Uncontrolled Beauty – Burn at Morro Bay
As a photographer, I have to love happy accidents. When I was still in school, we went on a trip with the nature class to visit Big Sur, Elephant seal beach, and Morro Bay. The trip was exciting and inspirational, and I finally, after 3 years living on the California coast, got the chance to explore some of the most beautiful parts of the state. Unfortunately it was only about 2 months later, after graduation, that two of my hard drives bit the dust, a harrowing experience which spawned an entirely new, much safer, triple iteration backup system for all of my photos. The originals from that trip were lost, but those places haven’t changed a bit since then.
With my return to California this year, I’ve once again had many travel opportunities. You’ve seen the new Big Sur replacement photos in a recent post, and last week I took a short trip to Morro Bay for some new sea otter shots. As it turned out, the sea otters were quite easy to find, but they were all in shadow, and the light wasn’t quite right. Surprisingly I didn’t realize for nearly an hour that directly overhead was something much more amazing. What I first thought were just some particularly interesting clouds along the coast actually turned out to be a controlled burn of over 438 acres of land. From my vantage point, the smoke billowed up over the flaming hills, illuminated by the setting sun and silhouetting the gulls flying in front of it. Sometimes the most unexpected photos can be the best ones, so just make sure to keep your eyes open.