California, LA Weekend Trips, Sunset Sundays, USA, VW Road Trip

#SunsetSunday: The Evolution of a Big Sur Sunset

The evolution of a Big Sur sunset doesn’t just start an hour or two before the sun actually sets. It’s a process that is only truly appreciated from being in the area all day long and watching Mother Nature do her thing.

Big Sur is a treasure that good ole Mother Nature has truly blessed us with; It is one jaw- dropping vista point after another. Right when you think it can’t get any more gorgeous or you can’t see a more beautiful jagged coastline, you drive about twenty feet around a curve and see another one. Somehow though, I didn’t get sick of it. It always seemed like an adventure and how the coast was going to surprise us next was what made us the most curious.

Driving from Los Angeles, the first huge difference was the quality of the air. It looked and smelled clean. Instead of a gray haze, there were puffy opal clouds that dotted the –only found in a crayon box- royal blue sky. Taking a deep breath in, the air filled your lungs with outdoor smells only reminiscent of my last Girl Scout camping trip, something so pure and happy. The sun was high in the sky, deep gold and while it may have just been my imagination, it seemed like I could actually see the rays beaming down on us. There is something thrilling about opening up your senses and really paying attention to how your body is happier surrounded by nature.

Even as excited as we were, and as fast as the afternoon sped by, we kept a close eye on the time and our distance from where we wanted to watch the sun set.

Looking back on the day now, any one of the dozens of vista points would have made an excellent sunset moment, so don’t worry about getting to the “perfect” spot. However, after many glowing recommendations, the only place Bob and I wanted to see the sun set was at Nepenthe. Our friends, Spencer and Kirsten, mentioned that we HAD to stop there for a beer (or hot cinnamon cider) and watch the sun fade into the ocean. Bob loved the glow the sun cast back onto the mountains and watching the slow rise of the pastel pinks, purples and deep blues opposite of the sun was definitely my favorite part.

Big Sur is one of those places that makes you feel good (all warm and fuzzy) about being apart of our world. Watching the sun interact with the ocean, mountains and sky was magical and deeply moving. After a long day of driving, this was a great way to unwind and reflect.

Travel Tip: Sunset can be difficult to photograph.  Some easy ways to improve your ‘golden hour’ shots are to use a tripod, shoot with a few different exposures, and try a variety of compositions (including the use of silhouettes to give perspective and framing).  Just by making a few adjustments, you can make the most out of your sun holidays and make sure you capture all the best parts of your vacation.