My first opportunity to travel to the Central Coast of California dropped into my lap–a professional conference was announced at nearby Atascadero and I hurriedly decided to attend. However, I didn’t schedule enough time on either side of the conference, and had relatively little time for photography.
It’s a long way from Washington, DC to Morro Bay, CA, or so it seemed, squeezed into the coach cattle car. After a truly boring flight from Dulles, I arrived at LAX with plenty of time to make my puddle-jumper connection to Atascadero. Once there, I discovered that the car rental company had run out of cars and had only a pick up truck. With no choice but to take it, I discovered that pick ups have evolved considerably, and I was treated to what was essentially an SUV with a cargo bed. I made the short trip to Morro Bay in the dark, grateful for my phone’s GPS. I forgot to grab the cable for my GPS. Grrr…
I checked into the La Serena Inn in Morro Bay, small but very pleasant and only two blocks from the Embarcadero that runs the length of Morro Bay. (Update: I’ve stayed here three times. Highly recommended.) Then to the deli behind the inn for something to drink and then across the street to Taco de Mexico, a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place. Then it was time to check email and recharge everything, change the clock on the DSLR and do last minute checks on my equipment.
Five AM comes early no matter where you are, but given the time difference with the East Coast it was actually 8 AM at home, so I felt like I’d slept in. I fired up my pickup and headed for my predetermined location in Tidelands State Park, just south of downtown. I had determined from home that Morro Rock was fully illuminated by the morning sun at about 7:15, so I parked, drank my coffee, and waited. As it got a bit lighter I set up my tripod and camera and began trying different locations. I found the one I wanted and set up my shot. Just as I did so, two other photographers pulled up and began doing the same thing. They were not chatty, so I kept to myself. (I did notice that when I left they moved to my former position, so I must have picked the best spot.)
I took a number of shots, trying various exposures, knowing that a little work in Photoshop was probably going to be in my future. The shot above is my favorite from this location. But, the day was young and it was time to move.