As the Waves Came In


My time in this world is limited, but the things that I can do in that time are not. ~ Jeb Corliss

So I haven’t been doing as good on putting up tons of new photos like I said I would… I promise it’s all for good reason, aka there is so much new stuff to go out and shoot, and it’s fall, so all the colors are changing!

As the Waves Came In – Pheiffer Beach // California

There are certain photos that just stick out in your mind I think.  Ones that have a special meaning to you, or had something memorable happen while they were taking place.  This is one of those shots for me.  I revamped it a little from last time it was posted, trying to bring back a little more natural look than before (this seems to be a theme lately).   It was a bit of a fluke that we even happened to find Pheiffer Beach this night, as the signage is nearly non-existent roadside.  Having passed where we should have turned, we made it all the way to Carmel, where we happened to find a touch of cell phone service.  That was just enough to get a call out.  After some brief phone description, a fair amount of remote google searching, and some luck, a picture message came thru on the phone that had a small sign that we were supposed to look out for.  Luckily, the picture came thru about 30 seconds before we saw that sign.

Keystone rock is pretty famously photographed in the winter months, when the sun sets just perfect that you can see it thru the keyway.  I kind of like this, though, a bit moody, with a touch of dark, edging on the darker side of evening.  As for the memories, they will always be there, flowing on the waves.

Waves Pheiffer Beach William Woodward

Riding Down the PCH – Big Sur, California


I plan on spending some time on the northern portion of the PCH here soon 😉

*Riding Down the PCH – Big Sur, California*

There’s something special about slowly exploring the Pacific Coast. Of all the road trips, so far I might rate Route 1 at or very near the top.

After finding a camping spot for the night, we decided to go for a drive, heading north towards Bixby Bridge (which you can see off in the distance) and ending up at Pfieffer Beach for blue hour.

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Highway 1 Big Sur William Woodward

Aqua Blue Water at Bixby Bridge


I know many people love clear blue skies, but they just don’t do it for me.  Unless I’m laying on a beach, then blue sky away.  What’s your favorite weather?

Aqua Blue Water at Bixby Bridge

This amazing evening seemed like a race against the clock.  While I always suggest taking your time when exploring new places, letting yourself get lost in something new, that doesn’t always pan out with the amount of time you’ll have.  In this case, that was true, and our time was limited, and the ‘to-see’ list was pretty extensive.  Technically, we were on our way towards Keystone Rock, although the specifics of where that was had yet to be revealed.  The Bixby Bridge popped out from around a mountain side, and my priorities changed slightly, as it was a great marvel of a structure.

Blue Water Bixby Bridge William Woodward

Our Secret Waterfall

Beaches or Mountains? 

They are both about the same distance away from here…  And both offer different exciting aspects… Which to choose, which to choose?

Our Secret Waterfall

Not every random roadside trail head ends up at a place like this.  But every once in a while, the stars align and the perfect light comes at the end of the tunnel.  This waterfall was the light at the end of the tunnel.  No indication of a swimming area was ever noted until you have climbed all the way back to the end of trail, over a precariously perched set of bent pipe, clamored over a few massive boulders, and hopped the narrowest part of the stream.  Once you are there, you can’t really help but get in, even if it that means going in your skivvies.  If you’re on the Pacific Coast Highway, and you’re in the mood for a chilly dip at the base of a waterfall, check out Salmon Creek Trail.  It’s worth it.

Last Light of Keystone Rock

The Power of Persistence

I feel like I preach this a lot, but it’s worth saying again.  There is nothing like finding a way to get the shot you want.  I had heard of this place thru some other photographers, but in my naivety, didn’t go as far as to look up where to find it.  That proved to be quite a mistake!!  While we cruised the Pacific Coast Highway, I assumed that there would be some sort of sign (at least) for this awesome place, but alas, we had driven all the way thru Big Sur and not come across anything.   Having nearly no cell phone service for the duration of our trip, and both Britta and I running extremely low on batteries, I made a few desperate attempts to call around and find someone near a computer.  After failed attempts, I finally reached her brother, who did a little searching for us.  Seems that he had found it!!   Finally, I thought, we would be able to get there!  As we started to figure out where we were and where it was, cell phone service dropped again.  The end.  Or so it seemed, until a spurt of service came back, and a picture message of a computer screen with a non-descript sign came thru.  Instructions to find this sign left my hopes of actually coming across it a little down, but no more than 1 (yes, one full minute) after this tiny amount of service came thru, did the sign show up on the side of the road!

Last Light of Keystone Rock

Over two miles down a crooked and narrow road, we were nearly at a run to get out to the beach before there was no light left in the sky.   I dropped the tripod in to the sand, and began running off some long exposures with the waves coming in as close to the bottom of the camera as I could stand.  The long exposures created an awesome feeling of movement in the ocean, and for a while we sat and enjoyed the empty beach.

Keystone Pfeiffer Beach William Woodward