Big Sur’s Golden Coastline

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I shot this Big Sur moonlit coastline photo last year, but didn’t feel like posting it because I blew the exposures. After some post processing works, I decided to post this shot now to make a dedication to those in Big Sur going through the Big Sur Basin Complex fire. I can’t imagine what it was like for Big Sur residents seeing the fire jumped the Pacific Coast Highway and threatened their safety. I have a couple contacts from Big Sur. I hope you’re all safe. Big Sur is incredibly beautiful, and I’m very sad to see it’s burning :(

Back to this shot, for those to have traveled on the Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur should instantly recognize this spot, especially those who have seen the McWay Fall. During the day, the rugged coast line plays hide-and-seek with the mists and the turquoise blue Pacific Ocean water, making this cove an idyllic location for a little picnic break. Driving through Big Sur during the day is enough of a distraction; try driving through it during a full moon night! My wife kept on yelling at me to keep my eyes on the road! The coastline was absolutely stunning under the golden moon light. I wished that I was good enough to capture the scene better.

This image came from one single RAW exposure. I tried to hold back the brightness of the moon with a 3 stops split ND filter. If I had a two stops filter with me then, I would have tried to stack them. Looking back, I should have done two separate exposures, one for the moon, and one for the water. Perhaps next time…