Monday, December 24, 2012

Big Sur: The Bixby Bridge Revisited

Anyone who has driven down Highway 1 in Big Sur has crossed the Bixby Bridge, which is just 12 miles south of Carmel. Built in only 14 months and completed in 1932, it has an elegance of style and function you don't see in contemporary bridge architecture. It may be the most identifiable and iconic scenes on the Cabrillo Highway. I suppose that's why so many travelers stop and take photos of the bridge or just take in the vista of the Pacific coast from that vantage point. The location, along the rocky coast and surrounded by the hills of Big Sur, makes it one of my favorite spots.

Getting good shots of the bridge can be tricky unless you use a wide angle lens.  I like to capture the sweep of the bridge's lines from both ends. The parking area at the northern end of the bridge can get busy, so I like to get right up to the end of the bridge so I can capture some of the coastline. 

Shots from the southern end requires crossing the bridge and then parking in the tiny turnout just past the end of the bridge. Climb up the narrow path and you'll find yourself with a sweeping view of the bridge. With a wide angle lens you can capture the entire bridge, as well as some foreground and coastline. (The shot above was taken with a 12 mm lens on an APS-C sensor, equivalent to about a 20 mm full-frame lens.)

One unwelcome development this year: one evening two women set up portable speakers and were playing guitars and singing. Sorry, but this was just noise pollution in a beautiful setting.

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