Tag Archives: big sur

Free Gift Giveaway!

23 Mar


A few months ago, I released a photo guide to Connecticut and got a great response (THANK YOU!). Now, if you follow my Instagram, you saw that my buddy David Pasillas Photography is doing the same! If you have ever been interested in checking out California, you NEED this e-book.


David has spent a lot of time in one of the most beautiful sections of coastline that Cali has to offer -Big Sur – and put together a great guide for those of you looking to take some photos there. Maps, lesser known beaches and trails…all in all, a nifty must-read and for a limited time, its FREE! Check out his post about it here. 🙂

The Creative Juices

1 May
The Redwood Trail

The Redwood Trail

Contrary to popular belief, writing this blog isn’t always easy.  I mean…even I can’t be witty and eloquent all of the time! So when writer’s block strikes, I’m faced with a choice.  Put up a post with just a photo, or ask for help.  Lucky for me, I have a great pool of photo friends to talk shop with, and they’re an excellent source of creativity and inspiration.

When I started thinking about this week’s post…or rather, started drawing a blank about this week’s post, I sent out a text to a few of my photo-friends scattered across the country for ideas and input.  It basically said, “If you were a blog post containing a pretty photo of redwoods and a waterfall, taken at Limekiln in Big Sur, California…what would you be about?”

One of the ideas I got back, from Will of www.wheretowillie.com, was to talk about how spectacular the sights can be, even within the boundaries of our own country.  Winner, winner chicken dinner!  It’s so true.  I’ve always been one to advocate the joys of local shooting.  I saw a great quote the other day…”It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” – Henry David Thoreau.  It struck me as a great phrase.  My own state of Connecticut has rarely been high on a photographer’s “To Visit” list, and yet with a little exploration, I’ve found there are so many great things to discover.

So…let’s follow my line of thinking for a second, shall we?
1)      Ask friends for ideas to show my writer’s block who is boss
2)      Get a super awesome suggestion to expound upon
3)      Think more about writer’s block…!!??!!  Yeah, that’s totally what I did.

Thinking about how to build on Will’s idea reminded me of a conversation Sean, my “English Graduate” boyfriend had with his “Going Back For His Radiology Degree Friend”.  They were discussing a writing assignment in which the student was asked to analyze the evolution of their writing abilities/papers over the course of the semester.  The English Graduate brought up the point that most of the time, our education only encourages creative thinking to a certain point.  To support his theory, he talked about how most teachers give you the freedom to expound upon an idea, but the topic is of their choosing.  The initial idea – the starting point for creative thinking – was out of the student’s sphere of control.

So how does that relate to writer’s block and creativity?

Well, it occurred to me that in life, that initial moment of inspiration is often the most difficult to come by.  I thought back over my time as an artist in every medium I’ve dabbled in – photography, writing, painting, drawing – and I relished the moments of true inspiration, where an idea simply occurred to me and I went with it.  More often than not though, I suspect those moments are drawn off of the works of other creatives, whether we realize it or not.  We live in a data-soaked society, now more than ever with the internet making everything so accessible.  We are surrounded by the images, words and thoughts of all of the creatives in across the world with the ability to share them.

So I wonder…have American education systems conditioned us to that moment of writer’s block?  Because once I had a suitable topic, the words flowed.  It was that initial moment of inspiration that eluded me.  And more importantly, how do we combat such conditioning?  How do we cultivate the culture of creative thinking?

I guess blogging is a good start. 😉  Just some food for thought, friends.  Tell me what you think!

Warmer Weather

18 Apr
The Keyhole

The Keyhole

…that’s a nice thought, huh?  I mean, seems like the weather in America is in overdrive right now.  This week’s national forecast called for 3-12 inches of snow in South Dakota, flooding in Chicago, fires in TX, tornadoes in Lousiana and 70 degree weather in Washington DC.  Wild!

When does the beach weather start?  I’m not wishing away my time, by any means…but I am looking forward to a few lazy summer days.

This photo was taken at Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California.  This is *the* famous Keyhole Rock, which, in February lines up perfectly with the sun during sunsets.  I bet that is cool to see.  I mean…I didn’t, because I missed it by a week…but I bet it’s very Stone Henge-esque…minus the accent and cultural history. haha

Happy Thursday, friends.  Where ever you are, stay safe.  For those of you in DC…enjoy some sunshine for me!

The California Blue Hour

28 Mar
Bixby in the Blue

Bixby in the Blue

I have to admit, this super genius idea belonged to David. I believe his exact words were, “Twilight at Bixby…you almost never see that.”

Now, 100% of the time, I advocate preparation. Have your batteries charged and some spare cards ready. Keep a flashlight and a lens cleaning kit in your bag. With today’s technology being what it is, having a few compass and tide table apps on your phone won’t hurt either. Most importantly, know your camera and strive to be fluent in basic photography concepts so when you’re presented with an opportunity, it doesn’t pass you by.

In the case of this photo, preparation saved my butt. I was asleep in the back seat when David pulled the car over. I literally woke up, threw my coat on, made a few camera adjustments in the warmth of the car (ISO, etc), grabbed my flashlight (because it wasn’t just cold, it was dark and the footing was questionable) and walked briskly to the edge of a cliff. Lol

Now, focusing when its that dark is…um…difficult. Our cameras (and our eyes) use contrast between light and dark points within a scene to determine the proper focus point and a completely low light scene doesn’t have much of that. Thankfully a car, with nice bright headlights drove through the scene helping my old eyes out a little bit.

I took a total of two long exposures (then wimped out and went back to the comfort of the warm car), one of which had a cool shooting star…but for some reason, this version spoke to me more.

So…the moral of the story? You never know what ideas life (or in this case, David) will throw your way. Having a solid knowledge base gives you more tools to handle the unexpected. If you also throw a dash of luck into the mix, you may just walk away with something beautiful! 🙂