilight above the beach. It was one of those impulse moments where I had to capture it.
Sometimes less is more and this is certainly one of them. It marks the end of a totally satisfying day.
Number five is Sand Dollar Beach at high tide.
This beautiful crescent beach is one of the few stretches of sand along the 100 miles of the Big Sur coast. The tide was coming all the way up to the feet of the cliffs and the surf formed row upon row of advancing cherub-white crescents gracefully pushing toward the sand.
In sixth place is the sunset at Point Lobos.
This beautiful sunset was another first. I’ve photographed Point Lobos many times but this was the most beautiful sunset yet encountered.
Seven is Big Sur Sunset.
Besides another beautiful sunset, for me this scene at the southern end of Big Sur marks the gateway that opens to the wonders up the coast. It shows where the shore line changes from a bench to the mighty Santa Lucia Mountains, the range that gives Big Sur its unique character. I like to take the workshops here because this gives them a taste of what’s to come.
Last but not least is Limekiln Falls.
This is a very special waterfall in Limekiln State Park where a series of three side canyons converge and plunge to the coast. The highlight is this water fall with the shadows of two pine trees between the two bands of water.
So that wraps up the 2013 Big Sur competition. I want to thank everyone who participated and contributed their preferences. There’s 2013 photographs more to come so keep an eye out for them.