Travel Theme: Arches

A view of Bixby Bridge and the cliffs of California's coastline from the Pacific Coast Highway looking south.

Though an overcast day, with no play of light and shadows, I couldn’t travel across Bixby Bridge on California’s Pacific Coast Highway without taking a photo! Pulling off the winding, oftentimes vertigo-inducing highway with its jaw-dropping vistas to take this shot was a bit daredevilish. Though there were plenty of others doing the same thing, one definitely had to keep a keen eye out for traffic.

Looking now at photos others have taken of the bridge, I wish I had had the time to explore the different points from which to shoot this landmark. If I ever have the chance to go back, I would choose to do so at sunrise or sunset and will pick a much different vantage point. Perhaps by that time, I will have a wide-angle lens in my kit!

Besides the majesty of the arch, what really took my breath away was the thought that I was viewing the edge of North America. Dramatically dropping into the Pacific Ocean, it just ends. Living on the east coast where I do, my experience with the “edge” of the continent is expansive beaches, gently giving way to the Atlantic Ocean. So this vista just astounded me — as did the entire drive up the PCH (as insiders call it). Going north, I was happy I was on the inside of the road; being on the outside of some of the turns with their associated drops would have permanently left me with white knuckles!

Thanks, Ailsa, of Where’s My Backpack, for a great travel theme!

23 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Arches

  1. Magnificent!! I so hope to ride the bike down the coast someday. A friend just rode his bicycle (not motorcycle) down the entire PCH from Canada to Mexico, and his pictures enthralled me.
    A wonderful shot, Stacy!

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    • Wow, his bicycle??? How long did that take him? Lord, I feel like such a slug ;). Driving down the PCH just makes you feel so small compared to the grandeur of Mom Nature. It’s an amazing feeling. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that you DO get to do this someday, Laurie. You’d shoot awesome photos! Thanks for your comment πŸ™‚

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    • Hi, Cardinal! Apparently it’s one of the world’s highest single-span concrete arch bridges, completed in 1932. Between the gracefulness of the bridge and the amazing setting, it’s no wonder it’s a haven for photographers πŸ™‚

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  2. The photo is wonderful, light is important, but I sometimes prefer an overcast day to bright sunny days. I find that with beautiful architecture and even some landscape we can loose so much detail in the shadows or bright highlights if the sun is to harsh. I have never driven the PCH, but it is a place I would love to see someday!

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    • Thanks for that thought, Janice! I know overcast days are better for photographing people, but it’s good to hear that applying that same principle can work equally as well for other types of shots. I’ll remember this on the next sunny day when I find myself dealing with blown highlights or clipped shadows πŸ˜‰ As for the PCH – yes, do keep it on your bucket list! Mother Nature’s architecture in all its glory πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks so much, Shane. I appreciate your feedback. I certainly know photography is about the light, but when there isn’t any, I can get a bit flummoxed about how best to capture the scene. So I’m really glad you like the photo πŸ™‚

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