Pfeiffer Beach is my second favorite location in Big Sur. Finding this beach is the first challenge as locals "reportedly" take down the beach signs as well as Sycamore Canyon Road signs as soon as they are installed - to keep the beach as private as possible.
To get to Pfeiffer Beach, find Sycamore Canyon Road - the only paved and un-gated road west of Highway 1 between the Big Sur post office and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. The narrow, windy road is about 2 miles long and ends at the Pfeiffer Beach parking area. And your reward is a beach surrounded by cliffs and rocks - along with an arch in the water.
I timed my visit to this beach for a sunset shoot. I was unfortunately greeted by a fierce wind - so strong that using a tripod was not optional. Sand dunes were forming right in front of me. I eventually found a bit of shelter near the bottom of the cliffs toward the south end of the beach.
In this shot, I was timing the waves so they would create a diagonal line parallel to the top edge of the glowing clouds.
Camera and Lens Settings
104mm f/8.0 1/80s
3744 x 5616px