Big Sur | running stream on the Ewoldsen Trail

running stream on the Ewoldsen Trail (c) 2014 by David J. Ourisman, all rights reserved

Travel photography. It's my passion, and one of the biggest reasons I travel. I've gone all over the world to see amazing sights and (try to) capture amazing images. Luck is a huge factor in any really good photograph. That certainly was the case with the one I've pictured above.

This morning we hiked the Ewoldsen Trail in the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, nine miles south of Post Ranch Inn (which I'll tell you more about in my next blog post). A strenuous hike under the best of circumstances, 4.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,600 feet, it was even more of a challenge this morning as (the shorter) part of the loop was closed for construction. (There are a lot of trees down, so I suspect they are clearing the trail). Thus, we had to take the long away around to reach the viewpoints for some very beautiful views of the Pacific coast. That made the hike l-o-n-g-e-r than the advertised 4.5 miles; I was tired and my legs were a bit sore.

On the way back down, we crossed the same bridge over a creek that we had previously crossed. Seeing a makeshift bench set up by the bridge, Claire and I decided to stop there and eat our lunch. Venturing a bit upstream from the bench in search of a secluded "necessary room," I saw a small waterfall and went back with my camera, taking several pictures of the waterfall using a slow 1/10 sec. exposure to capture the movement of the water. Afterwards as I glanced in another direction, I saw some beautiful reflections in the water as if flowed over the pebbly creek bed, and snapped some shots of that.

You never really know what you have until you upload the photos into your photo editing software (I use Aperture). The moment I saw the image above, I knew it was one of the coolest images I'd ever taken... and luck is so much a part of it. You can't control the light falling on the subject — that's the biggest variable. And I would never have even been at this spot off the trail had we not been exhausted and stopped there for lunch. And, of course, I would not even have been anywhere near Big Sur had I not spent two nights at Post Ranch Inn, one of the most beautiful and romantic places at which I've ever stayed.

copyright (c) 2014 by David Ourisman LLC. As affiliates of Brownell Travel, we can provide our clients with Virtuoso amenities and amenities from other Brownell preferred hotel partners including Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and more. All rights reserved. If you have comments on this column, or questions about booking travel, email me or visit my website.

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