When I made the trip to Garrapata State Park a couple years ago with Tom Bricker and Ryan Engstrom, I had no idea how elusive the shot we were after was going to eventually become. First of all, you need to find the tiny little creek off of PCH where all of the lilies are located. Secondly, if you want a sunset, you need to find an afternoon with SOME clouds but no coastal fog. Third, you need the lilies to actually be in full bloom. If you show up too early, no lilies. Too late, and they are all brown and wilted. Fourth, it would nice to get a piece of the sun in the shot, but the sun would need to be far enough North making late March or early April better than February. If they bloom early, no sun. And last, but not least, every landscape photographer on the West Coast seems to know of this spot after if was posted a few years ago, and people are now showing up with their kids, dogs and lawn chairs. If you are not one of the lucky few to make it up there just as they bloom, chances are that the lilies will be very trampled by the time you arrive.
We lucked out and had SOME light while we were up there and SOME lilies had survived the onslaught of photographers. The bloomed very early in 2015 as I shot this on February 18.
A word of thanks to Ryan Engstrom who introduced me to the new fangled technique of focus stacking while we were shooting two years ago. I use the technique all the time now, but it was Ryan who suggested I try it with this shot.
I went back in early April this year, but the lilies were already past their prime. Looks like I'll have to wait until next year for another crack at this. Hopefully the road through Big Sur will have been repaired by then.
Thank you so much for your views and comments! If you have specific questions please be sure to send me a message via flickr mail, or feel free to contact me via one of the following: