Hang a soft left onto Moody Road. Twist up and over the gold plated hills through Los Trancos until the tiny stretch of asphalt turns to a road called Alpine; which cuts through Lahonda down to San Gregorio where the highway ends at the doorstep of the Pacific. A right turn will bring you up to Half Moon Bay and beyond to the circus of San Francisco. Pull a Louie and you’ll be heading south along Highway 1 until finally you hit the legendary esoteric home-base of hippieism: Big Sur.
I photographed there and it was as they say; breathlessly gorgeous with color and light so pure that it would make an orangutan purr. Yes, I’ve been to Big Sur. Yes, I like Big Sur. No, this is not a story about Big Sur.
Instead, I choose to tell you about the two smaller jewels you will find somewhere along that disgustingly beautiful coastline between Big Sur and San Francisco.
Pomponio and Pescadero
Pomponio is a California State Beach with no real population aside from the religiously frequent hoard of fisherman and clammers who patrol the yellow gray shores each morning. Pescadero, on the other hand, is slowly but surely eroding in to a tourist Mecca for those, like me, who attempt to distance themselves from the over saturated coastal hotspots. Ironic really, the very intentions we have for escaping the other bustling touristy epicenters in the end become the vehicle for spreading them further. They call that a ‘paradox’.
During my time on the coast I made photographs using almost every instrument of photographic destruction I own: full frame DSLR, full frame mirrorless, full frame 35mm….I mean…135 format film, 6×7 medium format film and of course…of course I had my big boy: the 4×5 view camera which still receives curious looks of wonderment even when deplyed on such hallowed pictorial ground.
And by God hallowed ground it is. This stretch of coast has been the photographic haunt of Weston, Adams, Cunningham and Van Dyke among others. There are big ghosts here, loud ghosts. In a way, a part of me will remain there, too.
Photos from the Edge
So, with no further gilding the proverbial lily I have curated a selection of photographs made of the misty shores of Pomponio and Pescadero, California.
Photomaker, author, adventurer, educator, and self-professed bacon addict. You can usually find me on some distant trail making photographs or at my computer writing about all the elegant madness that is photography. Pick up a copy of my new photo book of wild pony portraits, Faces of Grayson.