Ragged Point in Big Sur (California)

The Ragged Point is a spectacular overlook along the California State Route 1 in the vicinity of the Big Sur area. When you drive along the coast from South to North, the point indicates the beginning of the mountainous segment of the drive.

Even though the Ragged Point provides an unprecedented view of the coast, the photography opportunities are limited. The tall trees block the view towards the South and what you see here is the pretty much only angle you can get.

The last time I visited the point I did not get the shot I wanted. It was early morning, and the sun was still very low. The only option I had was to shoot directly into it.

This time, the light was much more favorable. The sun was much higher and the tall trees behind me partly were blocking the harsh late morning light, creating shaded shelter for me.

Ragged Point in Big Sur (California) 1
Big Sur. California
Loc: 35.768732, -121.324040


Since it was not my first time visiting the Ragged Point overlook I knew in advance what shot I wanted to compose.

I wanted the tree at the edge of the cliff to be a focal point of the composition but at the same time not blocking the coastline with the Ragged Point in the distance. I wanted the Pacific Coast to serve as the background for my composition.

To be able to execute my plan, I had to disconnect my camera from the tripod and climb a big log at the edge of the vista. I took a series of bracketed shots handheld.

  • Camera: Sony a6000
  • Lens: Sony-10-18
  • Focal Length: 18mm
  • ISO: 125
  • Aperture: F11
  • Shutter: 1/800s
  • Bracketing: 3 (-1, 0, 1)
  • Tripod: FEISOL Tournament CT-3442  – Check my FEISOL Tournament CT-3442 Review.
  • Ballhead: FEISOL CB-40D


It was a single RAW file editing.

I used Point Lobos preset from my Landscape Collection as the base for Lightroom Rapid Editing. Then I used TOOLKIT to boost colors and contrast.

The Lightroom Preset Editing Formula: Point Lobos(9, 13, 15, 20, 31)

Photoshop: color correction, contrast, cleaning.

Photoshop Plugins: 

by Viktor Elizarov
I am a travel photographer and educator from Montreal, Canada, and a founder of PhotoTraces. I travel around the world and share my experiences here. Feel free to check my Travel Portfolio and download Free Lightroom Presets.

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