• Pfeiffer Portal - it really is a hole through the entire ginormous rock.

Moon Break - Restacked...

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On the Southwestern edge of Andrew Molera State Park in Big Sur California is a spectacular rock in the Pacific Ocean with a natural 12 foot high doorway. Officially this beach is part of the US Forest Service and is not a part of the State Park. The road in, however, dead ends at the beach and it is a relatively short walk to some pretty spectacular rocks like the one pictured.

This vista can only be seen by following a use trail up a steep hillside... please see the CAVEAT!

This is the same as my previous posting but with a single shot from twilight included in the stack.

I didn't plan this that well. Neglected to consider that the 50% moon would not set until 11:30 PM *and* it was going to set through the view of this star trail. The moon was kind enough to cause shimmer along the ocean and clearly illuminate the Pfeiffer Portal. It also caused flaring and ghosting - and I'm going to blame it for the cold winds and clouds that started to arrive.

I shot this with a 10-22mm that I don't own. It's my neighbor's. He had just scored himself a 5D Mk II and didn't have a wide angle lens (the 10-22 is an EFS lens and doesn't fit the EF-only mount of the 5DII). I was planning to bring both my 16-35 and my 17-40 but I realized I could get an even WIDER shot with the 10-22 so I swapped my 17-40 for the 10-22 for the week. It is rather impressively sharp, too. So Barry: thanks! I hope you enjoy the 17-40, too!

View it larger if you wish.

CAVEAT/WARNING I'm nervous about posting this shot because I don't want to encourage people to go here (and steal my best stuff!) BECAUSE if you take the wrong approach to get here you could LOSE YOUR LIFE. Not kidding!

© Copyright 2009, Steven Christenson
All Rights Reserved.

NOTE: These photos were taken at an event of the Night Photography group and includes
5_019630, 5_019849 through 5_019881

Garrett Meyers, zane.hollingsworth, and 44 other people added this photo to their favorites.

View 4 more comments

  1. ankita asthana 64 months ago | reply

    Haha! yea m gonna get it... only probs is cant attach a cable release to D60.. ll have to wait till i can buy a remote... :)

  2. Steven Christenson 64 months ago | reply

    AA That's a lot more work than I would bother with! You might try a rubber band and a pebble or something. Seems like it would be a lot more stable than the shaking hand I would get after about ten minutes!

  3. lua777 64 months ago | reply

    I will learn night photography one day,,,after i master sunsets, lol
    Steven,,,wish i could hang around when you took pics,,,,
    thanks for sharing the beautiful photo

  4. AGrinberg 64 months ago | reply

    Nice series on the star trails, and your explanations and story add a lot!

  5. MDCPhotographic 63 months ago | reply

    Wow - Great capture. A combination of my two favorite genres Seascapes and startrails.

  6. edpuskas 63 months ago | reply

    Great capture!

  7. Daniel James Murphy 63 months ago | reply

    I think this shot turned out great!!! A+

  8. Bashar Shglila 63 months ago | reply

    I like this one, Steven !

  9. Fort Photo 63 months ago | reply

    The twilighter was key, KILLER image.

    Seen in your Astro Fotos set. (?)

  10. jaf 63 months ago | reply

    Science fiction!

  11. ~Jimish~ 62 months ago | reply

    Yeah, agree, the twilight was the key...Nice shot !!!

  12. Thomas Carr Images, www.thomascarrimages.com 61 months ago | reply

    Steven, I love your sky overlays. It reminds me that there is a lot more going on in the sky that meets the eye. Awesome! You have a spotless technique and incredible patience.

  13. Greg - AdventuresofaGoodMan.com 59 months ago | reply

    My initial reaction, said out loud, was "wooooooooooaaaah"

  14. Jeffrey Sullivan 52 months ago | reply

    Another cool option for a unique place.

    I'm always nervous about the park's hours stating closing at sunset, and the profiteers who have been allowed to hold our park hostage (and not accept either the National Federal Lands Pass or the State Park Annual Pass) have posted nasty signs referring to citations. They're not at all friendly when I talk to them... I want my park back!

    Maybe I can go directly to the National Forest Service and see if they'll allow me to bring a workshop in for some night photography... I'll stop by the visitor center this week and look into it.

  15. Steven Christenson 52 months ago | reply

    An official blessing is a great idea. Let me know if I can help/support you there!

  16. The Man in Red 51 months ago | reply

    I love this spot, its so much fun exploring the chaparral up there...never thought to do a long exposure like this but this is inspirational. The first time I visited this beach the woman at the kiosk was so much fun she immediately went into a story about how in the 60's they used to have all night parties on the beach...needless to say I passed out on the beach that night!

  17. Steven Christenson 51 months ago | reply

    Jason: You don't have to twist my arm if you want company shooting here. It's one of my most favorite spots too. I'm not likely to pass out except from exhaustion or exhuberance, however ;-)

  18. Steven Christenson 37 months ago | reply

    (Gaudy graphics removed) Please see my profile for an explanation.

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