The fabled Pfeiffer Beach in Big Sur, California was proving to be illusive. Dad and I had repeatedly cruised up and down Highway 1 looking for Sycamore Canyon Road and the little bakery my massage therapist had assured me would be near the turn-off. No canyon road and no bakery. No beach. No Keyhole Arch. No photography nirvana.
We returned home and scoured our resources looking for GPS coordinates, something we should have done from the start. But who would have imagined such a famous spot would be so hard to find?
Armed with the said GPS coordinates, we finally found the road to the beach and photography nirvana. Park, walk across the sand past a small stream and boom. There sits Keyhole Arch. It’s one of the easiest landscape photo sites I’ve ever been to with Dad (if you discount the three trips to Big Sur it took for us to locate the beach).
What’s so special about this illusive pile of rocks? During a few days of the winter months, the sunsets directly behind this stalwart sea arch causing the “keyhole” to glow in an amazing way. Considering it was May we were a bit late to catch this incredible phenomenon, but Dad didn’t give up in capturing a great image.
We photographed the arch in early morning light and then returned for the sunset that evening. So did a lot of other photographers, including a herd of folks attending a photo workshop on the beach.
Not intimidated, Dad worked his way into position to capture the sunset and some waves that were crashing through the arch. Everything went off without a hitch until a drone roared to life above the photogs, zipped out over the arch and zoomed down the beach. Minor distraction, kind of a like an annoying mosquito. But if the truth were told Dad was a bit envious of the shots the drone could capture.
Anyway, back at home Dad created a composite of the morning and sunset shots to illustrate his “take” on this well-known, if hard-to-find, spot.