Big Sur Photography Workshop

Another photography workshop with Aperture Academy

In this photography workshop with Aperture Academy, we traveled to Big Sur to experience and (hopefully) capture the stunning beauty of this rugged stretch of California coastline.

Carmel Mission

Our first stop was Carmel Mission, just north of Big Sur. This location featured a beautiful court yard with flowers and statues, as well as a small chapel. I explored the area and tried my hands at capturing different aspects of the scene, such as texture, lighting, different compositions, etc. Here are some of my shots from this location:

Bixby Bridge

Our next stop: Famous Bixby Bridge, one of the most photographed bridges in California (and maybe the world?). I had been to this location many times before, and found it a bit difficult to get inspired to take many pictures. I’m not particularly happy with the resulting shots, here are some of the better ones…

McWay Falls

After a lunch break and some more driving, we got to McWay Falls, one of the few waterfalls worldwide that empties directly into the Ocean (according to Wikipedia there are only about 40 of them, and only one more along the US Pacific Coast).

I had a chance to experiment with various graduated lens filters provided by our instructors, and later combined them into an HDR composition in Lightroom:

Pfeiffer Beach

For our last stop, we made it to Pfeiffer Beach, right before sunset. As usual, a marine fog layer had crept in, so there wasn’t much of a sunset to be seen. However, we got to practice long exposure shots of the large rock formations and swirling waters along the beach. A beautiful finish to a day full of higlights:

Final thoughts

This workshop was a lot of fun and gave me the chance to experiment with different camera settings and approaches for landscape photography. I learned a ton, and would recommend this workshop (or similar ones) to any budding hobby photographer who wants to learn more about landscape photography.

Here is a write-up by Aperture Academy about this workshop.