Big Sur, California is known for its dramatic, fog-shrouded cliffs and stunning, picturesque sandy beaches dotted with towering sea stacks. There are also waterfalls that plunge into the open ocean and clusters of giant redwoods seemingly lost in time. This is the time of year to witness the stunning light beam through Keyhole Arch at sunset and this is also when the wild cala lilies begin to bloom along the coast. Wildlife is abundant in this area as well, with common sightings of sea otters, harbor seals, great egrets, great blue herons, oystercatchers, gulls and even the occasional sighting of the giant California condor. The far southern end of its boundaries boasts a lively elephant seal rookery called Piedras Blancas. Each winter, from December through February, an epic display of the wildlife world plays out here – the annual breeding season of the Elephant Seal. Piedras Blancas Rookery attracts staggering numbers of elephant seals to its beaches with individuals often numbering in the thousands. During this time, daily dramas play out in a flurry of activity, from large bulls fighting for dominance and breeding rights, to cows giving birth to and nursing their pups, to seagulls greedily battling over nutrient rich afterbirth. There is never a dull moment and always something exciting to witness and photograph at this lively rookery! Travel with us as we explore all of this and more and learn how to capture stunning images that will last a lifetime!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
We will shoot at many locations in and around the Big Sur area. These include Point Lobos State Reserve, Garrapata State Park, Pfieffer Beach, Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park, Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery and many other locations along the way. We will also be taking full advantage of the best light of the day which means we will be out early (before sunrise) and will be staying out late (past sunset) so plan on long days in the field. It will all be worth it for all the memories gained and the stunning photos you will go home with!
*** Please Note: Some light to moderate hiking through uneven terrain is required to access some of the locations on this trip.
Wednesday, January 16 – Meet and Greet in the afternoon followed by our first sunset shoot in Big Sur. We will then head back to Monterey for dinner.
Thursday, January 17 – We will begin our day with a sunrise photo session followed by a late breakfast and an afternoon photo editing session and critique session. We will then head back out for a sunset photo session.
Friday, January 18 – We will begin our day with a sunrise photo session followed by a late breakfast and an afternoon photo editing session and critique session. We will then head back out for a sunset photo session.
Saturday, January 19 – We will begin our day with another sunrise photo session followed by a late breakfast and an afternoon photo editing session and critique session. We will then head back out for a sunset photo session.
Sunday, January 20 – We will have a final sunrise shoot followed by a final critique and finish by 10AM to get ready for hotel check out.
- Transportation daily to shooting locations throughout the Big Sur Area.
- Daily personalized one-on-one instruction with Tina and Kevin in the field, post-processing classroom instruction and constructive critiques.
- Water and snacks.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Airfare to and from the Monterey Bay/Carmel area (our base location.)
- Transportation between the airport and your hotel.
- Hotel lodging.
- Daily meals and beverages.
WHAT YOU WILL NEED
- DSLR or Mirrorless Camera.
- Lenses ranging from wide angle to telephoto. Super-telephotos ranging from 400mm and up are helpful for photographing the elephant seals, though not required. Great images of these large marine mammals can be taken with 200mm.
- Sturdy Tripod.
- Filters (polarizer, split neutral density, etc.). These are not mandatory but helpful.
- Laptop with Photoshop (trail versions are usually available if you don’t already have Photoshop.)
- Sturdy walking shoes
A deposit of 50% of the workshop price is due upon registration and is non-refundable or you can choose to pay the total amount up front. Final Payment is due 30 days prior to the workshop event. If the final payment is not made by the due date your space will be forfeited.