Early morning, Cayucos Pier, California. I guess 8:53 am counts as early for a November Saturday morning in this part of the world as there were few people out and about. There was a chill in the air but it was by no means cold.

I recall only one person walking their dog along the beach that morning, and there was no one on the pier at all.

Shortly after taking this image we packed up our gear and headed a few blocks down Ocean Avenue to the Top Dog Coffee Bar for a warming latte and then next door to Pieman Pies for breakfast.

Cayucos Pier in the early morning sunlight.

Cayucos Pier in the early morning sunlight.


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At the time of writing, fire crews are working around the clock battling the Soberanes wildfire to the south-east of Bixby Bridge and slowly approaching Big Sur. I would imagine right now this area is cloaked in smoke.

When I took this image, it was mid-November. Summer fire season – June to September – was over. November falls into Santa Ana fire season – October to April. So in California, especially after the drought of the last several years, fire season lasts all year round! Yet another reason to live in Texas.

Still, we didn’t have to deal with that as the sun set over the Pacific and a chill started to descend from the hills. We stayed a while, using ever lengthening shutter speeds to catch the light trails as cars crossed the famous Bixby Bridge. I was trying to capture starbursts from the headlights but this was the only image from several attempts that was successful.

Bixby Bridge was built in 1932 and remains one of the tallest single-span concrete bridges in the world. Between 1998 and 2000 the bridge was retrofitted to make the bridge more earthquake resistant. Caltrans spend additional money to preserve the historical look of the bridge which I, for one, appreciate.

Before the bridge, there was no coastal highway. Inland the terrain is rugged and there are few roads or trails. The ruggedness of the area is one of its main attractions, but it’s also a major factor in hindering the fire crews from bringing the Soberanes wildfire under control.

Cars approaching Bixby Bridge on California State Highway 1

Cars approaching Bixby Bridge on California State Highway 1

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It’s been a while since I last posted to my blog – busy days and nights.

Earlier today I was scrolling through a Lightroom catalog and this image taken beneath Cayucos Pier, early in the morning last November struck my eye. I decided to process it in Black and White to give the image more of a timeless feel.

In the top of the image you have the pilings marching into the distance while a wave is crashing to the left. But in the center of the foreground, the reflection of the pilings and pier decking are a twisted, chaotic mess, caused by the way the water was pooling in that particular place.

Under Cayucos Pier

Shot taken early in the morning under the pier at Cayucos, CA.

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In my youth, Citroën made such unique cars. Quintessentially French in design, nothing else on the road looked like them or drove like them. The Deux Chevaux was truly unique. I first rode in one in my school days. The local taxi driver, who was paid by the school district to drive us the three miles to the nearest school bus stop in the morning and take us back at the end of the school day, had one for a while. I recall in the winter the driver would hang a paraffin heater off the gear-shift. He probably wouldn’t get away with that now.

Despite the name, the original 1948 version came with a 9hp motor and the final versions in the 1980s had 29hp motors so I’m not sure I understand the two horses name but it has something to do with tax rates based on cylinder dimensions rather than motor output.

I spotted this example on the Pont Dieu over the Canal Saint Martin in the 10th Arrondissement of Paris.

Deux Chevaux a Paris, on he Pont Dieu over the Canal Saint Martin,

Deux Chevaux a Paris, on he Pont Dieu over the Canal Saint Martin,

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From now through May 22nd, Topaz Labs is running their Spring into Summer sale offering a 40% discount!

That means you can buy the whole collection of 17 amazing products for just $299.99 (against the regular price of $500).

If you already own one or more of the products, you can log in to your Topaz account and see the special offer they have for you to complete your collection.

Followers of my blog will know I frequently use Topaz plugins in my workflow. Is it cheating? Maybe. But it’s a great time saver over doing all these things manually, layer-by-layer, in Photoshop. And, if you’re anything like me, you’d prefer to be out shooting than sitting at the computer.

To get in on this offer, remember to use the coupon code SPRINGSUMMER2016 at checkout!

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