Point Lobos, Big Sur

Edition Size: 95
11" X 14"
16" X 20"
20" X 24"
24" x  30"

'Wild lilacs flow to the sea in tribute to one who walked this path before me'

he area depicted in ‘Tribute to Edward’ owns a rich history in photography. Ansel Adams and Edward Weston, two of America’s photography icons, created some of their most powerful images along the Big Sur coast of California, and specifically here at Point Lobos State Reserve.

Inspired to create my own powerful images, I drove to Big Sur in March of 1998. After spending three days exploring and photographing farther down the coast I began to really tune into the area. Finally, I decided it was time for Point Lobos. Being familiar with Edward Weston’s work, I greatly anticipated exploring Weston Beach and other famous Point Lobos locales. I arrived at mid morning under overcast skies. The potential for wind is always an issue when working any coastline. Today I felt none. Would this be my day?

I consulted a map of the area and headed toward Weston Beach and China Cove at the south end of the reserve. Often when I go to a new area it takes a substantial amount of time to feel connected and locate beautiful images. Not so today. I was already in tune and after walking up the path for fifty feet, there, spread before me, was this incredible scene of California Lilac with China Cove gently surging back and forth in the background. I was deeply moved and knew this was it. However, there was a problem. The sun needed more time to move toward the west to light the entire scene evenly. Once again, the all too familiar waiting game.

For me, this is one of the most ‘patience testing’ parts of photography: having a great subject and composition selected, but having to wait for the conditions to become right. So, I hiked up the shore to Weston Beach which was beautiful; however, the image I had waiting for me back at China Cove was spectacular!

In about an hour, I returned to find the scene evenly lit and even more beautiful than before. As I set up my camera, a group of school children passed behind me on the trail. They were curious and asked questions about the strange wooden camera. I answered briefly and shared with them my need to hurry before the wind started blowing. They moved off to observe sea otters on the point.

I continued photographing and was blessed by calm air and consistent lighting. After completing ‘Tribute to Edward,’ I could feel deep in my soul just how special this experience was. I thought about Edward Weston and Ansel Adams, and wondered if they shared the same feelings as me so many years ago.


(Worth the wait!)