Photography along the PCH and the 101?

Next week I'm going to California and will be driving from Los Angeles to San Simeon. Anyone have any suggestions for great photo ops? I'll be visiting Hearst Castle but I'm looking for stuff along the way. I'll be using a Nikon D300.

2 Answers

  • Roy
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I hope you take PCH from Malibu to Ventura rather than the 101. You'll see fantastic coastal views along the highway there. Same with the coast from Ventura to Santa Barbara and SB to Gaviota. Try to take a little while to detour through Solvang while going up to Santa Maria. You won't see the ocean again until you get to Pismo Beach, but there are some creative shots of the central coast farmland area all along that stretch.

    I suppose you will then hit 1 out to Morro Bay which has great photo ops. Morro Rock is an impressive site. There are tremendous sites all along 1. So much so that you begin to get numbed to the spectacular views and perceive the spectacular to be common. Don't let that happen to you. Of course Hearst Castle has incredible views both inside the compound and overlooking the ocean.

    If you come back down 101, the highway from San Simeon to 101 is interesting, but 101 from Paso Robles to San Luis Obispo is nowhere near as interesting as HWY 1 along the coast. Mostly farmland, oil wells and open flatland. Much faster driving, but not too photogenic.

    Like everyone says, take several spare batteries and a bunch of memory cards.

    P.S. I just read an article in December's Shutterbug about the Carrizo Plain which is nicknamed "California's Serengeti". It is just west of I-5 which is one of the most boring highways on earth IMO. I've traveled it dozens of times and it is usually seen as the most deathly boring but quickest way to get from Northern California to Southern California by car. Take a look at this:

    It's like going to Africa without leaving the state! Absolutely beautiful.

    Source(s): Grew up in SoCal, years of living on the central coast, now in NoCal (another beautiful area)
  • 1 decade ago

    There are only about a billion things to see along that route, take every FC and extra battery you have. Oh, and don't forget any lenses, either.

    Have fun, hope it's not raining!

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