Early Morning in Big Sur (California)

In the past few years, I visited Big Sur on many occasions and I consider it one of the most rewarding destinations for any travel photographer.

But somehow, all my encounters with Big Sur happened in the late afternoon and evening hours. Normally, when planning my trips, I start with the scheduling all my sunsets and sunrises first. And since I prefer to arrange my California coastal trips driving from South to North, the Big Sur is always the latest destination of the day.

During my last coastal drive along California State Route 1, I decided to change the pattern. Even though I once again drove from South to North, I decided to visit the Big Sur the first thing in the morning after spending a night in Monterey.

In the morning light, the Point Sur Lightstation looked very different but it was still beautiful and breathtaking.

California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation
California. Big Sur. Point Sur Lightstation
Loc: 36.326319, -121.894188

Shooting & Processing

The main challenge while shooting around Point Sur Lightstation in Big Sur is that there are not too many spots to choose from. Because all beaches are private, the only place you can set up a tripod is the side of the road. This is the main reason for a limited variety of the photos from around Big Sur.

Once again, I set up my tripod on the side of the road and took series of bracketed shots.

It was a single RAW file editing.

I applied Lightroom preset Point Lobos from my Landscape Collection and after I used TOOLKIT to boost colors and contrast.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Point Lobos (13, 18, 31, 38)

Deconstructing Featured Photo

Camera: Sony a6000
Lens: Sony 16-70mm
Focal Length: 32mm
Shooting Mode: Aperture Priority (A)
ISO: 100
Aperture: F8
Shutter: 1/320s
Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D


Lightroom: import, tagging, Lightroom Rapid Editing – Point Lobos (13, 18, 31, 38).
Photoshop: color correction, contrast, cleaning.

Photoshop Plugins: 

  • Topaz DeNoise was used to reduce digital noise (sky, water).
  • Topaz Clarity was used to enhance details and boost colors (mountains, vegetation).
Archiving: I save all my photos as JPEG (quality: 100%) at full resolution and with the help of the Lightroom plugin, I synchronized them with my portfolio on SmugMug for safekeeping, sharing, image hosting and online sales.

Do not forget that my FREE Lightroom Preset Collection is always free for all subscribers to my newsletter.
  • Patricia A. Saladin says:

    I was very impressed with you technical skill you used to make GOD’S work even more beautiful. I always wondered why what I saw wasn’t what I got. Congratulations.

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