From San Francisco To San Simeon
I am sure you have heard
the expression, "stop and smell the roses." Basically, it
means that we should take time out of our busy lives and appreciate
the beauty of the world and life around us. As a professional travel
photographer, I actually seldom did that, because I was so busy (my
wife/assistant, Susan, calls it being intense) striving for the best
possible pictures. Among my professional photographer friends, my intensity
has made me known as the "shoot and scoot" photographer.
From San Francisco, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge and follow the signs to the scenic overlook. Drive up the hill, park your car and find a strategic viewpoint looking back toward the city. If you are lucky, you'll get a sunny day, postcard shot. If not, you'll get a picture of the bridge shrouded by dense fog. Bring the widest angle lens you have to capture as much of the bridge as possible. This picture was taken with a 16-35mm lens set to 16mm.
Landscape photography lovers can shoot to their heart's content along the Pacific Coast Highway, also known as PCH and Highway 1. Wear hiking boots for sure footing on slippery rocks as you climb into photo opportunity positions. If you want, you can climb right down to the water. This photograph was taken about 300 ft from the road. Wide angle lenses will help you capture the sweeping scenery. A polarizing filter will reduce reflections on water and even on atmospheric haze, therefore making your pictures look sharper. For more about the Pacific Coast Highway, see www.letsgo.com/CALI/09-CentralCoast-43.
California is rich in Spanish
history--and missions. The San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo
Mission, in Carmel, lets us look back in time and photograph in a peaceful
You'll find countless sunset opportunities during late afternoon drives along the Pacific Coast Highway. This scene was photographed in Big Sur National Park, about 30 minutes north of San Simeon. To bring out the colors in your sunset shots, underexpose by a stop or two.
Morning, afternoon, evening, and garden tours are offered at the Hearst Castle in San Simeon. This photograph of the outdoor pool (there's one indoors, too), was taken during the morning tour. If you are serious about photographing the castle, sign up for both the morning and afternoon tours. That way, as the sun moves across the sky, you'll get good light on different sides of the castle. See www.hearstcastle.org for more information.
The Hearst Castle, also known as Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument, offers a glimpse of how the "other half lives." If you visit the castle, which is 250 miles south of San Francisco, bring your wide angle lens and polarizing filter.
Rick Sammon is the author of
"Rick Sammon's Complete Guide to Digital Photography."
- Our Pick: The 10 Best Lenses for Mirrorless Cameras
- Create Dynamic “Rain” Portraits on the Cheap with a Manual-Focus Lens and a Garden Hose (VIDEO)
- Canon Unveils 30.4MP 5D Mark IV DSLR & Two Lenses; We Take It For a Test Drive (VIDEO)
- 7 Photographic Mistakes I Still Make
- Our Favorite Reader Websites: 3 Great Online Photo Portfolios that Make Every Click Count