California Coastal Series: Big Sur

“My witness is the empty sky.” ~ Jack Kerouac

September 2004 was the first time I experienced what could be described as an epiphany – a moment of sudden revelation. I was standing on a cliff overlooking the Golden Gate, watching my first west coast sunset. As the sun dipped below the horizon, and I had an obscure thought. I am at the edge of the continent, I am watching time, I am a small being with a Nikon F4 loaded with Kodachrome. I felt the urge to take many, many photographs. Since that first trip to San Francisco nearly 10 years ago, I’ve revisited San Francisco and the California Coast several times. I scheduled my vacations for mid-October when the weather in California is typically perfect, and the Dakota Hotel on Post Street became my base of operations. In rented cars I drove from San Francisco as far south as Point Sur and as far north as Gualala, all to experience – and photograph – the beautiful terror that is coastal California.

The photographs for this gallery page were taken (for the most part) on a day trip south on Route 1 from San Francisco to Big Sur. The morning was foggy and wet; the wind blowing off the Pacific was cold and raw. But by the time we made it to Santa Cruz the fog had burned off and the sun was brilliant. After having a fish taco in the cannery at Monterrey, we pushed south to Big Sur. The light was strong, bright – the ocean calm – ripe for photography. Fine art prints available at