One of the luxuries of creating my HDSereneScapes® films is that I can often pick and choose the ideal times to be in locations when they are likely to be at their most beautiful. Flowers blooming, colors of leaves changing, clear skies, good weather conditions, you get the picture. Increasingly, the value of picking and choosing when to shoot my films is also dependent upon being able to shoot at locations where there are not large crowds of people in the scenes. You see, I like to show these locations most often as a virgin experience where ever possible. This necessitates shooting when most people are not traveling in these areas so I can capture scenes that are calming and peaceful without the distractions of people and man’s impact on the surroundings. I want to remind people, by seeing these locations as pristine as I can, that we humans are having a significant impact on the planet as our populations continue to grow and impact the land.
Although climate change/global warming is affecting the timing of these opportunities, delaying the turning of the fall colors in Colorado by weeks or the lack of snowfall in other circumstances, creating my films has been an opportunity to enjoy and share with you the beauty of these amazing places at their best time of year.
Shooting the Big Sur Coast film was one of those opportunities. The film was shot over two mid-week excursions in early April and then again in late May of 2011. For a number of reasons it was split up into two separate driving trips. First, that year there were a series of significant landslides that blocked California Highway 1 just south of Big Sur for over five months. As such, my wife Marsha and I shot the first portion of the film from Cambria to the slide area in April. We then had plans to shoot in Kaua’i in early May, so we delayed shooting the second segment of the film, north of Big Sur up to Monterey until after our return.
The film starts in the Cambria area of the California coast where the flowers were blooming along the coast, the air was clear and the ocean was as many colors of blue as you could imagine. This three days of shooting was a whirlwind of driving up the coast and stopping along Highway 1, hiking to off the road locations to shoot, and then move on to the next. The California Poppies were blooming, and the squirrels were out in force to get food from the travelers, the seagulls were sitting for their portraits and the vistas from the bluffs views were spectacular. Our timing was perfect!
I made the second trip up to the northern portion of the Big Sur coast area on my own in late May, having to drive first up to Carmel on Highway 101 as again, the landslide would not be cleared for months to come. I spent the next four days finishing the film with perfect weather conditions. I first drove south to the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, shooting the streams, forests and ocean views. Then up to the famous Bixby Bridge area where the vistas make this coastline one of the most beautiful in the world.
Next, it was up to Point Lobos State Marine Reserve which has one of my favorite sea inlets I love to shoot, Cypress Cove. The sounds and sights of the rolling sea, crashing waves, the sea lions barking and seagulls squawking in the distance make this pristine park one of California’s true wonders.
Continuing up Cabrillo Highway (CA 1) I spent the last two days shooting the Carmel area and Pebble Beach’s famous 17 Mile Drive coast areas.
Another of my favorite locations is Pescadero Point. This point overlooking Carmel Bay, with its gnarled cypress tress has withstood both the test of wind, weather and time. Speaking of time, years ago, after my father passed away (a very sad loss as he was a great man) I was looking though some old photographs in his photo albums. I found some black and white photos he and my Mom had taken on their honeymoon in Carmel. Sure enough, there they were at Pescadero Point! Time had changed the cypresses and my parents lives in those 63 years, but the power of the location remains with me to this day. Reminding me of the love and compassion they had for each other and all our family members, even through tough times.
I concluded this beautiful week of shooting with a wonderful series of scenes along Sunset Drive with views of Spanish Bay and in the distance, the fishing trawlers heading back in to Monterey Bay in the distance. The coastal flowers were in bloom, the sea lions barking off shore and the clouds drifting in made for a perfectly calming experience for me. Frankly, it was exciting to have it all come together so well.
I want to thank my wife Marsha, my Aunt Ellen & my Dad’s brother, my Uncle Jerry for their hospitality and support during these shoots, and I hope you enjoy my HDSereneScapes® Big Sur Coast film as much as I enjoyed making it.
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