Big Sur & Hwy 1

It's in the middle of winter here in Michigan and although it's been mild and comfortable I still miss Hwy 1 and Big Sur in California. I have been to Big Sur several times and each time it's great. Well everything except the drive. I am all for curvy roads. I don't even mind that there's a shear cliff on the side of your car. It's the constant curves and turning. It really does wear you down after a couple hours. Yahoo once ranked Hwy 1 the scariest road in the country. It's not really scary unless you consider hairpin turns alongside a cliff frightening. In any event take it slow and easy, and if you find someone tailgating it's best just to pull over and let them pass.

This weeks post picture is Hwy 1 and the California coast near Big Sur. There are many pullouts along 1 with vistas around every corner. There is no real bad time of year to visit, but spring and summer would be my favorite. One thing you should do is check the road conditions. Sometimes there have been times when the road has been closed do to mudslides.

The water is cold and the wind usually high, so you may want to have a jacket with you if you decided to step out for a photo opportunity. You could spend all day driving the coast, stopping by a few small towns including Big Sur which hosts a couple eateries, gift shops, and general stores. Make sure you start with a full tank of gas, stations are scarcely scattered. Also beware of pedal bikers, they seem to be around each and every corner.

Big Sur and Hwy 1 is a photographers paradise. A wide angle is typically the weapon of choice. I shot this image handheld during the afternoon. A tripod is a must for a sunset. Also make sure to check out some of the state parks that call Hwy 1 home including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park.

If you are in the area, take a day or two. Explore the coastal towns and scenery, and make sure to catch a sunset, they are some of the best in the world.

Ojai Valley California

Ojai Valley California is a beautiful small town located east of Santa Barbara. The valley runs east and west so it's a great location for sunrise or sunset. There is a little parking area that will hold about five or six cars for a short hike to overlook the valley. Click here for where to park. Once you park you will have to hike this old dirt road to several different valley views. There is a spot where there are 2 park benches so you can sit and watch the sunset and it's the most scenic area along the road.

Ojai is a nice small town that has that ole western feel when driving through the valley. The overlook was nice as well but it is filled with houses, cars, power lines ect. I didn't really have expectations when heading to visit Ojai but all the modernism's of the valley kinda cramped my style photographically. So I didn't really take that many photographs. I did however stay for sunset which was beautiful. Also the valley has a couple different Orange and or Lemon fields and being a Michigan boy it's very interesting to see.

Over all it was a decent trip. The drive was nice, the sunset was nice and the town was cute, but I won't make the trip again.There are plenty of photographs to be made so everything from a wide angle to a telephoto will be useful. I found myself using my 70-200 to isolate scenes so I could focus on the natural landscape. If you are close by it's worth a day trip but if not your better off visiting somewhere else.