Winter on the central coast

Carmelite Monastery & Moss Cove - Pt. Lobos State Refuge

Carmelite Monastery & Moss Cove – Pt. Lobos State Refuge

There’s a picture by Ansel Adams that looks like this one hanging, I think, in the Carmel Mission.  It’s a big B&W hanging on a wall there.  It shows the building in the distance and a wave crashing on the rocks.  I stood in front of it and tried to figure out where he made his composition from and then checked a map of Pt. Lobos to see how to get to that point.  As you can see above, I managed to find a similar location and make a sunset photo with a nice warm vs. cool color contrast.

Problem is I can’t find Adams’ picture in any of his galleries online.  There is one image that comes up but the monastery is small and distant in the background, unlike the print I saw.  I guess it’s possible the image I saw was never digitized and thus inaccessible online but that would be surprising giving Adams’ popularity.  Anyone ever seen an image like I’m describing?  It exists in reality – I stood in front of it – but apparently not in the virtual world.

Sunrise,  Pacific Grove, CA

Sunrise, Pacific Grove, CA

Great thing about winter is the sunrise seems to last for a long time.  The shallow angle of the sun this time of year means it takes its time coming over the horizon instead of blasting up and glaring away like in summer.  I knew I wanted some sunrise images while in California and the clouds cooperated and left in the middle of the week.  A clear blue sky meant great color in the water in addition to the waves generated by the storm off-shore, and the nicely warm colored rocks gives contrast.  The low sun wraps around the curved rocks to give them dimension and show strength against the pounding waves.  The seagulls were all around, checking the tidal pools before they were flooded.

I keep returning to these locations, fascinated by the waves, colors, and wildlife.  It’s no surprise the number of people who want to live here or who find ways to return but only people who share an appreciation for this type of environment.  The settings draw you out to be a part of the scene; it’s practically impossible to sit inside around this place.  Simply sitting on a rock listening to the sounds and smelling the aromas enables you to immerse in the sense of place, a place that is unique and different.  Adding the visual element just rounds out the whole experience, especially with the ability to bring it home to see again and again.


2 thoughts on “Winter on the central coast

  1. Nice location, the bird is a sweet touch. Do you use anything to protect your camera from salty spray or are you too far from the water to worry about it?


    • Kate,
      The waves were breaking about 100 yards offshore and I was using a long lens. I did clean my gear each night and didn’t notice any salt residue. In the mornings the wind was blowing offshore so that probably helped. You should visit there.


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