Elephant seals at San Simeon, McWay Falls and Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur

I got a big, fat reminder this weekend that no matter how well I plan for a photo trip, no matter how carefully I’ve staked out my locations and timed the lighting, I’m still completely at the mercy of mother nature.  I’d planned to get some beautiful late afternoon shots of McWay Falls and dramatic sunset vistas at Pfeiffer Beach–both locations on the Big Sur coast here in California–but instead of encountering the so-called “golden hour,” I got fog, fog and more fog.  Such are the hazards of Pacific coast photography.  The weekend wasn’t a complete loss, however, as I got some interesting shots at the elephant seal rookery at San Simeon, a so-so shot of McWay Falls (technically not a waterfall, but a tidefall), and just a few from Pfeiffer Beach (and no sunsets).  I’ll head back up in a couple of weeks and hope for better weather, but here’s what I got for now.

A bull elephant seal vocalizing and posturing in the surf:



All lined up for an afternoon nap:


Cooling off by covering up with some nice, damp sand:


Jostling for room on the beach:


A couple of juvenile males, sparring:



A baby elephant seal practicing his posturing–the classic bull elephant seal pose:


A little farther up the coast, the fog begins to roll in:


McWay Falls under an overcoast, slightly foggy sky:


Finally, on to Pfeiffer Beach (some close-up fauna, and some surf scenes):









~ by Robin Black on August 2, 2009.

One Response to “Elephant seals at San Simeon, McWay Falls and Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur”

  1. those are some really beautiful photos, i was there last May and just loved it!

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