My January 2014 Photo of the Month is Light Tunnel, an image made at Pfeiffer Arch along California’s Big Sur coast.
Light Tunnel Background
I took this photography while on a trip with my friend Jeremy Long (see one of his trip photographs here).
Pfeiffer Arch is famous and photographed so much during December and January. People make incredible close-ups of the Arch (which I might add, is actually a Natural Bridge). I wanted to take a step back on my composition. In doing so, I wanted to capture the entire sea stack.
It is a beautiful and overlooked rock outcropping, and I can still get beautiful color through the arch. There are a lot of different colors at sunset. This was because of some marine layer starting to roll in, along with a lot of spray. Pfeiffer Beach can be particularly dangerous with rip tides that people get caught in. This was also during a period of high surf, putting a lot of water droplets in the air. As the sun sets, you get mixes of light and dark colors depending on where the water is between you and the sun.
Photography really is something. This image looks so quiet and peaceful. In reality, large surf rolled in every 10 seconds. On my left, right, and behind me, were probably another 60 photographers. It was a very busy place. Luckily, Pfeiffer Beach is large and sprawling, giving people ample room to compose and be somewhat out of each other’s way.
Another thing I thought about was that this wasn’t my favorite time to be at Pfeiffer Beach. The time when the beach is “out of season,” namely any day not in December and January, you can often have the entire beach to yourself. A couple times I have parked, paid the entrance fee, then spent an hour or two in total solitude in one of the best beaches in California.
Big Sur never ceases to amaze.
As always, thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoy the image.
T.M. Schultze is a San Diego-based photographer, traveller, and writer. He writes, photographs, and draws things of the outdoors that have inspired humans for thousands of years. He co-authored the Photographer’s Guide to Joshua Tree Park which can be purchased here.